It is one of the most expensive cities to live in, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). When compared to America’s Big Apple, the basic groceries sold in Singapore are 11% more expensive. In addition, you would be paying 50% more for apparels.

Recently on Challenge, a Singaporean public service online magazine, Goh Chee Hoh submitted a witty yet accurate account of this country.

Singapore is an island of a country and a babe of a nation.
It is miniscule in size but Herculean in aspiration.
Their natural resources are scarce and their babies even scarcer.
Singaporeans speak many languages but they converse in one tongue.
They are wonderfully heterogeneous but the climate is woefully same-same.
They’ll stand up for Singapore but they can’t stand standing in the train.
Singaporeans may dine at the Michelin-ed but they all swear by their Maxwell Road.

From these accounts, it can’t be properly estimated yet, on how the women shop here.

This article is the fourth installment based on a survey by Hakuhodo, a Japanese advertising company that looks into market search and conducts advertising surveys has found several traits among women shoppers in South East Asia. The agency surveyed women aged 15-54 in seven major cities in the region, asking them about their interests and habits.

They later categorise the habits that the women exhibited during their shopping escapades. This information is crucial because it helps you know about your target audience better. Knowing them will allow you to make the right decisions to target them towards your business or educate you about the relevance of your business to the community.

Based on their findings 32.7% were clustered in family and community first shoppers, 22.5% are smart and careful shoppers and 24.8% are fickle trendies. Most would be surprised at this outcome but just hold your horses while I unravel and dissect the findings. The largest percentage out of the 1,247 women that were surveyed consists of those who put their family and community first. This means that most would avoid impulsive, emotional purchases and prefer to be thrifty and careful shoppers. They are also smart and careful shoppers that possess a wealth of product information and makes purchases accordingly. The next cluster is the fickle trendies who show a strong tendency to buy impulsively. According to Hakuhodo’s specifications, these women are said to live in a world filled to overflowing with attractive products, and their interests’ shifts quickly from one to another.

However, one cluster that does not look very significant on the statistics should be examined more closely. It is the brand-conscious cosmopolitans. At 14.2%, it just trails behind Manila to be the most brand-conscious community in South-East Asia. This is a desirable target for any business because that would improve your branding level. According to the criteria published by Hakuhado, the brand –conscious cosmopolitans are shoppers that possess an abundance of product information and are extremely brand-conscious. They are active consumers in virtually every shopping category, including apparel, food and home furnishings. They spend freely on dining out, fashion for dressing up, beauty, hobbies, leisure, education and health care, but are also active savers and investors.

Based on the shopping habits of fellow Singaporeans above, it is plain to see that whether they are shopping extravagantly or safely, the underline is that they are all avid shoppers. There are different in the way they respond to ads, brands and prices.

However, there is a booming trend in Singapore that one must not miss. It is the online shoppers. A research by Frost and Sullivan states that Singapore is the largest e-commerce market in South East Asia, bringing in a profit of 2.1 billion Singapore dollars. The survey goes on to predict that they will spend 30% more by the time 2020 hits.

In a different research; New Havas Worldwide Study Reveals the Gap Between Demand and Offer in Digital Shopping in Singapore, it states 94%  Singaporeans shop online as compared to their global counterparts that only make up 88%. The research also states that most of them purchase items like clothing/shoes/accessories (65%), travel (56%) and technology products and electronics (54%).

Targeting the Singaporean consumer must come in multiple stages. Most are very internet savvy and will look up on purchases beforehand. Therefore, one element that should not be missed is your online brand presence. That would probably the place where your brand will make a first impression.

Of course, after the brand is known, there is the compulsory customer relationship management to keep your customers coming back. Of course, in this first-world country, expectations are definitely higher. But be rest assured that the returns are even higher.

Perhaps you are planning to open a store or franchise in this great city, it’s time to take hold of your brand and market it. Information is very crucial and whatever happens after that, do remember to keep that connection with your customers. Also, extend your business to cover the e-commerce as well. This investment is going to go a long way.