How to set-up your e-commerce platform in Singapore

Entrepreneurs who want to sell online in Asia often wonder whether it’s best to incorporate their company in Hong Kong or Singapore, which are the two main places in the region to do so. E-commerce is already huge in Singapore, the economy and the politic are stable, and as such, the country is a perfect place for any business-minded person to launch a new e-commerce activity. As with any type of business, however, it is important that it is done right if the business is to be a success. Question is, how to get started?

Why Singapore?

The last decade or so has seen advances in the way we use the internet that has revolutionised the way we live, work, and, of course, shop. Singapore is no different, and e-commerce in the country is expected to be worth approximately $7.5 billion USD by 2022, which represents +48% in e-commerce operations compared to 2019. Therefore, there will be various opportunities for professionals who want to invest in e-commerce in Singapore.

Besides these optimistic forecasts, Singapore has a lot to offer:

  • Location – Singapore is in a prime spot for trade within Asia Pacific. Its location means it can serve much of Asia, and also Australia and New Zealand. A perfect place to ensure reasonable delivery conditions.
  • Taxes – Singapore has a corporation tax of 17% at the most. This reduces the financial strain on fledgling businesses, helping them to get established.
  • Starting up – Starting a business often involves a great deal of bureaucracy that can make things difficult. Singapore, however, is known for making it as easy as possible for start-ups, making it one of the best places in the world to do business.

Get Started

To get involved in the e-commerce market, you will first have to have an e-commerce store and while it used to require quite a lot of different profiles back in the days, this is now easier thanks to e-commerce builders like Shopify. They have been created with ease of use in mind so that just about anybody can build their very own e-commerce store with no coding knowledge needed whatsoever. Being able to code is an asset in any e-commerce project but it’s not a blocking point anymore, especially if you want to use such services.

 

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons so that you will have a better understanding about the features that e-commerce website builders offer.

Pros

  • Hosting Provided: No server-side knowledge required. It is also possible to reserve and connect your domain name easily, without having to go through a lot of technical settings.
  • Accounting Apps: Keep your finances in check with useful accounting features.
  • Marketing Apps: Integrated marketing features that help you make your business flourish such as SEO or EDM ready-to-use extensions.
  • Checkout Facilities: Ready-to-use and easy processing of orders.
  • Payment Processing: A range of payment options are available and easy to set-up.
  • POS Options: Connect your online store and your brick-and-mortar ones.
  • Dropshipping Apps: Select from a huge range of products from various drop-shippers in case you prefer no to invest in stocks of products. That can also be interesting for entrepreneurs who are looking for simple solutions to manage their delivery process.
  • Help & Community: Comprehensive guides from how to get started to some of the more advanced features. Forums are also available to discuss particular topics with the community.
  • Packages: Most of these companies propose different packages starting from around USD $29 per month with higher-priced options for shop owners that need more features.

Cons

  • Apps Cost: If you need additional features, you may need to pay extra for them. Basic payment plans still include features that cover most peoples’ needs.
  • Customisation: While customisation features are available, they do not always serve a store’s specific needs. Some e-commerce platforms have their own coding language that even experienced coders will need to learn.
  • Migration: If you wish to move your e-commerce store to another platform, you will likely experience difficulties. However, this is not something that should concern you if you have no intention of switching to another platform.

While various service providers are specilised with some of the most well-known e-commerce builders, only Shopify Singapore as a local presence.

Making Sales

Any store needs customers, and this means that you need to make yourself known. While these platforms offer native apps and features that should help getting your first visitors, you might need to add some oils to develop your brand awaress, which can be done using different means.

SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is very effective to develop your traffic and sales but:

  • It requires work and efforts for the strategy to be effective.
  • It takes time and profesionnals generally talk about two to three months before your efforts see you in a good position.
  • It’s a competitive marketing channel as the top spots in search results are dominated by larger, established business with considerable marketing resource.

This does not mean you have to miss out, though, because SEO is the only channel where small business can compete with larger ones. If you work on your SEO, you will be able to rank for competitive keywords and good practices include:

  • Have the right keywords in the Title Tags, including “Singapore” to improve the geo-targeting.
  • Communicate with local websites that will link back your pages.
  • Create articles that will help you create new internal links to your products.
  • Implement the structured data and make sure your pages load fast.

Ads

Facebook Ads are a very quick, effective, and affordable way to start marketing your business. With the right ads, there is no reason why you cannot start selling as soon as your ads are live. In Singapore, there are approximately 4.1 million Facebook users and this figure is set to rise to 4.5 million by 2023. These figures clearly represent a very large potential marketplace to sell to, taking into consideration that Facebook is great to target specific groups of people.

Below are a few pointers that will help you get it right:

  • A-B testing: Have different ads running for the same products to see which works best. This allows you to be constantly enhancing your ad campaigns.
  • Focus on Mobile: Singapore is highly mobile-friendly and It makes sense to focus on catering to this sector first.
  • Highly Focused Ads: One of the main advantages of Facebook ads is that you can target your ad’s audience with a high degree of precision.
  • Retargeting: Using cookies, Facebook will know which people have visited your site before. It will allow you to direct ads at these people with new offers and promotions.

Influencers & Social Media

Social Media are interesting to develop a community and to establish a direct contact with your followers and if Facebook Ads can also help building it, influencers is the way to go to boost your business. They are people that can help sway opinions on products. All it can take is a single mention of your store, and the sales will start flooding in. Get in touch with local Singapore influencers and send them samples of the products you are selling will help your brand connecting with potential buyers thanks to the help of somebody they trust.

Singapore is a fantastic place to live, explore, and to do business. The government is pushing for a more connected city and tries hard to attract entrepreuners who are interested in the Asia Paciic market. This growth and the positive economic environment make Singapore one of the best places to launch your e-shop in the next few years.

 

 

 

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6 Responses to “How to set-up your e-commerce platform in Singapore”

  • Harder Truths:

    Just a quick note on how the real entrepreneurs and money managers are leaving $G.

    https://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/charles-schwab-close-singapore-office-055717713.html

    They know what is coming. Only a fool invests money in a tiny red dot run by bigger fools.

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    E-commerce only works when you’re close to the Global supply chain & your manufactured source of supply. Otherwise, your E-commerce website is just an overlay (commission-scrounging) on the more efficient websites eg. Big E-commerce players like Amazon, AliBaba & EBay, etc.

    I buy online once in a while. And I find S’pore E-commerce websites a waste of time – both price uncompetitive & carry limited range (unable to bundle to save on shipping cost). I rather go straight to the bigger E-commerce players who are usually overseas E-commerce players.

    And social media influencers are scroungers & parasites. Stupid people who have nothing better to do & their idiot followings who adores them like houseflies buzzing around a heap of bull**it. True or not?

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    @ Harder Truths:
    S’poreans are already tapped out by S’pore’s high cost of living situation as well as regular financial shocks eg. from Swiber Bonds, Noble, Hyflux, etc.

    SGX already a regular “House of Horrors” for stockmarket & financial investors. No stomach for local bonds & equities, still got room & appetite for overseas stocks, meh? I don’t think so.

    Ha-ha-ha-ha! Two years ago, those idiotic business planners at Charles Schwab in USA took S’pore’s high GDP per capita number as the “truth” that S’poreans were a wealthy bunch. Now they found out the bitter truth & proceed to withdraw with their “tails” betwern their legs! Good for those Yankee No-gooders!

    Ask oneself one simple question – S’poreans where got money to invest in overinflated US Stocks as well as the need to convert SG$ funds into more expensive US$. Really stuffed with overinflated housing costs. Ha-ha-ha!

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  • Straight "A"s Marlboro Tan:

    this article is a whole lot of BS… Ecommerce only works if u are country like china or USA…

    if else trying to imagine u are ebay or amazon, taobao or aliexpress just sheer stupidity

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  • Bapoktua And 94 jesters:

    does not work in singapore, singapore is not a major producer of raw materials..even north korea is better in this aspect…

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  • TruBlu:

    E-commerce is over-hyped.
    AI is over-hyped.

    If *bots* can PEE N POO, guess stooopid humans would be cleaning up for them much like they clean up their doggie’s backside???

    There is OPTIMALITY IN APPLICATIONS OF ALL RESOURCES OF ECONOMIC PRODUCTION
    Too much misplaced enthusiam for AI
    As usual, more humans will suffer than gain.
    The RICH N POWERFUL WILL BENEFIT MORE in all sense.

    Wait n see…

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