GSS goes beyond sales with ‘Experience Singapore’ branding and interactive events

The Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) has unveiled a refreshed logo and name for the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) – GSS: Experience Singapore – to meet the demands of experience-seeking shoppers today and going beyond the mega sales and discounts. SRA has also collaborated with local trade industries to further elevate and promote its Experience Singapore positioning.

These partners include One Kampong Gelam, Orchard Road Business Association, Restaurant Association of Singapore, Singapore Furniture Industries Council, and Textile and Fashion Federation. This comes after SRA announced that the GSS will be shortened from 10 weeks to one month.

In line with the rebranding, SRA will roll out interactive activities and experiences at Orchard Road and Kampong Gelam. Some of the activities for consumers to engage in include a “traffic stopping” fashion scramble that features models strutting along Orchard Road junction when the traffic lights turn red. The streets of Orchard Road will also boast a stretch of pop-up shop-boxes ranging from beauty products to furniture and furnishings. One Kampong Gelam will also host a variety of activities such as a home and lifestyle bazaar, precinct tours and performances by local artists.

Speaking to Marketing at a press conference, executive director Rose Tong said SRA felt the need to work with the other trade sectors to bring the retail community together. As GSS is a 25-year old heritage, Tong added that there was more potential and brand equity to it which had to be retained. According to Tong, GSS transcends beyond sales and discounts, and ultimately the events and activities aim to translate towards the Experience Singapore branding this year.

When asked how the Experience Singapore branding will be promoted this year, Tong said Singaporeans have to see fashion in a different way such as the “traffic stopping” fashion scramble.

“We want to trigger excitement in the way things are usually presented. We want retailers to be provoked to do things differently and want them to get out of their comfort zone and enhance the overall shopping experience,” she said.

Tong also said that through this year’s GSS initiatives, SRA and its partners aim for retailers to recognise what can and should be done through the successes of participating retailers.

“We hope that through these initiatives, retailers in Singapore will recognise if they fall short and what they should and could do when they see the successes of other retail peers. We hope they will be motivated and encouraged because everybody wants a slice of the pie,” she said.

Singaporeans’ love for shopping

Ahead of major shopping events such as the GSS and Singles’ Day, Blis’ global study revealed that Singaporeans love to shop, with nearly half deriving a sense of happiness from shopping. According to the study, 45% of respondents said they shop because it makes them happy, while 49% consider shopping a hobby.

Despite the availability of eCommerce options, the report also said in-store shopping is alive and is preferred as a means to purchase food and groceries, furniture, household appliances, clothes, footwear, jewellery and health and beauty products. Consumers are willing to spend higher amounts when shopping in-store, with 81% indicating that they will be looking out for in-store deals during the upcoming GSS.

An interesting point to note from the report is how mobile shopping and in-store visits are intertwined. With consumers actively using smartphones while shopping in-store, retailers who combine mobile and in-store shopping experiences are more likely achieve more engagement and sales.

About 80% of local consumers use mobile phones when shopping in a physical store, with the majority citing comparing prices as a reason, followed by reading other customers’ product reviews. In addition, the Blis report unveiled that retailers offering relevant and proximity-based deals and promotions stand to attract higher footfall and sales. This is supported by 68% of local consumers who are open to providing personal information at the entrance of a store in exchange for vouchers and 64% of local consumers who look for relevant products at a store after seeing an online advertisement.

According to Blis, investing in innovations such as automated store assistance and smart mirrors to aid the discovery of relevant items and introducing home delivery or in-store collection for purchased items, will help retailers gain more paying customers. The report shows that local consumers would feel more inclined to purchase in-store if the items are categorised such as in online stores (41%) and more than half said the main causes of abandoning a physical store are if the right item cannot be easily found (55%) and if the store is too crowded (61%).

Richard Andrew, managing director, Asia, Blis said the findings show Singapore consumers are still massively value shopping in-store, and that any talk about physical retailers being rendered obsolete by eCommerce is premature. He added that shoppers’ attention and discretionary spending are now being pulled in multiple directions, thus pushing for retail strategy to essentially evolve.

“In a mobile-first world, retailers have to master new approaches such as location-based data to connect with shoppers at the right place and time to win their hearts, minds and wallets,” he said.

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