We recently came across this article by the Straits Times, called “Major department stores beefing up online stores”.
Intrigued by the newspaper article reporting that Singapore’s established department stores have launched or revamped their Web store and were experiencing increase in sales year by year, we set out to check out their online offerings.
Here is our quick update..
TANGS DEPARTMENTAL STORE
Photo credit: en.wikipedia.org
The women’s fashion section, not to put it lightly, is rather pathetic.
There are only 5 items in total in the bags section, 4 items in the clothing section, and so on for each category. The quantity for each category is extremely poor, not to mention the number of brands available. Likewise, the selection is similiarly poor for the men’s section, kitchen appliances, tableware, and cookware section.
What is decent however and might be worthwhile looking into, is their beauty section which sports a rather extensive selection for its makeup, skincare, hair care and fragrances section.
This may make it worthwhile to shop if you’re time-poor, especially as Tangs offers Free Local delivery with minimum of $100 purchase ($8 delivery fee is applicable if purchase is below $100).
What’s more, you get to receive a free gift with minimum nett purchase of $100, and also select up to a maximum of 3 beauty samples with every order on their online store. Furthermore, Tangs Fashion Lifestyle cardmembers will enjoy rebates with every $10 spent on the e-store.
Returns at the store are also accepted within 30 days if you have any issues (Mail returns are not accepted)
Find out more at:
ISETAN DEPARTMENTAL STORE
Photo credit: wismaonline.com
From its current e-commerce store, Isetan seems to be focusing more on its supermarket offerings rather than its other categories.
We checked out its alcohol collection and found that although not very extensive, it does offer some options not readily available in other supermarkets, such as its soju, sake, Yomeishu and DOM.
Despite multiple categories being available under their “Supermarket” section, their selection for each category is still rather limited. However, the section that may be worthwhile to shop at on their store is their meat section. Although that too is rather limited, its fresh beef selection has quite a few beef ribeye options from Korea, Australia and USA. If you’re running out of time, and hankering from some beef or meat, that can be delivered to your door – this may be a possible option.
Another very interesting section is their “Portable Mobility Equipment” section which helps disabled/elderly people get around. Although there is only a few items in that category, we think it’s quite randomly interesting and possibly useful. We haven’t found any other departmental store offering that specific category online. Check it out here >>
Free delivery is available for purchases above $70.
METRO DEPARTMENTAL STORE
Photo credit: sg.asia-city.com
The Metro web store is still quite limited in what they have to offer – be it fashion, homeware or fragrances.
However, Metro definitely has one of the better-looking interfaces for its e-commerce store. They do also have a fairly decent cosmetics section online, which might make be the category that is worthwhile to check out.
Free delivery is available for purchases above $80.
OTHER DEPARTMENTAL STORES.
Photo credit: www.todayonline.com
We did a quick check of the websites of other popular departmental stores such as Robinson, Marks & Spencers, BHG, myCK, John Little and OG, and found that they currently do NOT have an e-store.
In summary, our departmental stores in Singapore are far lagging behind online malls such as Lazada.sg, Rakuten.com.sg, Amazon.com etc.
However, that is not necessarily a bad thing as physical departmental stores can’t be and shouldn’t be expected to be offer the same value offering as an online mall. Ecommerce is a separate business function all on its own that would need its own photography production, and order fulfilment centre – and would hence result in increased overheads on top of its high rental costs.
Instead, physical departmental stores should compete by ramping up its differentiation against online malls i.e. by offering more and more offline-online crossover service offerings that online malls wouldn’t be able to compete against.
In the meantime, while the retail scene figures itself out, let’s just enjoy our one-stop shopping – be it online or offline departmental stores 🙂
Straits Times article – “Major Department Stores Beefing up Online Presence”.
Cover photo credit: Styleonthedot.wordpress.com.