Money rolls in as local firms roll out their apps

Money rolls in as local firms roll out their apps

SINGAPORE - With 71 per cent of mobile users owning a smartphone, it's no surprise that most Singaporeans reach for their mobile devices when they want to check out something online, be it a discount deal or information about a particular product.

And Singaporean businesses are taking advantage of this trend.

A host of companies, particularly small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), have started to build mobile friendly websites; some have even gone further and have designed specific mobile apps to reach out to a wider range of customers.

Retail distributor, WingTai Clothing has utilised the Moobifly mobile website enabler for its lines such as G2000 and Fox Fashion.

"By optimising our merchandise websites for mobile consumers, we have noticed a significant increase in our online traffic," says a WingTai official.

Others, such as ticketing company Sistic, have built their own mobile apps. Speaking to BT, Chan Wai Hong, Sistic's senior applications manager notes that the company's mobile app, launched earlier this year, provides users with access to event details, show descriptions, promotions, ticket prices and purchase options 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"A key feature exploits location technology, providing users with easy agent and venue location, including walking and driving directions, using Google Maps. It has already been downloaded by more than 75,000 arts and entertainment fans, and is free," Mr Chan adds.

Other local apps such as ShowNearby and SG Malls help users find specific shops and services by listing them on a shared directory service that categorises businesses by function or by location.

ComfortDelGro's SBS Transit iris is a nifty little app which gives bus and train timings.

Its journey planner helps consumers plan the best way to get to their destinations via a combination of public transports.

A recent report by AC Nielsen shows that one in three online consumers in Singapore have downloaded a mobile app in the past 30 days.

PayPal noted that last year, the Republic's mobile commerce market grew by a whopping 660 per cent to reach S$328 million.

Anticipating this growth in mobile usage, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) devised the Digital Concierge (DC) programme in 2010.

One of its aims is to help the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors by catalysing mobile commerce.

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