Initiatives for e-commerce businesses in Singapore

August 26, 2021

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Latest Action Plans by Singapore Government to Boost Ecommerce Market

Ecommerce has become the primary type of online business globally since the move from conventional forms of business to the internet.

The global epidemic accelerated the e-commerce business, with firms going online to survive and prosper. The novelty of owning an online business continues to grow, and launching an e-commerce firm is still prevalent. In addition to that, the benefits of low expense, numerous revenue methods, and a worldwide clientele will sustain the e-commerce industry for a long time.

Meanwhile, since last year, due to store closures during the circuit breaker time and customer worries about their health and safety in stores and overcrowded locations, customers have resorted to e-commerce to meet their spending and product requirements in Covid-19. As the pandemic impacts consumer behavior throughout the world, more individuals in Southeast Asia are purchasing online, and the region’s digital economy has grown significantly.

In Singapore, the majority of the international chains of brands and local startups were shutting down too. As a result, e-commerce growth has boosted in Singapore during this period. According to industry-specific studies by experts, the market value of the Singaporean eCommerce Industry is predicted to grow by 14.7% annually until the year 2023, reaching an estimated market volume of US$8.6 billion.

However, Covid-19 was one of the catalysts behind this upward trajectory. As per Ben King, country director at Google Singapore, Singapore’s policies and actions also help foster an atmosphere conducive to the growth of the digital sector and economy.

While e‐commerce still contributes to a small part of numerous larger nation economies, many smaller nations view it as an opportunity to reduce expenses spent on resources (like land) and improve productivity. As a result, the government of Singapore has taken a pivotal role in the development of e-commerce infrastructure. They envision creating a regionally premier service juncture with a worldwide focus on innovative high-growth hub services.

The SMEs Go Digital Program was created in 2017 by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). It has since assisted over 50,000 Singaporean SMEs in adopting digital solutions in their operations.

They partnered with Amazon, Lazada Singapore, Qoo10, and Shopee in 2020 to develop the E-Commerce Booster Package, a program designed to help retail enterprises affected by the pandemic transition to online solutions. The program assists merchants in diversifying their operations and defraying the business expenditures of going online. This year, the support will be available from 16 May to 16 November 2021.

The E-Commerce Booster Package provides both cost and workforce support to retailers for domestic and overseas markets. The retailers in the domestic market will receive assistance from four top-notch eCommerce platforms – Amazon, Lazada (Singapore), Shopee and Qoo10. Sellers can only apply with one platform partner with whom they do not already have an account. Retailers would get a one-time 80 percent subsidy on eligible fees charged, up to a maximum of S$8,000. Platform providers will collaborate with sellers to choose and list items for up to six months, participate in marketing activities, process orders, and do basic sales data analytics. For the sellers looking to expand into international markets, they can use Enterprise Singapore’s continuing Multi-Channel ECommerce Platform (MEP) Program.

Earlier this year, Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Chan Chun Sing, unveiled its most recent strategy for transforming it into a regional and global e-commerce center. During the Amazon Southeast Asia Online Seller Summit in 2021, this initiative was revealed when the minister also noted that online sales in Singapore have risen from 5.8% in January 2020 to 14.3% in November.

According to minister Mr. Chan, the initiative is one of five modules to promote Singapore’s e-commerce capabilities on an international level. It shall cover sectors like listing optimization, customer service, and global demand generation.

Mr. Chan first highlighted Singapore’s e-commerce strategy, stating that the government plans to launch two countrywide 5G networks by 2025, allowing infrastructure capacity to handle big international online sales orders. Digital solutions such as E-Invoicing Network and PayNow Corporate are also promoted. Businesses are urged to adopt digital solutions such as E-Invoicing Network and PayNow Corporate.

Second, the government is reinforcing security measures to protect businesses against cybersecurity threats. The country has signed the world’s first-ever digital-only trade agreement through the DEPA, Digital Economy Partnership Agreement with New Zealand and Chile. DEPA came into effect in January 2021. Singapore has also signed the Singapore-Australia Digital Economy Agreement (SADEA) with Australia, which went into effect in December of 2020.

Next, he added that the government agencies, including Enterprise Singapore (ESG), are working closely with logistics players to create strong supply chain capabilities, including creating value-added and specialized capabilities in sectors like cold-chain management, retail, and pharmaceutical logistics. He also emphasized that the e-commerce sector will require the necessary data infrastructure to secure data exchange across various supply chains. One possible solution is to democratize data access across the whole value chain, including banking institutions, e-commerce companies, and transportation suppliers.

To position the country as a global e-commerce leader, the government collaborated with Google under the Skills Ignition SG program to give employment training for people interested in a digital profession.

While the nation strives to emerge as a dominant player in the global e-commerce market, the government is also working to reduce the Covid-19 infections to ensure the smooth functioning of the e-commerce business.

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