Published on 29 Aug 2022

Make Great Singapore Sale great again - go beyond sales to focus on experiences: Retail observers

Go beyond sales and play up on experiences to make the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) great again, said industry observers ahead of the event from Sept 9 to Oct 10.

The Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) will leverage its GoSpree online platform for the national shopping event this year.


There will be daily GoSpree deals where shoppers can redeem e-coupons in-store and online, as well as purchase 9.9 and 10.10 surprise boxes which contain mystery products worth $99 and $100 sold at $9.90 on Sept 9 and $10 on Oct 10.

There will also be an interactive game with $20,000 worth of prizes and shopping vouchers to be won.

Dr Lynda Wee, adjunct associate professor at the division of marketing of Nanyang Technological University's Nanyang Business School, said the emergence of frequent deals in online shopping has eroded the thrill of deal-hunting during GSS.

Competition also comes from other Asian cities, like those in Malaysia and Indonesia establishing their own annual shopping festivals.

"Businesses cannot rely solely on sales and eroded margins," she said, adding that this is not sustainable in the long term.

She suggested that GSS be integrated with other lifestyle and leisure attractions to offer food festivals, fashion weekends and heritage food trails. Visitors could, for instance, do a "GSS Amazing Race", where participants can find and enjoy different offers and experiences around Singapore via the MRT system.

Professor Lawrence Loh of National University of Singapore's Business School also said that GSS has to go beyond offering discounts to focus more on what he calls the "Singapore experience".

There is a need to make shopping in Singapore a unique experience for international visitors, he said.

"Just like shopping in Japan or South Korea where it is highly immersed in the cultures, the shopping in Singapore can be grounded with a strong Singapore blend," said Prof Loh.

He added that there is a pressing need to integrate online and offline shopping as shoppers are heading back to brick-and-mortar stores amid the easing of safe management measures.

Associate Professors Lau Kong Cheen and Vanessa Liu of Singapore University of Social Sciences' School of Business said that in offering novel customer experiences, retailers should consider collaborations and cross-selling or up-selling across brands.

There can also be experiential and thematic events, such as using food and beverage as a main draw as more people want to catch up and eat out with the relaxed safe distancing measures.

They added that GSS 2022 should capitalise on the digital capabilities built during the pandemic with activities tapping live streaming and user-generated content involving local and foreign influencers.

Gamification can make use of augmented reality features where shoppers can collect virtual tokens by visiting certain events and outlets for more discounts or prizes.

More On This Topic GSS back in full force to woo shoppers with Covid-19 curbs eased Singapore retail sales grow at slower pace of 14.8% in June amid higher inflation

Some malls are already banking on differentiated shopping experiences to boost traffic and sales.

Frasers Property malls, such as The Centrepoint, Causeway Point and Waterway Point, have launched their own promotions like food fairs and lucky draws from July to September to draw crowds.

Ion Orchard is focusing on "retail-tainment" experiences to woo shoppers, such as the setting up of exclusive installations at the mall and organising events like the recent Hugo skate ramp pop-up to celebrate the launch of the brand's limited-edition capsule collection.

Ms Yeo Mui Hong, chief executive officer of Orchard Turn Developments which runs the mall, said: "Ion Orchard looks at different ways to attract shoppers through initiatives that are not specifically sales-driven. Instead, it provides shoppers with a differentiated retail experience that will keep the mall top-of-mind."


Source: The Straits Times