Leverage e-commerce in Singapore
In Singapore, more and more people are connected to the Internet and the number of online shoppers follows the same trend. Back in 2014, Visa stated that approximately 26% of Singaporeans used to shop online on weekly basis and recent surveys from Hootsuite and We Are Social show that 89% are searching online for a product or service, while 73% purchased, during Q2 and Q3 2018. The market is growing it is expected that the number of Singaporeans shopping online exceed 4.1 million, by 2021 according to Statista, which makes the market as one of the most active in Asia Pacific.
This expanding market represents a fantastic potential for e-commerce store owners and Singapore offers numerous advantages to people that are getting started in business.
Why establishing your business in Singapore?
Singapore is known globally as a great place to do business. Investors from around the globe are attracted by this place thanks to the benefits it offers. This includes people that want to get involved with the e-commerce sector, and those that do will find that Singapore is a great place to get established, especially when it comes to conquer the Asian market.
According to the World Economic Forum, Singapore is ranked 2nd in the list of the world’s most competitive countries, making it an ideal place for entrepreneurs. This makes it the most competitive economy in Asia, with it’s next closest Asian rival, Japan, in 5th place. Hong Kong is also in the top 10 in 7th place.
Singapore’s impressive performance does not stop there as it also ranks very highly for other metrics, including:
- Ranked as number one for its infrastructure.
- Ranked as number one for its product market.
- Ranked in third place for its labour market.
A Key Regional Player
Singapore’s impressive reputation globally puts it centre stage in the APAC economy. According to Singapore’s International Development Board, approximately 2,600 international firms used Singapore as the location for their APAC headquarters in 2016.
At the same time, Hong Kong was home to 1,389 international headquarters, while even Shanghai only boasted 470.
Favourable Taxation and Incorporation
Another factor that makes Singapore such an attractive place to do business is that starting up is made to be as easy as possible. According to World Atlas, Singapore ranks in 2nd place globally for ease of doing business. Not only are the processes streamlined as much as possible, but Singapore also ranks highly when it comes to supporting businesses.
For example, it has the fastest court system in the world for resolving business disputes and its business-friendly reputation is helped even more by its reasonable corporate tax rate, which stands at only 17% at the most.
Building your e-shop
When you have something to sell, you need a shop in which to sell it. In the past, this would mean building a team to code the platform and while having experts around you for such project still stands, the process is way much easier nowadays, especially with website builders like Shopify that allow you to sell online quite quickly.
Customise your online store
These platforms come with numerous features that will help you build a successful store:
- Themes: Pre-built themes are like skeletons that you can then modify as you wish. This means that much of the work is done for you already, with a few clicks needed to get it just as you like.
- Extensions: While many features are already included in the packages, website builders propose extensions in case you need something specific, which makes it easy to add features to your store.
- Shopping Cart: If used properly, the shopping cart can be used to help enhance your marketing, and generate more revenue. People will usually abandon their shopping cart without buying anything, but in placing items in there, they are letting you know what they are interested in. You can take full advantage of this with retargeting and other tools that will help you to make more sales.
Market your online store
If Singapore is one of the main location entrepreneurs will choose to launch their companies and to open an online store, it is also a competitive market and the online industry require efforts to make your first sales. While platforms like Shopify are designed to convert, they also provide ranges of features to help you improving your marketing campaigns.
However, most successful stores also spend time defining and implementing powerful marketing campaigns to develop their brand awareness on the local market.
As such, Shopify includes functionnalities that will help you to get more customers:
- SEO: Singapore is a challenging market when it comes to appear first in Google when people search for your products. Website builders include features to customize Title Tags, to submit sitemap, to launch a blog, that should help your pages to rank higher.
- Social Media: Social media can be such a powerful tool if used right. In addition to being used to market your products, it can also be used to help you develop loyalty to your brand. Get people involved, share related information that will appeal to them and you will develop your very own audience that will be eagerly waiting for your next instalment. Such platforms are fully integrated with the social media world.
- Email Marketing: As mentioned, with platforms like Shopify you can track users that abandoned their shopping cart and you can easily retarget them or use email marketing to chase them. Newsletters is also a great solution to engage with your audience and website builders come with such features.
Singapore is a great location to take full advantage of e-commerce and if the market will grow, there are still few spots left. As with any other businesses, however, it needs to be done properly if the venture is to be a success and Singapore offers the right environment for that. Skilful labour, tax-friendly country, developed infrastructure, strategic location in Asia Pacific are among the main advantages you can get by starting your business in Singapore.
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