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The Big Reset: Evolving Attitudes, Behaviours, and Expectations of Singapore’s Citizens & Consumers

As the world moves on from a pandemic that continues to persist in the background, the changing times lead to changing moods. Blackbox’s recent study, Emerging From The Pandemic: The New Mood In Singapore, covering more than 750 adult Singaporeans, reveals mixed sentiments and shifting attitudes.

Here’s a snapshot of some key findings from the study.    

1. The Inflation Sting Is Sparing None

The foremost finding is the mammoth issue on every government’s hand at present: Inflation. It’s here, it’s hitting, and it’s hitting hard. 91% of polled Singaporeans say inflation is having some impact on them personally, with 37% saying it is having a significant impact on them.

Coupled with general cost of living, rising inflation is one of the two most important concerns for Singaporeans. Its impact pervades all spheres of daily life from the basics such as utility prices to filling fuel at the petrol pumps to even shopping at the supermarkets, and citizens feel that more needs to be done to address it. Over half of Singaporeans polled (55%) opine that inflation has been handled badly by the Government.   

2. Singaporeans Are Tuned Into Global Affairs

A divided world, ironically, ends up making people more connected at least in the sense of choosing unity amidst adversity. While Singapore usually remains a neutral party on key global issues, the country is increasingly voicing support for (and acting upon) causes they believe in.

When Singaporeans were asked in our study how they felt about the country joining many other nations in imposing sanctions on Russia following the latter’s invasion of Ukraine, over half of respondents (55%) considered it a positive move. 

Singaporeans have clear views when it comes to China too. On the country’s handling of COVID that was initially hailed but later criticized, particularly its zero COVID policy, Singaporeans feel ‘negative’ about such stringent measures and also feel that it has served as a setback for China’s rise as a global superpower.

3. Lawrence Wong Enjoys Public Support, but Singaporeans Have Concerns Over the 4G Leadership 

While citizens are largely supportive of Lawrence Wong, the designated ‘PM-in-Waiting’ has his hands full when it comes to placating fears of an uncertain economic situation. Nearly 3 in 5 (58%) and over half (55%) of Singaporeans believe that the Government has not done well in areas of cost of living and inflation respectively. 

While the Government can take some solace in the fact that 84% of polled respondents still believe that things in Singapore are generally heading in the right direction, how they harness such optimism while effectively addressing citizens’ concerns will define the 4G Leadership.

4. Consumer Dilemmas: Save or Spend? Stay In or Head Out?

While online shopping continues to evolve as a pre-pandemic trend that is now all the more heightened, the investment in one’s personal development is a key highlight in our report, with 64% feeling that this is a good change for the future.

However, comfort and convenience, the defining traits of consumers, still remain firmly entrenched in their psyche.

Over half of Singaporeans (55%) prefer the convenience of watching movies at home instead of at the cinema. As people choose remaining indoors instead of stepping out, it makes sense that there’s greater reliance on home food delivery, with 37% feeling that it is a good change to have emerged from the pandemic.

The way consumers spend is shifting too, a forced pattern brought forth by COVID-19, with an increased reliance on digital payment methods compared to the usual cash and cards. 63% of Singaporeans believe that this is a change for the good.

5. Digitalisation to Web 3.0: Is Everyone Onboard?

As everything digital becomes the new normal, Singaporeans seem quite comfortable with it. 64% among those polled find digital learning as a “good change” for the times ahead. Telemedicine services, or the concept of a Digital GP, also finds approval among Singaporeans with 1 in 2 (50%) expressing enthusiasm for online medical consultations.

While Web 3.0 is in many ways an extension of the digital world, its offerings haven’t been met with collective enthusiasm yet.  Well over half of Singaporeans aren’t too keen on cryptocurrencies (57%) and NFTs (55%), while the Metaverse—despite an overall low of 39% respondents being enthusiastic about it—finds greater approval among younger Singaporeans with 1 in 2 (50%) considering it something worth exploring. 

Only 28% overall have expressed keenness for social gaming, but there’s more enthusiasm (43%), on expected lines, among the younger cohort aged 20-34 years. So, opportunities still remain for gaming companies, especially for those looking to develop massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) and VR Chat-related games.  

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Author: Blackbox Research Team


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