Trends & Guides

Unexpected Things Singaporeans Search While WFH

09 April 2020 | Deridian Nurhalim

Data says that people were searching for condoms, webcams, video games, and coffee as the restricted movement order continues

Mounting concerns over the coronavirus pandemic in Singapore is having an impact on online consumer behaviour. The prospect of weeks trapped at home has seen people embark on work-from-home and other activities ranging from video calling with relatives to play video games in embracing the current situation.

Now that movement is restricted in Singapore, consumers are turning online to purchase items. As such, we were able to observe really unique and unexpected items consumers were interested in after analysing more than hundreds of thousands of shoppers on iPrice.sg. As a result, the demand for unexpected products under categories like healthcare, electronics, gaming, home & livings, appliances, and drinks have soared since February.

1. Singaporeans Practicing Safe-Sex

We probably are not surprised that vitamin C, face masks or hand sanitisers are what people are looking for online. But how many of us thought that Singaporeans was searching high & low for condoms too? Data reveals that searches for condoms shot up to 67% in the week of March 23.

As a full-fledged protective gear to prevent unplanned pregnancies, Singapore might brace for lack of condom products due to the recent closing of condom manufacturing plants. This might probably cause the birth rates to go high if the supply of condom is low.

2. Consumers Scrambling to Set Up A Home Office

Though Singaporeans are socially distancing from each other, being socially connected with close family, friends and colleagues via online has been at an all-time high. Driving this new norm, we saw that consumers were searching high & low in interest for items like webcams, Wi-Fi routers, printers, and keyboards.

According to iPrice’s data, we recorded that there is an 85% increase in searches for webcams and 99% for Wi-Fi routers. On the other hand, the increase of search interests for keyboards and printers also jumped by 137% and 67% respectively, in the week of March 23 and March 29. This has shown that Singaporeans are searching on mindfulness materials for a work-related purpose.

3. Contagious Rise of Gaming

The gaming industry today has experienced immense attention as people are looking for more ways to stay entertained at home. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been highly supportive of gaming though declaring video games addiction a mental health disorder a year ago. As such, our data shows that entertainment items such as video games consoles and TV were recorded to have the highest searches during this Covid-19 period. This may indicate that most Singaporeans have turned to gaming as the new digital hangout option.

Observing gaming related items like Nintendo Switch and PS4 since March 1 and 12, our data reveals that PS4 and Switch saw an amazing improvement in interest by 713% and 57% respectively, while TV experienced an over 35% increase in searches.

4. The Rush to Prepare for Home Cooking

Now that most of us are cooped up in our homes, this presents an exciting opportunity to try out new recipes and home-made food after getting bored with packed foods. Our data also reveals that the interest of searches on cooking equipment such as cookware, dish racks, and rice dispensers grew by 57%.

Practicing good hygiene at your kitchen and any surfaces in your house is also highly important especially during this global pandemic. Therefore, Singaporeans also seem to be searching for disinfectant related items such as Dettol more than ever as it was recorded to increase massively by 127%. This probably shows that average households are stocking up hygiene products to ensure a clean environment at home.

5. Caffeine & Booze Helping Us Get Through the Pandemic?

With “stay at home” as our new mantra, scheduling regular breaks for stepping out of your isolation bubble is needed to continue your work effectively. It turned out that most Singaporeans were also looking for coffee & alcohol to create an experience of re-grouping after spending time on tasks, which suggests these items are pretty essential as well during this “circuit breaker” mode.

Our data reveals that the increase in searches of coffee was recorded a 107% upsurge growth in interest and followed by alcohol that experienced a 47% increase as well. One of the many potential reasons that led Singaporeans to consume these was to ease the stresses and help kill the time during this period.

Research Methodology:

Data featured in this study were obtained by aggregating thousands of product pages of more than 150 online merchants through https://iprice.sg/ on Google Analytics. Data on the increase in searches were analysed by comparing the impressions data recorded from February 1 - March 31, 2020 as compared to December 1, 2019 - January 31, 2020. The price increase of medical face masks was also obtained from the product’s average price on the product pages of the iPrice platform.

About iPrice Group:

iPrice Group is a meta-search website operating in seven countries across Southeast Asia namely in; Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. Currently, iPrice compares and catalogues more than 500 million products and receives close to 20 million monthly visits across the region. iPrice currently operates three business lines: price comparison for electronics and health & beauty; product discovery for fashion and home & living; and coupons across all verticals.

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