Shopping for the right baby and children shoes and sandals in Singapore is tough. It's not just about getting the right fit, style, and design, there are also things like price, convenience, and quality to care about.
Whether it's shopping online or offline, it's always hard to find the right pair for your young and active children.
Having run Two Little Feet for parents in Singapore for the last four years, we have some insights from both children footwear businesses and parents that contributes to this challenge.
Limited/Small Market Makes For Poorer Selection
Singapore is one of the 20 countries in the world the the lowest birth rates. With approximately just 40,000 new babies born each year, for businesses catering to the parents and children market, the limited growth poses a challenge.
Take the addressable Singapore market for children shoes and sandals. For Two Little Feet, we provide children shoes and sandals for those between the ages of one to six-years-old. This means that in any given year, our total addressable population is about 200,000 young children (5 x 40,000). With younger children changing shoes up to 4 times a year, while older kids only needing to size up annually, this does seem like a limited field and is not expanding.
With multiple brands operating in the Singapore children shoes market, the limited market might create a situation where it is unattractive for brands to bring in too large a selection, for fears of overstocking.
On top of that, there's also a high cost to running physical retail stores. Over the years, we have seen major US children shoe brands moving from physical retail to online, or out of the Singapore market altogether. Stride Rite, a parent favourite that used to run a few physical retail stores in United Square and Paragon, has since closed all their physical retails stores in Singapore. Their Singapore online store doesn't seem to be generating heavy activities.
On the other hand, locally run Hopla, Elly Store, and Avenue Kids have since expanded their physical retail store footprint, carrying popular shoe brands like Pedipeds, Native, and Bobux.
A tip for parents to overcome this is to be comfortable shopping both online and offline. Learn to measure your child's feet so that you can easily shop online and also quickly find the right size when shopping offline.
Stiff Competition Among Local & External Players, Especially Online Stores
Parents in Singapore can be spoiled for choice when it comes to shopping. Other than shopping in offline retail stores, parents can also shop conveniently and confidently online.
When it comes to children shoes and sandals shopping, this presents some interesting opportunities.
Singapore omnichannel, offline and online, stores are abundant. With businesses like Mothercare, Motherswork, Hopla, Elly Store, and Avenue Kids all providing combined offline and online shopping options.
Not only that, it's also easy for Singapore parents to buy from overseas or global online merchants and have them shipped to their door. Platforms such as as Lazada, Shopee, Taobao, and more provide some very reasonably priced options.
Being comfortable shopping online can help to compliment parents' online shopping. This allows parents to capture the best promotions, regardless online or offline. For online shopping, it helps to take note of shipping fees, minimum purchase to qualify for free shipping, and also exchange and returns policies.
Below is a quick summary of some of the online stores for the price sensitive parent:
|Online Store||Children Footwear Regular Price Ranges||Shipping Fees||Free Shipping Min. Purchase||Exchange & Returns|
|Two Little Feet||$49.90 - $69.90||
$20 (Same-Day Express)
Free exchange pickup for all, except for Final Sale and No Exchange promotion items
Returns and refunds available for full-priced items
|Avenue Kids||$39.90 - $46.90||$5||None||No returns or exchanges unless defective|
|Hopla||$69 - $169||$3.50||$69||
10 days exchanges
|Elly Store||$59 - $159||
No returns or refunds
Exchanges available only for non-personalised full-priced items
|Motherswork||$60 - $79||
$10 (Same Day Shipping)
|$60||No returns or exchanges unless defective|