The Great Singapore Sale (GSS), from June 9 to Aug 13, is going digital this year with a new mobile phone app called GoSpree.
The free app will operate as a "super mall" platform, allowing customers to get their hands on various e-coupons from different categories of retailers across the island.
Using the app, available in English and Chinese, is easy enough. Shoppers pick the discounts they want to enjoy, and the app compiles the offers in a virtual card to be used at designated physical stores before they expire.
The geo-location-enabled app will let retailers send e-coupon and flash deal alerts to nearby shoppers. Each GSS retailer will also get a unique QR code, which may be displayed around the island. Users can collect codes using the app's code scanner to unlock special deals.
The app will also have a directory of participating retailers for users to browse through.
QR CODE 'FLASH MOB' AMONG ACTIVITIES TO LOOK OUT FOR
The Great Singapore Sale will go live on air with Glenn and The Flying Dutchman of OneFM91.3 at the official launch on June 9 at Paragon, from 4pm to 8pm.
The event will offer activities such as a QR code "flash mob", where guests can scan QR codes for offers and discounts that can be used on the spot.
Two subsequent roving events will follow on July 1 at the Marina Bay precinct and on July 22 at the Bugis Junction shopping enclave, from 2pm to 4pm.
These events will offer special deals for tourists and UnionPay card holders, who will be rewarded with instant e-coupons by scanning QR codes.
SPH Shop and Win Draw: Shop and stand chance to win cars
The SPH Shop and Win Draw 2017, a campaign held in conjunction with the Great Singapore Sale, will run from May 26 to Aug 13.
Shoppers need only to spend a minimum of $30 in a single receipt at any Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) participating outlets to stand a chance of winning cars, lifestyle products, home appliances, vouchers, cash and other prizes.
Some of the prizes to be won include a Dream Cruises five-night cruise for four in a dream suite worth $10,794, a Winbot cleaning robot worth $899, and Junghans Max Bill Automatic watches worth $1,570 each.
Three winners will also be picked from draw one to eight. The winners will each receive $500 worth of shopping credits that can be used at Metro on an allocated Saturday or Sunday during the promotional period.
Shoppers can double their chances of winning by charging their purchases to a UnionPay card.
Prizes will be given out through nine draws, culminating in the Grand Live Draw for a Subaru Impreza 1.6i-S and a Nissan Pulsar 1.2L DIG-T on Aug 19.
For more details on the SPH Shop and Win promotion as well as the full list of participating partners, refer to SPH newspapers or visit sphshopandwin.com
To be launched on the first day of the nine-week sale, the free app can be downloaded from the Apple store and Google Play store.
Its aim, said the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA), which organises the annual GSS, is to reach out to younger tech-savvy shoppers, as well as to help participating retailers, especially smaller stores in the heartland, pull in shoppers during the sale.
"With the GoSpree app, we are hoping to target anyone with a phone and incentivise their shopping experience," said SRA executive director Rose Tong. "We particularly want to reach out to smaller, independent retailers who can really leverage the platform to target new customers and get additional publicity at no cost."
She added that the sale period will stretch past the National Day public holiday, so shops can hold themed promotions.
Retailers will not be charged to list offerings on the app, which is owned and copyrighted by SRA.
One retailer already on board is local design and lifestyle store Naiise, which will be offering $5 GoSpree e-coupons as well as exclusive discounts and offers to app users. Said founder Dennis Tay, 32: "For us, getting on GoSpree offered us a chance to reach digital natives - many of whom are our target audience.
"We feel the app is a move in the right direction because it is allowing retailers to transform the offline shopping experience and take it beyond the transactionary."
Also on the app are retailers such as Courts, Takashimaya and Millenia Walk mall - all of which have e-coupons and special deals such as free parking vouchers that will be revealed when the app launches on June 9. In addition, UnionPay card holders will get access to exclusive deals through the app.
The GSS this year, supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and UnionPay, is in its 24th run. The event has helped cement Singapore's reputation as a shopping paradise and was launched by STB in 1994 to market the island as such.
The move to digitise the sale comes in the wake of the retail industry transformation map announced last September. The map calls for retailers to innovate and try out new technology to engage consumers, among other things.
Electrical engineer Hwang Tze Li, 33, said he would download the app, adding: "I like the idea of GSS offers being available to me on one platform. That way, I can look through the discounts at home and head directly to the stores I'm interested in. It seems really convenient."
Housewife Nurliza Rahim, 54, agreed. She said: "I like that brands are making more of an effort to engage their customers and draw us back to the stores. It is still fun to go out to the shops and, after all, who doesn't like a good discount?"