Remember the old days when Singaporeans used to head to Orchard Road in order to shop till they dropped? Well, all that’s changed now. Judging by the number of vacant units on Orchard Road and the fact that Orchard Road malls are facing their worst run in 10 years, all that money’s going elsewhere now.
Singapore’s changed a lot over the last few decades, but some trends are here to stay—we’re now one of the most sleep-deprived nations in the world, people are working longer and longer hours, and the demand for convenience is rising. Here are three industries that are will not see a shortage of customers in Singapore anytime soon.
Rise and shine, suckers. Singapore has become one of the world’s most sleep-deprived nations. Long hours at work definitely have a part to play, but that’s just one part of the equation.
We’re extremely wired, which means many people are glued to their smart devices all day and all night long, which wrecks their sleep cycle.
There’s also the problem of people being too stressed out to sleep. Insomnia is extremely common in Singapore—just look at the number of colleagues who complain about being sleepy during the work day.
That’s why it’s unsurprising that the sleep industry has flourished in Singapore. Products and services that enable stressed out Singaporeans to fall asleep more quickly, or enjoy deeper and sounder sleep, are flying off the shelves. Some businesses are even renting out sleep pods in the CBD for desperate office workers who need 30 minutes of shut eye in order to survive the second half of the day.
2. Sharing economy
Singapore is an expensive place for just about everyone, which is what makes the sharing economy so relevant here. People spend all their lives paying for their homes, and most people also have to take out loans for their cars. So the allure of being able to make money out of these things is understandable.
Although Airbnb is off-limits to HDB owners, the site is chock full of condo dwellers renting out their space to tourists. Locals have taken to driving with Grab and Uber like fish to water, which is unsurprising considering taxi driving has for a long time been recourse for retrenched PMETs.
The fact that Singaporeans are so internet savvy also helps. If you put a service out there online, somebody is sure to get wind of it. Thanks to the sharing economy, Singaporeans can now let their pets stay in a stranger’s home when they go on holiday, have their kids chauffeured to school by another parent or cook a meal for strangers in exchange for a fee.
3. Delivery and convenience
Time-starved Singaporeans love convenience and are more than willing to pay for it. Sure, that cab ride might cost 10 times more than taking the bus and MRT, but if it saves 45 minutes of your time, it’s worth it.
That’s why the food delivery industry has been doing so well here, with more and more companies trying to muscle in on an already crowded market. We already have Food Panda, Deliveroo and McDelivery, but now even UberEATS wants to get in on the action by having Uber drivers make deliveries, too.
Live-in maids continue to be in-demand despite ever-shrinking living space simply because nobody has the time to look after their kids, clean the house and cook when they’re working 12-hour days.
Singaporeans will continue to pay for delivery and convenience so long as their lives continue to be hectic and stressful. Seeing as the pace of life doesn’t look likely to slow down any time soon, it looks like we’ll soon see businesses offering to help brush people’s teeth or wipe their asses sometime in the near future.
What other services are Singaporeans more than willing to pay for? Tell us in the comments!