Fave one of Southeast Asia's leading digital merchant platforms released a new report titled: "2020 retail trends in Singapore: The merchant's guide to profit-boosting strategies & smarter business growth." The report is based on analytical data compiled from more than 10,000 merchants on Fave's digital merchant platform, Favebiz between 1 January to 31 December 2019, and is supported with external research on digital payments in Singapore. In line with the country's transition to a cashless economy, the report delves into the timely topic of empowering offline merchants to recognise the prevalence of digital payments in achieving sustainable growth.

Findings from the research revealed insights into the spending behaviour of customers and the main drivers for cashless transactions in Singapore. Three key emerging retail industry trends identified by the report are:

●    Cashless payments accelerate growth: At least one in three Food and Beverage (F&B) outlets in Singapore accepts cashless payments. The rise in mobile Internet usage, e-wallets, and cashless payments is paving the way for digitally empowered merchants. An increasing number of offline merchants across various retail segments is recognising the potential of cashless payments for business growth and is eagerly making the transition to take their business online. 

●    Customer loyalty builds revenue: Cashback remains one of most popular strategies for building customer loyalty and increasing repeat customers. Research from Fave indicates that cashback drives up to 70% of repeat customers and has the potential to optimise non-peak hours sales figures by up to 2.5x times. Merchants can even slash up to S$20,000 a year in marketing costs with the use of cashback.

●    Data drives smarter decisions: Merchants in Singapore are gradually gaining a competitive edge by becoming more data-driven in their business decisions. They are analysing sales trends, customers’ spending habits, and devising promotional strategies to optimise their non-peak hours. 98% of merchants on Favebiz found uses for actionable data insights with one in three merchants being able to correlate insights to their marketing spend and strategy, resulting in higher ROI.

Commenting on the findings, Joel Neoh, Co-Founder and CEO of Fave said, "Our research shows that transformation is occurring across Singapore's retail in response to changing customer preferences, advancements in technology and the evolution of payment methods. At Fave, we are continuously innovating and pushing our boundaries to evolve and enable our merchants to drive sustainable growth and meet shifting customer needs." 

2019 bore witness to key business milestones across Fave’s platform. Among the key highlights, beauty and wellness, in particular, experienced more significant growth than other verticals. Around 87% of sales for beauty & wellness services such as massage and pedicure were generated through deals showcased on Fave, mostly by women aged 25-34 years, with new customers acquisition driving the highest sales for beauty & wellness outlets on weekends. F&B merchants in Singapore saw more traction from female diners at 63% within six months as compared to male diners at 37%. Return customers contributed to 56% of sales for 2019, making customer loyalty a potential revenue stream. Merchants specialising in healthy food offerings on Fave’s platform witnessed a 2.4x increase in cashless payments with returning customers generating 80% of sales. The highest cashless payments recorded were Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar and Telok Ayer.

To date, Fave is available across 35 cities in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia with over 30,000 merchants on its platform specialising in F&B, beauty & wellness, retail, services, fitness, travel. Over 4,000 deals go live daily, serving over two million active monthly users regionally. Fave’s focus will be to strengthen its market share through continued merchant partnerships, and expansion of new services ranging from mobile payments, customer loyalty, marketing solutions to financing in 2020.

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