Review: GREAT SINGAPORE SALE EDITION

Lured into stores by GoSpree app

The Straits Times journalist Alyssa Woo dishes out five tips on how to survive the Great Singapore Sale and nab the best deals.

New app is easy to use, but discounts could be bigger to entice shoppers

I whip out the mobile phone from my bag as soon as I exit Somerset MRT station, ready to hunt down the best discounts in town.

The Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) launched its new GoSpree app last Friday, the first day of the nine-week-long Great Singapore Sale (GSS), and there are deals to be found and discounts to be redeemed.

Opening the app, I go straight to the "Brands" section, where there are at least 100 retailers listed in alphabetical order. Although fashion and accessories brands such as Levi's and Kipling are familiar names to me, others such as fine jewellery brand Loang & Noi and womenswear brand Tarra are not.

But it is not a big deal - a quick tap on the brand name brings up a brief backgrounder as well as the discount coupons on offer, exclusive to the app.

Each coupon includes details such as the location of the store and an interactive map so that I know exactly how to get there.

There is a spa coupon for a free body massage worth $100 if I spend $100 on any a la carte spa treatment.


PHOTO: ALYSSA WOO

If I am hankering after a pampering spa session, the app would save me the hassle of scouting the whole of Orchard Road for what is essentially a needle in a haystack: A GSS-participating spa offering a service I want at a good discount.

I scroll further down the list and a Kipling coupon for $30 off regular-priced items entices me. I decide to check out the brand's outlet at 313@Somerset to see if I can use the coupon without hassle.

Thankfully, it is easy.

The retail assistant is familiar with the promotion and it takes only a few seconds for her to key in a four-digit code into the app to redeem the coupon.

The app is also easy to use. It is glitch-free, loads coupons relatively quickly and the handy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page is useful. For instance, it answers my burning question: How many of the same eCoupon can I download and redeem? The answer is only one for each account.

I can also filter the deals by type - such as Shop, Dine, and Play - for a more efficient search.

I have a minor quibble, however. It will be better if the coupons are grouped by the mall they are being offered in, on top of by brand. This will help me see, at a glance, what offers are available at the shopping centre I am at.

It will also be good if the discounts offered on the app are bigger, to entice new users.

But, overall, the app is effective. I discover several new brands and the discounts lure me into stores to browse items I never knew I needed.

So, yes, I am definitely going to use it for the sale this year.

•The GoSpree app is free to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2017, with the headline 'Lured into stores by GoSpree app'. Print Edition | Subscribe