Daiso is latest to go online, but shoppers also want physical stores

Daiso also has 25 stores in Singapore and opened its newest outlet at West Coast Plaza on Jan 2.
Daiso also has 25 stores in Singapore and opened its newest outlet at West Coast Plaza on Jan 2.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Japanese discount store Daiso launched its Singapore website on Monday (Jan 18) to provide more choices to its customers.

The online platform lists products in 25 categories including cleaning supplies, daily necessities and personal care.

"We have been working on increasing the (number of items) and investigating what products sell well online," a Daiso spokesman told The Straits Times on Wednesday.

As at 7pm on Thursday, 393 items are listed on the online store. Some items such as door hooks and non-alcohol wet wipes have sold out.

Daiso also has 25 stores in Singapore and opened its newest outlet at West Coast Plaza on Jan 2.

Its new online store comes in the wake of many similar brands moving some of their business into the virtual space.

In May last year, stationery store Popular and household goods retailer Muji joined e-commerce platforms Lazada and Shopee respectively.

Discount chain Don Don Donki also came on board Shopee in December.

While Daiso's items cost $2 each, its online store requires shoppers to buy at least five items.

There is a $5 delivery charge but this may vary depending on the weight of the parcel.

Online shopper Ann Bay, 52, does not mind paying Daiso's delivery charge but is more concerned about the availability of items on the online store.

The florist noted that popular items were often sold out "within a day or so" in-store.

"Tracking sales online and offline could be a challenge (for Daiso). The tracking system has to be very accurate in terms of available stock... or else customers might see their selected items (reflected as) out of stock," said Ms Bay.

On how businesses can transition online successfully, Shopee chief commercial officer Zhou Junjie said it is a matter of meeting consumer expectations.

Being able to receive products quickly and interact with staff to find out more about products is key.

"While e-commerce adoption has grown steadily over the past year and will likely continue to do so, spending time at shopping malls remains a popular pastime for consumers in Singapore," said Mr Zhou.

Housewife Jillian Wong, who is in her 50s, welcomed Daiso's online store but also enjoys shopping in brick-and-mortar outlets.

Previously, to find items sold out at a Daiso outlet, she would have to visit another outlet.

"But the joy of seeing, touching and getting hold of the last item on the shelf (especially if that is the item I want) is still the best," said Ms Wong.