Peak WFH searches: Caffeine, booze, safe-sex, games and office supplies


Mounting concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore certainly has impacted online consumer behaviour. According to iPrice's research, the prospect of weeks trapped at home has seen people embark on activities ranging from video calling with relatives to play video games in embracing the current situation. 

Now that there are more stringent restrictions on movement in Singapore, consumers are turning online to purchase items. iPrice observed unique and unexpected items Singaporeans were interested in after analysing more than hundreds of thousands of shoppers on its platform. According to iPrice, the demand for products under categories such as healthcare, electronics, gaming, home and livings, appliances, and drinks have soared since February 2020. More specifically, this is what is thriving:

Caffeine and booze to get through the pandemic 

Singaporeans were looking for coffee and 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. iPrice's data revealed 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, the report said.

Singaporeans practicing safe-sex 

Probably not surprising that vitamin C, face masks or hand sanitisers are what people are looking for online. But data reveals that searches for condoms shot up to 67% in the week of 23 March. 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, the report added. 

Gaming on the rise

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 supportive of gaming though declaring video games addiction a mental health disorder a year ago. As such, iPrice's data shows that entertainment items such as video games consoles and TV were recorded to have the highest searches during this COVID-19 period. The report said that this shows most Singaporeans have turned to gaming as the new digital hangout option. 

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

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, the report observed consumers were searching high and low in interest for items such as webcams, Wi-Fi routers, printers, and keyboards. 

According to iPrice’s data, 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 23 to 29 March. Singaporeans are searching on mindfulness materials for a work-related purpose, the report concluded.

The rush to prepare for home cooking 

Being cooped up at home presents as an opportunity to try out new recipes and home-made food after getting bored with packed foods. iPrice's data revealed that the interest of searches on cooking equipment such as cookware, dish racks, and rice dispensers grew by 57%. Practicing good hygiene is also highly important especially during this global pandemic.

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 shows that average households are stocking up hygiene products to ensure a clean environment at home. 

Guilty of the above searches?

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