Many beating queues by buying CNY goodies online

With Chinese New Year around the corner, more brick-and-mortar businesses are selling goodies such as cheongsams, red packets and even bak kwa over the Web.

Qoo10 is among a few websites which are experiencing an increase in sales of Chinese New Year-related products.

An offshoot of South Korea's biggest online shopping site, Gmarket, Qoo10 was launched by South Korean company Giosis in Singapore in 2008. It changed its name from Gmarket to Qoo10 in 2010.

Mr James Lin, a Qoo10 public relations executive, told The Straits Times over e-mail that the trend could be attributed to the younger generation of Singaporeans being more tech-savvy.

PayPal forecasted that the Singapore online shopping market will hit $4.4 billion next year, up from $1.9 billion in 2012.

Forty per cent of online purchases are from local websites, according to the e-payment business.

Mr Lin also suggested that online shoppers prefer the convenience of having the items delivered to them, especially for foodstuffs like snacks and fresh seafood.

"Consumers realise they don't have to queue at the market to purchase these items and lug them back home any more," he said.

One store taking advantage of the online shopping trend is De Cooking House, which has been selling its pineapple tarts over the Internet since 2011.

After placing their order, customers can collect their goods from the bakery in Far East Square three days later.

Mr Jason Tan, owner of the bakery, said: "Our online sales always spike by 30 per cent during the Chinese New Year period."

Another store, Cecilia Minced and Dried Pork Food Trading, uses deal aggregator sites AllDealsAsia and Deal.com.sg to sell their bak kwa.

Ms Sandra Koh decided to take the 29-year-old family business online after joining the company in 2010, recognising the popularity of social media among the younger generation. She said there is a 50 per cent jump in sales this year, compared to last year. "We have also noticed an increase in our brand recognition after going online," said Ms Koh.

Customers can have the bak kwa sent to their homes or collect it themselves from the Woodlands shop.

However, not everyone is a fan of shopping online for bak kwa.

"Some people would still prefer to come to our shop to have a taste first before ordering," said Ms Koh.

vthor@sph.com.sg