Visa Launches Where You Shop Matters to Encourage Singaporeans to Support Local Merchants and SMEs to Go Digital
- Ninety eight percent of Singaporean consumers are planning to shop local to support small business recovery
Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, on Aug 21 launched Where You Shop Matters, an initiative that encourages consumers to support their local businesses, while helping SMEs to go digital following the onset of COVID-19. The initiative is part of Visa’s broader small business strategy and follows commitments the company has made to support 10 million small and micro businesses in Asia Pacific.
As part of Where You Shop Matters, Visa will be working with Shopee to feature more than 2,000 local micro SMEs in its marketplace and create campaigns to enable Visa cardholders to enjoy discounts when they shop at these local merchants. This is in line with Shopee’s own range of support local efforts – particularly, its #SGUnited Shopee Support Local campaign.
“Where You Shop Matters reinforces Visa’s commitment to supporting small businesses in this period of difficulty. The impact for these businesses caused by COVID-19 reinforced the need for Visa to launch Where You Shop Matters to support local businesses in Singapore and help them digitise. We are confident that Singaporeans will help support the local economy, especially since our study showed that 98 per cent of Singaporean consumers will purchase from local retailers to support small business recovery. More than half of the consumers also indicated that they will shop online more often due to the pandemic,” said Kunal Chatterjee, Visa Country Manager for Singapore & Brunei.
A YouGov study commissioned by Visa to access Singaporeans’ support for local businesses was conducted in July 2020 on 1,106 Singaporeans aged 18-55 years of age.
Zhou Junjie, Chief Commercial Officer, Shopee said, “Being a homegrown company ourselves, Shopee has always been dedicated to nurturing and empowering local SMEs and entrepreneurs. This partnership further reinforces our commitment to supporting local, especially during a time where camaraderie amongst one another is key. We are excited to collaborate with Visa on this meaningful campaign and will continue doing our part to boost local businesses striving towards economic recovery as one nation.”
The Visa Study also showed that 83 per cent of Singaporean consumers believe it is important for local retailers to have an online presence (YouGov Study commissioned by Visa). In the wake of COVID-19, the insights from this study have shown the importance for SMEs to have a digital presence and adapt with changing consumers’ behaviours in order to do well.
“By going online, SMEs can expand their customer base, not only in Singapore, but in different countries or regions. They will join a global marketplace that can be accessed by millions of Visa cardholders around the globe,” Kunal Chatterjee added.
To encourage SMEs to go digital, Visa will be providing them with a Visa eCommerce Starter Kit to help them start, manage and grow their online storefronts.
Visa is partnering with BigCommerce to provide onboarding support and special discount rates for SMEs to sign up and start selling online. SMEs can also benefit from a variety of offers including Office 365 business packages and cashback on Google Ads to help them get their online business up and running. For SMEs with physical stores, they can order free Visa POS signage to build trust with consumers.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to work closely with Visa in adopting eCommerce solutions and digital tools to help grow our business,” Deanna Chew, co-founder of Deanna’s Kitchen, said. “Not only does going digital help us to stay afloat in these difficult times, it’s given us the capacity needed to help the local community as well. We’ve prepared and donated prawn noodles to frontline healthcare staff, to show our appreciation and support for their efforts.”
An earlier Study by Visa showed that three in five Singaporeans (66 per cent) are forming cashless habits, preferring to pay with cards or through mobile applications over cash. In addition, 78 per cent of Singaporeans said they intend to stick with digital payment methods instead of reverting back to cash even when the current emergency is over.
Kunal Chatterjee, Visa Country Manager for Singapore & Brunei, said: “We approached the study with the intention to gain a timely, deeper and clearer understanding of how Singaporean consumer behaviours are changing in the current environment. In this new normal, we’re seeing a shift – Singaporeans are becoming more digital, and the COVID-19 situation has forced consumers to adopt this change in behaviour.”
Many Singaporean consumers are trying eCommerce for the first time and intend to increase buying online in the future. Based on the findings, 40 per cent of Singaporean consumers said they are most likely to increase their online shopping, similar to the number of global shoppers (32 per cent).
“Based on our data, we see that one in five active Visa cardholders who have never made an eCommerce transaction in 2019 are shopping online for the first time this year. They are shopping for essential goods and services such as groceries, pharmaceutical goods and making bill payments for their telecommunication services. They are also making purchases for retail goods at online department stores, and discount stores. Moreover, we are seeing that eCommerce growth is 10 times faster than face-to-face, added Kunal.
When it comes to the shopping experience, 37 per cent of Singaporean respondents said online shopping is a more positive experience than shopping at a physical store, similar to the global response (35%).
“Given consumers’ shift in preferences to start purchasing goods and services online, it is critical for Visa to work with merchants to enhance the online shopping experiences for consumers to ensure it is seamless, secure and convenient,” added Kunal.
The study also shows cashless habits are forming across the globe with 66 per cent of Singaporean respondents saying they prefer paying with cashless methods.