Impact of ecommerce on Singapore's economy

Global statistics indicate that the value of ecommerce transactions is on the rise. According to statistics the value of global ecommerce topped $1 trillion in 2012. North America continues to lead however the South-East Asian region is likely to overtake the former with a commanding 39.7% of global ecommerce coming from the region. In the South-East Asian region the largest ecommerce economies include Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. Singapore is getting quite a huge piece of the pie, already and it is projected that this will only grow.

By 2016, the Singaporean ecommerce market will stand at $900 billion giving it a commanding role in South-East Asia, fueled by a regional high penetration rate of 3.8%. Naturally, this should get business tongues wagging and salivating perhaps including yours. So how can you prepare yourself to have a piece of the Singaporean pie?

• Target the youth. More than half of online shoppers are below the age of 34. Many of them come online to shop for airline tickets, insurance, fashion, books, computer hardware and other electronics. The sites that they are frequenting bear this out, and that includes Amazon, Apple, Alibaba and AVG. As an aside, there seems to be a bias for sites starting with the letter A. We do believe that to be a mere coincidence though.

• Go mobile.The mobile penetration rate stands at close to 35%. A little extrapolation will likely bear witness that the vast majority of these are below 35. Again, we imagine the similar numbers are just that – another coincidence. Your ecommerce website will have to be responsive at the very least. A better approach will be to also include mobile sites and apps to target smart phone users. Specifically the design of your mobile app or site will play a big role in the decision making of the demographic that you are trying to woo. Go for light sites that have a clear call to action. In this regard the influence of having what is known as a flat design cannot be overstated.

• Offer discounts.You need to bear in mind that plenty of online shoppers are looking for great bargains. So give them what they are looking for. Enable them to share those bargains via social media and that could pay viral dividends for your online business.

• Provide great customer service.Central to the architecture of ecommerce is the ability to create trust in your brand. This is because often, the photo, or video of the merchandise is all that an online buyer will have to rely on in making a decision. That together with the reviews, positive or negative, of your visitors. Investing in your customer relationship management will guarantee the continuous flow of positive reviews, and keep the negative ones at bay. Nothing can destroy your online reputation faster than an angry customer.

• Advertise in the real world.It is all good and all too easy to focus on advertising in the online world, but keep in mind that in our fast-paced world not all potential buyers will notice your online campaigns, be they social or SEO. It is important for you to back up your online campaigns with traditional marketing campaigns, whether through TV, radio, or billboards. Each of these do have their advantages and drawbacks, and depending on the particulars of your campaigns, an agency can give you plenty of advice on which one to go for.

• Track, track, track. Go through the analytics to establish how your marketing campaigns are doing. This will help you identify growth opportunities, as well as arrest negative developments before they get out of hand. It will also enable you to adapt and focus your campaigns as they mature.

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