Entering the Singapore Market via eCommerce – Event Round-up
Consumer behaviour is undergoing a huge reshaping with more people shopping online than ever before. Southeast Asia’s digital economy has seen significant growth, with the eCommerce market now worth over a staggering $4.9 billion. Our recent webinar saw representatives from Amazon, Shopmatic, GeTS, and Aramex share valuable insight on the ways in which UK merchants can tap into this key market.
Click here to view the webinar video recording.
Seamless Customer Solutions
David Taylor, National Operations Manager for Aramex UK, started by offering a bit of background about Singapore. It’s our 6th largest exporting destination from our London Heathrow HQ and 87% of its population are digital users, with over 50% buying from abroad. The landscape particularly favours unique, high-quality products like apparel, electronics, and health and beauty.
Breaking down questions about the difference in sending products piece by piece or sending in bulk, David named customer experience as the driving factor: “It’s more cost-effective to ship in bulk. But in terms of customer experience, it's going to be faster and a more personable experience to ship piece by piece.”
Though cross-border eCommerce may seem challenging, Naz Brooker, one of our Key Account Managers, detailed how our client solutions, like duty calculators, returns portal, and ID collections in combination with our office and warehouse coverage gives us an advantageous footprint across the nation.
Customs: A Walk in the Park
We then heard from John Tan, the Head of Service Delivery and Global Customer Experience at GeTS. He leads Customs Clearance Service professionals skilled at navigating Customs Permits, Certificates of Origin, TradeNet Systems, and import/export processes – including Importer of Records – for all modes of transport.
Clearing customs can be a tricky, complicated, and confusing process; GeTS’ specialist agents make this a walk in the park, offering further help with controlled products, like beauty, that require additional import licences.
Singapore is both a global hub of business and a springboard to the wider Asia-Pacific region. At Aramex, we work in partnership with GeTS to coordinate physical logistics and transportation in line with controlled customs practices that are fully compliant with regulations, helping omit risk to the merchant.
Establish your Visibility
Next up was Rohit Singh, a Sales Lead from Shopmatic, the Singapore-founded data analytics driven eCommerce company. Shopmatic is a self-serve platform that helps anyone get their products selling online and integrates with various regional marketplaces (like Qoo10). It aims to grow brand awareness by placing products across a variety of platforms, in front of different audiences. Rohit explained how a dashboard gives the user the ability to compare activity across marketplaces, with the synchronicity of inventory across all platforms a key feature. The solution allows the management of everything from one place, including daily revenues, order reports, and shipping documentation.
Impressively, Shoptmatic’s services offer manhour savings over 90%, with merchants’ local and overseas revenues seeing increases over 50%. Rohit was keen to part some ‘simple advice’; no matter the size of the merchant, considering omni-channel solutions should be prioritised.
“Shopmatic’s create a very clear path to success for merchants via customised strategies mapped specifically to what will work for that business.” Where else can you try various approaches and a range of price points to see what does and doesn’t work?
He also reminded us that “it’s important to remember that buyers coming onto marketplaces have a clear intent to buy a certain product, specific keywords in mind. By opening more doors and avenues, the likelihood of getting the sale is increased.” Wise words!
Breaking Records, One Prime Day at a Time
Last to present was Geraldine Tan, an Amazon SG Account Manager. Despite its recency only opening in 2019, both brand awareness and reputation are exceptionally strong in Singapore - so much so that last year, their first Prime Day broke all records in terms of numbers of orders delivered to customers!
Merchants can take advantage of promotions like waiving the $29.95/month subscription fee until December 2021 to get going on the platform. We all know that Amazon is everywhere, so placement here is invaluable. What’s more, they’ve recently paired with Grab, Singapore’s leading and most used ‘superapp’ that provides hyperlocal services.
If you’re already set up on Amazon, you can easily sync with a SG account. Geraldine highlighted the advantages of Fulfilment by Amazon (FbA); they help pack and distribute items to customers on behalf of the merchant, especially useful during shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. SG Prime members are also offered free one-day domestic shipping, helping to meet the demand for ‘here and now’.
Key Takeaway Points
The hour-long webinar offered valuable insight and strategy on successful exports to Singapore and developing a presence in its eCommerce market. The session concluded with Salim Albar, an Aramex National Sales Manager, highlighting important considerations when choosing a logistics provider:
- Scalability of carrier – the organisation needs to be able to reflect peaks and troughs of the market.
- Capability to have a comprehensive, sustainable and robust global distribution network that allows connectivity between markets.
- Employment of advanced technological tools that enhance visibility and honesty with the buyer once a purchase has been made. “Consumers like to be able to track their product’s journey from the point of order” and react well to a range of delivery solutions – options are key.
We’d like to thank all speakers for taking the time to share their market knowledge with us. If you would like to find out more about breaking into the Singapore market, get in touch