E-commerce is one of the fastest growing sectors in different parts of the world, including Singapore. With a population of about six million, the country boasts of being one of the wealthiest across the globe. Its economy is stable, and people work with one of the fastest Internet connections, which contributes the rapid shift from traditional ways of doing business to e-commerce.
Combining all these aspects explains why Singapore is currently one of the fastest growing Asian economies. With good Internet penetration and speeds, over 80 percent of Singaporeans utilize and access the web every day. For this reason, e-commerce thrives with the high number of people accessing the Internet. Also, the fact that most people in Singapore are tech-savvy encourages e-commerce because they prefer making online transactions over walking into a physical store.
E-commerce in Singapore has been in an upward trajectory for the past few years, and that’s because most of these online retail stores have been investing heavily in great design ideas for their websites.
How were they able to achieve this? What factors qualify a particular website into an absolute winner and another — despite stacking the same products and an almost similar structure and layout — still falls flat?
Well, if you’re an ecommerce developer, then you don’t need to be reminded that developing a fully functional ecommerce website is NOT an easy feat. There’s a lot to streamline and take into consideration for the site you’re creating to match the industry standards.
The list below contains a number of ecommerce sites in Singapore that we handpicked after taking few things into consideration. It’s also safe to say that these e-commerce websites are among the most successful ones in Singapore, and this is partly because their designs are almost seamless.
Here is a video that explains how ecommerce works.
Source: Nate Woodbury
40 Inspirational E-commerce Websites in Singapore
1: Jadia Logistics
Items: Logistics services.
Description: The design sets out what it is all about from the start. It has a button that lets customers book services right from the homepage.
2: Happy Office People
Items: Office furniture.
Description: Given its type of products, this site uses colourful imagery to help buyers explore their options using their eyes.
3: Kartoon Kracker
Description: The website design is colourful with banners of popular superhero characters that seek to call out the target audience of children.
Description: Mayer’s website is easy to navigate around at first glance. It is clean with quality imagery, which displays the various items on sale.
Items: Honey products.
Description: The design features excellent, breathtaking imagery with a yellow theme that exudes the kind of things on sale on the website.
6: The 3 Kraters
Items: Alcoholic beverages.
Description: This website features a simple yet classy demeanour with elegant-looking imagery. The drinks are available according to different types of categories including age, price, brand, and type.
Description: AliExpress is one of the largest e-commerce websites in the world. It serves almost every country. The website features a clean and straightforward interface that is also mobile-friendly. Additionally, it is pleasing to the eye given its bright orange-themed colour scheme and a centred search bar at the top.
8: Lovera Collections
Items: Home Décor.
Description: The website leans more towards photography to present the available items. It shows an array of sophisticated wares that would, undoubtedly, appeal to anyone looking for things to decorate their homes and kitchen.
Items: Booking service.
Description: Hotel.com is a global hotel booking service that also serves Singapore. It features a simple design with a calendar to help in setting dates. This site is flexible and does not have many distractions.
Items: Beauty and skincare products.
Description: Sephora’s site is also simple in design with a black and white theme that is easy on the eye. The homepage shows new products and a search bar, which is available for specific searches.
11: Lorna Jane
Items: Sporting Apparel.
Description: Another niche site, Lorna Jane is clear at first glance about what it sells. The colours are vibrant, and the design is classy-looking with some gorgeous fonts. The design features moving images to make the shopping experience worthwhile with more for the shopper to see.
Description: Crocs features large clear images that make it easier for the buyer to shop. Different categories appear side by side for easy selection, making the shopping process quicker than having to scroll through a list of items on sale. A buyer can also perform a quick look at a product without leaving the search page.
Description: The Shopee website design is quite straightforward and manages to give an overview of everything it sells in the home page. It includes a search filter with many parameters for a buyer to set. Like other great sites, this one is also simple with minimal distractions.
Items: Electronics and Furniture.
Description: This site features a large banner displaying discounts and the available hot products. As such, buyers can easily access common items without having to perform a search. The interface is clean with great colouring and high-quality images.
15: The Tea Depot
Description: The site’s design is minimalistic but rich in imagery that highlights the different types of tea, which one can find.
Items: Designer Wear.
Description: Considering the items on sale, the user interface features fancy fonts against a simple design. Since the customers on this site are after designer wear, it would only be right if the website design looks elegant. It does not have too many listed items considering that it focuses on the rare and expensive products.
Description: The Yoox website is quite smooth with a clean black and white theme. This design makes the products stand out since it has little going on around the items. Categories are well-defined, making it easy for individual shoppers looking for ideas on what to get
18: Oto Body Care
Items: Fitness equipment.
Description: The site deals in wellness and fitness products. In this regard, the site’s design exudes what healthy living entails with its imagery.
Description: Aesthetically, Zalora almost resembles Yoox. The categorisation aspect is also the same. Finding products is also easy with the simple theme and detailed search bar.
Description: Lazada borrows a lot from AliExpress in regards to simplicity and a clean user interface. Categories, popular items, and other listings come against a white backdrop that makes everything clear. As a result, navigating through the sight should be a walk in the park for anyone.
21: Visual Mass
This one is quite a looker. It’s an ecommerce website that specialises in selling spectacles.
The first thing that catches your eyes when you first check the site is the slider, featuring the photo of a girl donning one of the spectacles.
You scroll down, and there are more of these photos, and every time you hover around one, it enlarges, giving you an even clearer view.
Everything on the site is sleek and clean. Their photos are professionally done and convincing.
There’s a lot you can achieve with a minimalist design, and Visual Mass is clear proof that you don’t need to be extra to be attractive.
22: Runaway Bandit
Runaway bandit is as conspicuous as you’d want your site to be. You place it among several other sites, and the first site that will be popping up all over your face, and leaving an impression that will be sticking with you for longer is Runaway Bandit.
For a site that sells women clothing, Runaway Bandit focuses on catching your attention from the get-go.
The ladies in the slider are designed to work all the magic. You look at their photos, and the next thing you know is that you want to dress like them.
Our bet, you don’t need any further convincing to make up your mind and place an order. Runaway Bandit knows how to capture your attention without putting a strain on their effort.
Qanvast is a home renovation, design, remodelling, and furnishing firm in Singapore. They’re the best in this line of trade, and their website does all the talking for them.
Let’s just say they have one of the most stunning websites around. But what you’d love the most is the whole concept behind it.
Saying it has a wow factor would be an understatement. What Qanvast is doing is serving you with website goals, and trying to capture their customers attention in a way that most of them will have a hard time resisting.
Everything you need to know about Qanvast’s services can be found on the site. They’ve provided virtually any relevant piece of information on the site, and all you have to do to find it is keep scrolling.
25: The Boldr Watches
The Boldr Watches is an ecommerce store for watches. The site is everything you’d want a site of its kind to be, and they’ve managed to accomplish all this without doing anything extra, and by being as minimalistic as it can get.
The site is clean, neatly designed, big images, and most importantly, with a clear and conspicuous call to action.
Scroll further down through the site and you’ll be meeting close up photos of the watches with their specific details tagged alongside each one of them.
26: Go Bear
Not exactly an ecommerce website, but it deserves a mention on a list like this.
It’s an idea you could jerk if you have a few products you’re selling, and are looking to make everything fun.
The first thing that captures your attention is the bear. It’s cute and colourful.
The designer also had a lot of fun playing around with the colour and contrasting them.
Their interface is also great, and you can tell the company was more focused on branding while designing the site. And the results were spectacular.
Gmarket decided to rebrand a few years back. It changed the name and almost everything you knew about it, and Qoo10 was the result that came out of all that effort.
As it stands, Qoo10 is one of the biggest shopping sites in Singapore. It’s among the few sites that come to mind whenever someone suggests that you go shopping.
The site sells just about everything – shoes, sunglasses, mobile phones, makeup, Korean food, electronics, and food, to name a few.
As you can see, the rebranding worked. It didn’t take long before Qoo10 grew to be one of the biggest ecommerce platforms in Singapore. At the time of writing this, the platform boasts about 1.6 million registered users, with a monthly revenue stream of about SGD 26 million.
Three graduates from the National University of Singapore (NUS), Lucas Ngoo, Marcus Tan, and Quek Siu Rui, teamed up a few years back and started Carousell. What they didn’t know is that they were starting what would be one of the biggest online marketplaces in Singapore.
Carousell is a platform that allows people to buy and sell all kinds of items in Singapore, whether new or old. It’s a platform where sellers list their items, and then wait for interested buyers to click on them and make a purchase.
Carousell is pretty simple to use. Buyers and sellers are guided by intuition, where they just know where to click to complete an action.
RedMat is a popular ecommerce platform in Singapore. It’s an ecommerce platform that allows you to order groceries and other home essentials from any part of Singapore and at any time of the day. The ordered items will then be delivered right at your doorstep within two hours, regardless of the day.
This online shopping platform was founded in 2011. It would be sold to Alibaba-backed Lazada fives years down the line, in 2016.
Honestbee is the new kid on the block, and apparently one of RedMat’s biggest competitors in Singapore.
Founded in 2015, Honestbee has grown to be one of the most reliable online concierge and delivery services for groceries in the country. It strives to relieve you of the daily, time-consuming grocery-shopping chores.
They’ve partnered with different supermarket chains in Singapore so they can deliver all the groceries you need right at your doorstep, upon ordering.
Hipvan was launched in 2013. Targeting Singapore’s home market, the company has grown to be one of the leading providers of lifestyle products and designer furniture in Singapore.
This came after the company noticed that the issue of low-quality products, coupled with low-quality furniture options, was affecting the Singapore market. So, they introduced HipVan as a solution to these two problems.
One might as well say that the company has been true to its words – it has grown to be one of the leading online stores for quality furniture and lifestyle products in the country.
At the beginning of 2019, the company would decide to set up their flagship store in Dhoby Ghaut, thus making it even easier for them to run their operations.
FairPrice is an ecommerce platform for groceries, food items, and baby products for Singapore customers. The company stands out because it delivers your order right at your doorstep at the time of your choosing.
It’s ranked as one of the largest supermarket chains in the country, where users can still visit it and shop from their physical store.
For orders that are above $59, the company will deliver the ordered items for free. For orders that are between $29 and $59, customers have to visit one of their 51 locations to collect the items.
33: eBay Singapore
The local version of eBay is ranked as one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in Singapore. Originally created as a platform where consumers were to trade among themselves, the company has grown to be a buy-and-sell marketplace where seller list their products and wait for customers to buy them – just like they do in an ordinary ecommerce platform.
This version of eBay is also ranked as one of the most stylish ecommerce platforms in the country. At the header section of the website is a nicely designed slider that gives you a sense of what to expect once you log into the site.
The platform cannot compete on the same scale as Shopee and Carousell, but its popularity has been pretty consistent over the years, even more than that of any other platform in the country.
34: Ezbuy Singapore
Ezbuy is an eCommerce platform that specialises in clothing, beauty products, electronics, and automotive. It’s a multinational company with stores in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
The company imports much of its products from Korean, America, and Taiwan.
It was started in 2010, and since then it’s been striving to make it easy for their customers to both buy and ship products from the countries above.
The company doubles as an ecommerce platform and forwarding company, and the best part is that they don’t have to spell it out there for their customers. Instead, they have one of the most intuitive websites that leaves nothing to be explained – all credit goes to their UX designer behind the entire concept.
Biocair site isn’t just special, but amazeballs — simple, with a minimal amount of information, and hitting straight the point.
It probably didn’t take the developer so much time to set up the site, but it did take them more time to come up with the whole idea, and the results were amazing.
BioCare uses a flat design for their site. Everything is planned and strategically placed to somehow clue you in on their earnest approach. It’s a clean design that doesn’t struggle to impress you with extras. You look at the site, and your mind can process what it’s all about within seconds.
36: Modern Link
Modern Link retails houses. Their site is clear, loads faster, and context-rich. It’s purposeful, with categories that break up everything to an intuitive level.
The slider plays its role by giving you a sense of what the site is all about. And then there’s a link to almost any piece of information you want to dig out. It never gets much easier than this.
37: Ocean Health
Ocean Health specialises in health enhancement products, as listed on their website. Alongside each listed product, there’s an easy to understand product description.
Their descriptions are clear and written in both English and Chinese without making you choose anything. Everything is all there for you to read, and it’s upon you to hover your eyes to the language you understand while ignoring the rest.
38: Books Actually
Booksactually is an independent book store. It’s one of the bookstores in Singapore that stock a huge collection of obscure titles, even those that are out of print.
Now their books store takes an entirely different approach. Where you could have just expected them to list books, they have gone an extra mile and played with art, just to ensure it perfectly blends with the front book covers they upload on site.
Each book will capture your attention from the get-go, and get you to consider clicking on them for furthers details.
Their books are also arranged in categories, in a manner that communicates to you, unlike all the other bookstores you know.
ShopBack offers shoppers the added incentive of earning cashback for the purchases they make. This isn’t some new concept, considering most ecommerce store in the UK and the US have also been offering cashback on e-purchases. So, it’s safe to assume the company borrowed the idea from them.
The founder of ShopBack has been able to run with the same idea and even managed to bring other ecommerce stores on board, including Lazada, Taobao, and Zalora.
There’s a buffet of merchants on their website, filling up their landing pages in all categories. Everything is clear on the site – as a user, all you have to do is make a purchase using a link provided, and you’ll be eligible for a certain percentage of the amount you spend as cashback.
Guardian is a well-known pharmacy chain in Singapore. Launched in 2014, Guardian not only offers a wide range of health products to the people of Singapore. It also serves as a virtual consultation platform, where people can reach out and talk to a qualified physician about their problems via a live chat.
After you’ve described your problem, you can be prescribed a drug, with an option or link to buy the drug directly from the site.
The site is simple to figure out. Their business model is also intuitive. You have a health complication, so why not talk to a physician who’ll either advise you to go to the hospital or purchase one of their over-the-counter drugs, depending on the nature of your problem.
The Rise And Necessity Of Providing E-Commerce In Websites Now
Major merchants in the country allow the use of credit card for online shopping, which further motivates individual Singaporeans to become online shoppers. Reports place the worth of the Singaporean e-commerce sector at approximately 5.4 billion dollars by 2025, representing five times its value back in 2016. At the current pace, the numbers in question are achievable. Different e-commerce websites are available to cater for the high demand in Singapore, with some operating as general stores while others niche-based. Competition is high among these websites, and simple aspects like design may be what separates the best from the rest. Here are some of the elements of a great e-commerce website.
Characteristics of a Good E-commerce Website
A great e-commerce website should have most, if not all, of the following essential elements for it to succeed.
- Mobile friendly because most people use smartphones for online transactions these days.
- An easy checkout process that is clear and swift.
- Have guest signups instead of forcing customers to fill long registration forms.
- Quality pictures and photography to attract buyers.
- Clear return policies to help customers with purchase decisions.
- Comprehensive product descriptions.
- Simple design with clear labels to increase conversion rates.
Consistency is Key
Your primary concern is with branding your business. You want to keep the design coherent with the products you’re selling.
As a rule of thumb, ecommerce web designing demands that your customers should be able to associate your website with your product. With a sweeping glance, they should be able to tell the kind of products to expect once they decide to check out the site.
When designing an ecommerce website, it’s crucial that you start by making sure that every single element of the site — starting from the images and the color schemes, all the way to the text and font choices — perfectly defines your ecommerce brand.
For instance, if you’re planning to sell toys, it’s vital that you focus on making the site more playful and colorful. Also, if you plan to sell electronic gadgets, then the ecommerce web designer you choose should be focusing more on making the site look more techy and modern.
To keep it brief, the design idea you choose should be one that strives to match your site with the merchandise you’re selling to a T.
As cliche as this sounds, there’s more to gain by banking on simplicity than cluttering your site with unnecessary complications. Part of the reason some ecommerce websites stick out despite leaning more on the minimalistic side is that the designer behind the ecommerce webshop has mastered the art of less is more.
They know what their site’s visitors are interested in, and instead of being tempted to offer more, they try to provide them with the best of what they think will be enhancing their user experience.
Simplicity should be among the top things to prioritize on while developing an ecommerce web portal for your business. The best part is that it’s possible to achieve elegance while still cashing on simplicity; you just have to be creative about it.
Confirming this is a series of recent studies, most of which appear to comport with the fact that about 76% of consumers out there think ease of use is one of the most critical characteristics of an ecommerce shopping site.
Your objective should be to come up with an ecommerce store that helps the shoppers you attract get what they want much faster and without encountering any hardship while at it.
If anything, online sellers want to be able to go through with a purchase in a matter of minutes, if NOT seconds, once they decide to buy.
One thing with ecommerce web designing is that all your focus should be directed on user experience. The designing idea you come up with should factor on how you’ll be arranging the shopping categories and filters while allowing for easy comparison of the products in your ecommerce store.
The customers’ reviews should also be a cinch to find. Not forgetting, the FAQ section of the site should only be a twinkle away should the shopper decide to reach out for it.
Mobile responsiveness still applies to ecommerce websites. Google made a directive that the online community has NO option than to conform to as is.
Google made it clear that any website that won’t be loading fine enough on a mobile device, as well, is at risk of tanking down in the SERPs. But that’s NOT even the scary part when you come to think of the fact that more than half of all the purchases online shoppers make will be carried out on a smartphone.
By responsive we mean the site should be able to automatically adapt to any screen size without losing its structure or any other vital element. Users are also NOT expected to feel the difference when loading the site whether on mobile or desktop.
An easily Recognizable Logo
Whether you’re running a branded store or startup shop, the first thing you’d want to do is to come up with an easily recognizable logo for your business.
Think of a logo as a reassuring symbol of your business or an element of trust that squashes any doubt your potential customers have concerning your business.
That’s one trick that favorite brands always have up their sleeves. They first created an easily-recognizable logo for their business, then spend the bulk of their time working around their brand, trying to develop a solid reputation for it.
So every time they release a product and slap the logo on it, users have no trouble trusting it.
You can start by looking for a qualified ecommerce graphics designer and share your idea of a logo with them. They should be able to help you create a stunning logo for your business. But even with this, be reminded that simplicity is still the way to go.
Back on your site, it’s essential that you try to make your logo visible by placing it at a strategic point on the site. Don’t go on over-complicating things, if your brand is popular enough, then a logo or mascot, accompanied by a beautiful image of your products together with the ‘Buy” button is enough for an amazing ecommerce design idea.
An Easy Checkout
An easy checkout system means your site’s visitors will have an easy time shopping on your website. This is an important first step to increase the conversion rate of your site. It also goes a long way to enhancing user experience.
If anything, there isn’t much difference between your ecommerce webshop and a standard brick and mortar store. When a customer visits a store, they have the option to ask questions or pick an item they want and then proceed to the counter to make payments.
One downside though is that the customer may be forced to queue as the account clerk attends to other customers. Or it could be that the clerk is briefly NOT available — and if this is the case, the customer is likely to be tempted to leave the store and buy the item elsewhere.
So in a way, your e-shop should be trying to mimic a functional physical store offering top-notch services. Starting with how potential customers visit your site. Just like we have aisles in physical stores that work to distinguish where to find a particular item, a good ecommerce store is expected to have everything organized into categories.
A simple organization will also demand that filters be among the first thing your visitors see upon landing on your site. But most importantly, the site should feature an easy checkout, live chat, and visible contact information that your visitors can use to contact you just in case they’re stuck and would like to use your help.
Also worth mentioning is that you should also be willing to offer free shipping and painless returns with money back guarantees, just in case any of the customers are dissatisfied with the product they get.
A Guest Sign-up or Check-out
Customers’ experience is of great importance in ecommerce. In whatever you do, the last thing you want to do is force your customers into doing something they’re NOT comfortable doing.
For instance, you don’t want to force them to sign up on your site when they’re NOT positively sure if they’ll be making return trips for another purchase.
So what you do is that you allow them to proceed with guest sign-ups or check-outs. It could be that they’re in a rush and as such lack the time to go through with an endless form-filling. With guest sign-ups, your customers are only allowed to enter relevant information while skipping the rest of the formalities to save time and unnecessary hassle.
They can enter their email addresses, followed by their billing and shipping address and that’s it. It’s also essential that you be extra polite while at it to get them to come back and consider signing up with you later on when they have the time.
In addition to enabling a quick transaction, guest checkouts also make it possible to remain anonymous while at it.
Use Quality Pictures and Illustrations
Images make it easy for you to sell a product online — NOT just any image, but high-quality ones that visually walk your customers through the details on the products you’re selling.
Ever visited an ecommerce store and saw a product that had a great description but with NO image placed next to it? What was your immediate reaction? Didn’t your level of trust drop from where it was to zero?
Same goes for blurry images that hide the details.
The first thing that pops up in your mind every time you come across a listed product with no image or has poor imagery is suspicion. What is it that the company is trying to hide? Is the product in poor shape or standards?
The underlying customer knows so little about you and your business, and the only way you can get them to trust you and make up their mind to proceed with a purchase is by assuring them that you’ve got nothing to hide.
You’re even NOT supposed to create room for the idea to crop up in their mind — because once it does, it grows like a weed. And eventually, it becomes even harder for you to remove it.
Comprehensive Product Descriptions
Business owners often underestimate the importance of creating a selling product description. The web development aspect of the site can be up to snuff, but unless you dedicate enough time to crafting witty product descriptions that drive potential customers to make up their mind and make a purchase, then your site is far from doing you any good.
One common mistake many people make is copy-pasting the product description on the manufacturer’s website directly to their ecommerce store. Well, as a serious business owner looking to drive massive sales through search engines, then this is the worst mistake you can ever think of doing.
For what’s worth, Google has a harsh penalty on anyone that duplicates content. So unless you’re NOT looking to secure a prime ranking in the SERPs, then copying any piece of content directly on the internet and directly to your site is bound to do you more harm than good, soon or later.
Rewriting manufacturer’s description is NOT an option either. When you look at it, manufacturers always focus on the technical and feature specification of a product, most of which are too stilt and sometimes complicated to be understood by an average shopper.
What you should be focusing on instead is how you’re going to get your customers to make up their mind and proceed to check out — and the best approach to take is by trying to focus on product benefits while drafting the descriptions
Your customers want to read about what the product will be doing for them, and NOT what it’s made up of. They want to be told about how their life will be changing for the better once they decide to purchase the product.
When writing the description, try to wear the face of a salesperson on the spot. Your end goal is to get the customer to buy the product, so what should you be telling them to get them to buy?
A Complete Guide to Ecommerce in Singapore: What Retailers need to Know
Singapore’s ecommerce has grown, and it’s expected to keep growing. Statista projects the market to hit US$8.6 billion by 2023 which is a 14.7% CAGR from the estimated 2019’s US$4.9 billion.
The growth can be attributed to the ultra-high internet speeds, trusted ICT infrastructure, diverse paying methods, digitally-savvy population, and a dedicated government that embraces the digital economy. Other than that, other factors have played a part in the success of ecommerce in Singapore.
The World Bank ranked Singapore as the second-best country to do business. Situated at the crossroads of international air and shipping routes, Singapore is at the center of all the activity. Singapore also has a rule of law, is English speaking, and has strong IP protection that makes it ideal for ecommerce.
Also, the number of Singaporeans using the internet is high, reaching 4.9 million users in 2019. This is about an 84% penetration rate. Of internet users, 73% of them have bought products online. Singaporeans also have big basket size when shopping online which have boosted ecommerce in the country.
Here are some statistics.
- 26% of Singaporeans shop online at least once a week
- At least 58% purchase online once a month
- 50% of the Singapore population would do all their shopping online if possible
- The average revenue per user amount to USD 1,290.62
- Singapore shoppers mostly use mobile devices with online purchases for an average consumer amounting to US$1,861 a year.
Ecommerce Trends in Singapore
Below are the leading ecommerce trends that shape the industry in Singapore.
1. Increase in mobile phone marketing
With a smartphone penetration of 78% in Singapore, many businesses are investing in mobile phone and social media marketing.
2. Untapped website conversion rate
There has been a dire need for ecommerce sites in the country to strategize on SEO and digital marketing to boost the conversion rate.
3. More large purchases are made on desktop
A report revealed that most Singaporeans make large purchases on desktop platforms than on mobile platforms. However, Mobile ecommerce platforms are also catching up.
4. Massive investment from large Chinese internet companies
Two of the largest Chinese internet companies, Alibaba and Tencent, are actively investing in ecommerce in Singapore and other southeast countries. The two companies are likely to gobble up some local SMEs to boost their popularity.
5. Focus on Customer reviews
92% of customers make a purchase based on reviews. Most successful platforms display customer reviews on their product pages.
6. High credit card penetration
Singapore has the highest credit card penetration in Southeast Asia.
Popular payment methods in Singapore
Cash on delivery
7. Lower abandonment carts
There has been a focus by retailers on lowering abandonment carts by using the right strategies.
Government Grants and Initiatives for Ecommerce Businesses in Singapore
Singapore’s regime is very business-friendly that has facilitated the right business environment in the country. One way the government supports businesses is through incentives and grants.
Here are five grants that ecommerce retailers can tap on to grow their brands.
1. Productivity Solutions Grant [PSG]
PSG was established in 2018 to encourage the adoption of digital productivity solutions among Singapore enterprises. It supports smaller businesses and SMEs by availing funding and support.
Currently, it funds up to 70% of the costs for qualifying fall under retail, logistics, wholesale, food, landscaping, and construction.
PSG is also available for businesses in the areas of financial management, customer management, inventory tracking, and data analytics.
2. Venture Debt Programme [VDP]
VDP was established in 2015 to enable SMEs with high-growth potential to access loans up to S$5million. The loan is meant for project financing, working capital, asset financing, and mergers.
To be eligible for the loan, you need at least 30% of local ownership and at least 20 employees. The programme has seen loans for SMEs being approved with more approval expected soon.
3. Enterprise Development Grant [EDG]
Established in 2018, EDG aims to support businesses in market and business development, innovation and productivity, and core functions and capability.
To qualify for this programme, you must have at least 30% local shareholding, a group annual sales turnover of S%100 and less, and have about 200 employees.
This initiative helps businesses to enjoy higher savings while focusing on capability growth efforts.
Established in 2018, PACT supports collaborations among Singapore businesses of all sizes. The aim is to encourage SMEs companies to partner with one another to boost business growth and innovation.
With PACT, smaller businesses that don’t have resources or connections have an opportunity of working with companies of all sizes to scale up. Larger enterprises benefit from the agility of smaller businesses.
5. Market Readiness Assistance [MRA] Grant
MRA was initially established to help SMEs get access to overseas opportunities. At first, qualifying activities received 50% of the funding. This was later increased to 70% from the years 2015-2018.
MRA encourage Singaporean businesses seeking to explore overseas markets in overseas market promotion, identification of foreign market partners, and overseas market set-up.
A business needs to have global headquarters in Singapore, have an annual turnover of S$100 or less, and have less than 200 employees to qualify.
The Top 10 Best Ecommerce Platforms in Singapore
This is good news for ecommerce marketers who are already in the market as well as for those who would be interested in joining the ecommerce world.
Below is a list of the top 10 players in ecommerce in Singapore.
Qoo10 is one of the most enormous and most popular online marketplaces in Singapore. Founded in 2010, it also operates in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Qoo10 is the ultimate site where you can get just about anything from mobile phones, sunglasses, shoes, kitchen devices and more.
With almost 2 million registered users, Qoo10 generates about S$26million MAU revenue from the country’s market. Small and medium enterprises are very active on this site, which the company encourages.
Lazada is one of the largest online stores in Southeast Asia. In Singapore, it is the go-to site for a wide variety of products ranging from electronics, fashion, living items, groceries, and more.
Lazada is a platform for retailers to access more than 550 million consumers in over six countries. It was further boosted when Alibaba invested a whole $1 billion in 2016. One thing that makes it popular is the 10% discount offered when you subscribe to the platform and the option of cash on delivery.
Founded in 2012, Zalora is Asia’s leading fashion online marketplace with monthly traffic of over 1.5 million visitors. It offers a wide variety of local and international brands and designer labels. The platform stocks top sports brands such as Nike, Puma, Adidas, Reebok, and many others
Zalora stands out as it offers a month return policy, incredibly fast shipping, and convenient payment options.
Carousell started as a mobile-first platform and continues to lead in the category. On this platform, people can list things for sale and make the buy and sell arrangements. It is not involved in the monetary transactions between individuals.
You can get anything on this site, including fashion, property, electronics, and mobile, to name a few. One advantage of this platform is that sellers do not have to pay any commission fees or gateway after a sale.
eBay Singapore is the local platform for the US site eBay. You can get a wide range of products on this site, including electronics, vehicles, and more. With over 2 million monthly visitors, the platform is very popular with retailers because of the enormous consumer base.
EZbuy Singapore is a platform that deals with beauty, family, clothing, home, and many more. Its products mostly come from Korea, America, and Taiwan. The platform is also available in countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
With over 1.5 million visitors, this site offers a flat shipping fee of less than $3, which attracts new customers.
Founded in 2009, Shopee is an ecommerce platform that is present on mobile and has a social business mode as well. The platform gives buyers great prices as they do not charge any commission.
Shopee is the go-to platform for fashion items, mobile devices, home appliances, home, and many more.
Courts Singapore is the platform for anything related to electrical, fashion, IT, and furniture that comes from eighteen stores.
The platform was founded in England before expanding to South Asia. It has over 1.4 million customers.
Megafash deals with clothing, accessories, and lifestyle items. Other than that, it caters to every niche audience as its products are not typical on other sites.
10. FairPrice On
FairPrice On is a leading grocery retailer in Singapore. With over 1 million visitors per month, you can find almost anything from electronics, fresh food, baby products, beauty, lifestyle, and more. the site uses data Analytics to analyze its customers for better promotions. The site is available on mobile and online portals.
Ecommerce Strategies for Retailers in Singapore
The digital landscape is shifting direction and impacting businesses. A report by Statista shows that global ecommerce sales may reach $4.8 trillion by 2021. With the emergence of innovative technologies, online retailers have an opportunity to pick new technologies and use them to boost their businesses.
Here are some strategies for ecommerce retailers in Singapore to consider.
1. Artificial Intelligence [AI]
AI has made an impact on ecommerce. Areas such as conversion rate, web traffic, bounce rate, and more rely on AI. Using AI enables you to gather real-time data and investigate how customers interact with your brand.
AI will help you in efficiency and competence to grow your business.
2. Product filtering
Product filters has become essential for ecommerce.
Product filtering is helpful when you sell variations of the same product. With it, your customers can find what they need quickly and easily. Customers can sort through the array of products quickly hence reducing bounce rate.
Chatbots are crucial in enhancing the customer experience. Chatbots are used in automation hence facilitating instant communication with customers. This program acts like a human to offer consumers personalized experience.
It can influence customer purchasing decisions by guiding them through the sales funnel. It also tracks your inventory hence letting you the status of your stock.
4. Use videos
While images and product descriptions are great, they can’t beat the effectiveness of a good video.
Most online users will watch a video as compared to reading content. Therefore, incorporate videos into your marketing campaign. Use product close-ups videos as well as product tutorials and technical instructions.
5. Utilize PPC advertising
Pay-per-click is a type of advertising whereby you pay for every click that your ad receives. This strategy enables you to gauge whether your marketing campaign is cost-effective by comparing the ad costs to generated traffic and sales made by the ad.
Some social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are examples of platforms where you can utilize this strategy.
Social media marketing is very effective. It is also all about consistency. You need to ensure that you post at a convenient time when your customers are accessible. However, you need to learn the appropriate platforms that suit your niche.
You need to learn your target audience and the social platform they use most. Data-driven tools such as Google Analytics come in handy.
7. Create e-mail lists
Email marketing is one of the best ways to make sales.
Use tactics such as offering something in exchange for an email address. Ensure that you win your prospect’s trust by keeping their email addresses private else you end up in the spam folder.
One way is to sign up fields at the bottom of your blog posts or buying guides. If your readers enjoyed the content, they will want to engage with you and will leave their email.
8. Use high-quality photos and top-notch product descriptions
Include perfect product images and photos to attract prospects. As customers can’t touch your products in ecommerce, you rely on product imagery and feedback.
In that note, show great viewable thumbnails in the search results page to enable your users to find the products they need in one click.
Also, ensure that you provide a full product description by highlighting all essential features and benefits.
9. Create product scarcity
You can make your product seem limited by using last day offers or limited releases. By creating urgency, you lure your buyers into making instant purchases.
Ecommerce Fulfilment Tips for Retailers in Singapore
What is fulfilment in ecommerce?
Fulfilment, also known as order fulfilment, is the entire process from sale until the customer receives an order. An example of order fulfilment is Amazon’s FBA plan that covers everything, including receiving, processing and delivering orders.
Research shows that many people will abandon their cart if they fail to receive their orders within a week. So, as an online retailer, you need to focus on how you and create excellent value for your customers by delivering their orders fast with extras in the packaging.
Here are a few pointers.
1. Demand seamless integration
In ecommerce, the chances of manufacturing the goods you sell are not highly probable. Most retailers source their products from different distributors stored in warehouses, which re then drop-shipped to customers.
You, therefore, need to integrate connections with your suppliers through an order management system [OMS] that communicates seamlessly between your suppliers and your systems. This way, you never have to worry about delayed orders.
2. Choose the right shipper
Having great products but an underperforming shipper is bad for business. You need to ensure that your shipper offers real-time, accurate order tracking and doesn’t have a lousy shipping history.
3. Choose your warehouse locations carefully
Ecommerce shoppers demand fast delivery. You can fulfil their expectations in two ways:
- Store products in many warehouses distributed throughout your delivery area. With many warehouses close to your customers, shipping becomes easy and fast.
- Choose shippers and warehouses that are efficient in quick-picking and quick-shipping.
4. Facilitate end-to-end order visibility
OMS links you to your suppliers. You need to ensure that you can see everything all through the supply chain.
For this to happen, both you and your supplier need to be able to have access to the same catalog, order fulfilment processes as well as the inventory. This clarity is referred to as end-to-end visibility. Your customers also need to see which items are in stock and their quantities.
5. Manage close communications with your customer
Throughout the supply chain, you need to communicate with your customers. You need to provide real-time updates regarding the order status until it reaches the customer.
6. Get into a consistent routine
To get the most of the fulfilment process, you need to adopt a schedule and stick to it. Discover a method that works for you and your customers and focus on maximizing the results.
Once you have settled for a routine, you can either automate the process or eliminate inefficiencies.
7. Be open to returns and refunds
In ecommerce, about 30% of orders are returned. Be ready for this and manage the situation well. Be clear and precise about your return policy and develop a seamless process to handle returns.
Also, try to deal with suppliers who accept returns and offer zero restocking charges.
Top 10 Tips on How to Market an Ecommerce Website Online
Marketing an ecommerce site is not a hard task. You only need to find an approach that works for you and continuously adjust it as you go. Nevertheless, there are some effective ecommerce marketing tactics an ecommerce retailer in Singapore can use to make your campaign a success.
Below are some helpful tips.
1. Provide consistent and unique content
Content marketing will always remain an effective marketing strategy. When implemented correctly in ecommerce, you provide more value to your audience.
You need to understand your customers provide answers on how your product can solve their problems. You also need to understand your target audience, their interests, and demographic data. This will help you publish meaningful, relatable content.
Ensure that your articles have perfect easy-to-share options.
2. Create a YouTube channel
One great way to get your ecommerce site out there is by creating a YouTube channel. With the right tactics, you will attract a lot of views and more subscribers. It is also a fun way to showcase your products.
Online marketing activities, such as discounts, follow-up emails, and testimonials, promote your brand. Social networks are also the best platforms to build customers’ trust and build brand awareness.
4. Get your products reviewed
Contact bloggers who write products and ask them to write one for you. A good product review will expose your brand to a broad audience and drive traffic to your site.
5. Offer free samples
You can give some of your products away and ask for feedback. Assuming your products are great, word will go around quickly, and you will earn a lot of site visitors.
6. Optimize on SEO
SEO is essential across all websites. The more optimized your site is, the higher the chances of your site ranking high, and hence more traffic and sales. Take time to learn everything about SEO and act accordingly.
Also, remember that a fast loading website is crucial, and you need to work on that as well.
Shopping Carts Ideas for Retailers
With the latest technologies, it’s easy to create the right shopping cart system. On ecommerce sites, customers can review the products they want before adding them into their carts, one by one, before proceeding to billing.
With an en effective shopping cart system, a lot can go wrong.
Here are some ideas to help you create a pleasant shopping cart.
1. Mini and full-page carts
Shopping carts are either fully functional, located within the page of its own, or mini carts often found in the sidebar.
When a product is picked, it is shown in the mini cart. As you continue shopping, the number of items and the total price is shown. There is also a link here to the full page cart.
The full-page is where you provide more information such as product details, tax prices, shipping options, remove/edit items, and more.
Consider using both.
2. Have a step-by-step checkout process
Use a step by step method to simplify the checkout process for the customer.
Also, consider including personal information shopping cart, shipping, and billing information on one page. With a good layout, you can have the entire elements one a single page to make checking out process easy.
Certain features in shopping cart enhance the customer experience. Ensure that the mini cart links to the full cart. Do this by including an icon alongside the mini cart for customers to link.
Check out process should be easy for the customer. As such, make the check-out buttons large and visible, with clear language.
5. Avoid too many fields
Customers detest filling out unnecessary input fields. Many customers will leave the site and never return. To make the checkout process easy, keep the number of input fields just adequate.
Consider placing the same input fields into groups with headers for each section.
Ecommerce Website Security Measures and Tips for Retailers
Ecommerce sites are always prone to hack attacks. With the large transactions involving personal and financial information from customers, it is no surprise that these sites are the favorite hub for hackers. It is estimated that online fraud will reach $5.8 billion in the next four years.
To keep your site safe, you need to implement tight security measures.
Here are a few tips.
1. Choose an efficient ecommerce hosting service
A web hosting service is crucial for your site. It should have a perfect backup service to make site restoration easy after a security breach.
The web host should be operational around the clock and have RAID data protection to create a backup copy of your ecommerce site on different disks.
Consider choosing a cloud-hosting platform as engineers behind such platforms are keen on maintaining website security.
2. Use HTTPS
Consider moving your site to HTTPS to prevent online frauds. You need to purchase an SSL certificate from a recognized hosting company, have it installed, and change your site settings.
HTTPS is crucial for user protection as it is the link between your servers and the users to keep hackers from stealing your data.
3. SQL Injection
Submitting a fraudulent SQL command to a site by inserting the command into a form is easy. This form could be the one that customers use to subscribe to sign-in.
You can prevent this by scanning your site daily for SQL injection vulnerabilities. Security companies
And free site scanners can help out on this.
4. Use a real-time bot detection technology
Most of the web traffic comes from bots. A good percentage of ecommerce fraud also comes from malicious bots. You need to have a technology in place to keep off bad bots.
There are numerous available bot detection tools, and you need to assess the ones that offer real-time protection. The tool you choose should be able to eliminate bots from your website.
5. Use a secure ecommerce platform
You need to be careful with the platform you choose to host your site. The platform should include the performance it supports and other security protocols. It is recommended that you choose a trusted platform than risking with new ones.
6. Insist on customers using strong passwords
When a customer’s information is hacked, they blame you even when it might be their fault in the first place. Emphasize that they use strong passwords and set up strict password rules to force them to do so.
Essential UX and UI Considerations for Ecommerce Websites
In ecommerce, the shopping process is a user journey that, when properly implemented, can lead to less abandonment cart and more purchases.
The user journey follows the steps below:
- Website discovery
- Product search and browse
- Product page
- Shopping cart
To make the user journey easy, and influence user purchasing decision, you need to implement some user experience and user interface design strategies.
Here are a few of them.
1. Easily accessible products
You need to showcase your products properly.
- Focus on the products and keep content and ads at a minimal
- Keep the interface clutter-free
- Categorize the products carefully and clearly
- Include a search field for customers to key in the products they are looking for
2. Easy checkout option
One of the reasons behind cart abandonment is due to a complicated checkout process. Ensure that the “Add to Wishlist” and “Add to Cart” buttons are easy to find.
- Collect only the necessary user information
- Show precise purchase details to convince the user that nothing has been added
- Redirect to a relevant page after completion on a purchase, e.g., suggest similar products
3. Use beautiful photos
Your product photos must be attractive to lure the user into making a purchase.
- Use professionally shot photos
- Optimize the images so that they load quickly
4. Product details
A description should accompany the product image.
- Provide as much information as possible but avoid huge chunks of text
- Include multiple product images
5. Product feedback
Reviews and ratings are a vital element in ecommerce. They influence other people’s purchasing decisions.
- Include reviews and ratings
- Sort the reviews according to relevance and date for better UX.
Top 20 Ecommerce Developers in Singapore
As more and more businesses move online and desire digital and online marketing, agencies emerge to offer much-needed services. Below are the top ecommerce developers in Singapore for ecommerce retailers to consider.
Founded in 2008, MediaOne is one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Singapore. The agency boasts of over 1000 SME clients, with over 500 active clients. Our award-winning digital marketing services have helped more than 800 companies in Singapore and beyond.
- Search engine optimization [SEO]
- Search engine marketing [SEM]
- Social media marketing [SMM]
- Online reputation management [ORM]
Location: 4B Craig Road Singapore 089664
Tel:  6789 9852
Innova concepts are a forward-thinking web solutions firm that deals in providing reliable, high-quality, and user-friendly web solutions. They have worked in many companies such as Fashion Avenue, Shoppes Avenue, Deals Marketplace, McDonald’s Singapore and many more.
- Web design
- Content Management Systems
- Flash Design Services
Location: Singapore Post Centre Post Office
Tel:  9366 9060
Impossible Marketing is a leading marketing agency in Singapore that partnered with Google since 2014. The agency specializes in ranking websites to the top of SERP to drive traffic and lead generation.
- Video Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
- Email Marketing
Location: 14B Yan Kit Road, S 088266
Tel:  93740111
4. iClick Media
Founded in 2009, iClick Media is a certified ISO digital marketing agency and also one of the few internet companies that us certified by Google and Yahoo. They have worked with names such as Avenue 6, Charming Hair Salon, Heels Diva, Magic Edutainment, and more.
- Web design and development
- Web analytics
Location: Macpherson Road, #02-01 Betime Building Singapore 348578
Tel:  6362 0123
Founded in 2001, Convertium is all about digital. They have created great UX for many digital platforms. Their customers, in turn, advocate their services, products, and brands. The company has worked with American Express, Caltex, Lexus Asia Pacific etc.
- Content Management
- Digital marketing
- User Experience
- Web Development
Location: 11B, Stanley Street, Singapore 068730
Tel:  6236 6400
ClickTRUE is an online consulting firm that helps companies design, strategize and build captivating experiences for the web. They have more than ten years of experience and have worked with brands such as Briq, nestle, Starcom, MediaVest, and more.
- Rate Optimization
- Location: SEO
- Web Analytics
Location: Conversion 998 Toa Payoh North, #03-25, Singapore 318993
Tel:  6950 3366
7. Clickr Media
Clickr Media is a company that offers customized solutions for start-ups, Multi-National Corporations, and SMEs from every niche. They have launched effective campaigns on platforms such as Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, etc. they have worked with names such as Nintendo, The Vein Clinic, and more.
- Pay Per Click
- Web Analytics
- Email Marketing
Location: 2 Alexandra Road #06-04 Delta House Singapore 159919
Tel:  6566 9556
Founded in 1974, Asian Trade Press is an established media house that provides targeted content to businesses, consumer markets, and trade. They help clients develop and maintain different websites that complement catalogue publications. They have worked with Sterling Bank, Post Oak Capital, and more.
- Web Design
- Corporate branding
- Professional Graphic Design
- Advertising Consultants
Location: 21 Bukit Batok Crescent #05-70, WCEGA Tower, Singapore 658065
Tel:  6556 1000
Founded a decade ago, Brew Interactive is a leading inbound marketing agency. Their clients range from B2B, financial services, and education.
- Digital Lead Generation
- Digital Advertising
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Content Marketing
Location: 111 North Bridge Rd, #08-19, Singapore 179098
Tel:  6814 2952
10. Active Media
Active Media is a leading agency that offers online services, ad campaigns on Bing, Google, Facebook, and yahoo. They have worked with FJ Benjamin, Peach Garden, SIM, and more.
- Strategic Consultation
Location: 60 Paya Lebar Road, #12-51/52, Paya Lebar Square, Singapore 409051
Tel:  6235 666
Singsys is a leading UX/UI design developer who offers comprehensive and simplified web solutions at good prices. They provide unique and futuristic designs for their clients.
- Mobile Apps
- Web Applications
- Digital Marketing
- Enterprise Application
Location: 1 North Bridge Road, #17-10 High Street Centre, Singapore 179094
Tel:  65613900
Splash Interactive provides full marketing services by combining UX, visual design, and strategy for optimum results.
- Web Development
- Email Marketing
- Responsive Web Design
- UX Design
Location: 73 Ubi Rd 1, Singapore 408733
Tel:  67025080
13. Amber Creative
Amber Creative is a developer agency that provides digital marketing solutions to generate leads and conversions.
- Web and App Design plus Development
- Digital Marketing
- Google PPC
Location: 8 Burn Road, Trivex #7-11 Singapore 369977
Tel:  6904 8865
HSP Digital Marketing is a leading digital marketing agency in Singapore that helps businesses gain online presence to gain traffic.
- Content marketing
Location: 279 Balestier Road Balestier Point, #02-20, Singapore 329727
Tel:  6259 7709
Construct Digital is a digital marketing agency that provides full-service marketing. They are all about data, strategy, and marketing to drive results for their clients.
- Digital Marketing
- Digital Advertising
- Web Development
Location: 114 Lavender Street # 11-85, Singapore 338729
Tel:  65 6438 4886
16. Notion Age
Notion Age is a digital marketing agency that provides digital solutions for brands and businesses for the best Return On Investment.
- Email marketing
Location: 1 Kallang Junction Vanguard Campus Level 6 Singapore 339263/
Tel:  6438 8303
iFoundries is a leading digital marketing agency that has been providing support to companies in various sectors of digital marketing. Clients include Goodwood Park Hotel, Singtel, and others.
- Web Development
Location: 10 Ubi Crescent #02-51, Ubi Techpark [Lobby C], Singapore 408564
Tel:  6297 7751
iConz is an all-round solution shop for marketing and businesses. Their focus is to help businesses increase their growth. They have worked with Clariti, Dodo Seafood, and many others.
- Web Development
- Electronic Direct Mailer
Location: 61 Bukit Batok Crescent # 04-01F Heng Loong Building Singapore 658078
Tel:  6774 4889
Founded in 2009, Happy Marketer is an award-winning digital marketing agency that uses marketing mediums to help businesses generate leads and more sales. They have worked with Air Asia, FairPrice, HP, CNN, and many more companies.
- Web and App Development
- Online Advertising
- Inbound marketing
- Google Analytics
Location: Guoco Tower, 1 Wallich St, Level 22 Singapore 078881.
Tel:  6653 8060.
With over ten years’ experience, Webcada has been providing online services to brands to help them stay relevant in their niches. They thrive on creating quality content and getting the most out of the online space.
- Inbound Marketing
- Content Management
- Web Design
- Email Marketing
Location: 22 Sin Ming Lane, #06-76 Midview City, Singapore 573969.
Tel:  6334 3168
Question to ask an Ecommerce Developer in Singapore Before Hiring
Digital marketing involves a lot of channels, and it’s essential to find an ecommerce agency that suits your business needs.
Below are five crucial questions to ask an agency before hiring. If they provide satisfactory answers, they could be the people for you.
1. Would you describe your agency’s process of helping me meet my marketing goals?
Knowing about the process will give more insights into the strategies. If an agency can provide clear answers, consider that a red flag.
2. Who are your previous clients?
It is comforting to see proven results from previous projects within your industry. Look for case studies and ask if the agency is proficient.
3. How much will it cost?
Enquire about the budget required. However, keep in mind that cheap is not always a good thing. Inquire about projected ROI as well and the contract.
4. How do you measure the success of the campaign?
Any marketing campaign can take time. Your agency needs to work with you to explain what your specific brand of success feels and looks like. Also, the agency should demonstrate the results regardless of how marginal they are to the end.
5. What is your communication with clients like?
You’ll want regular updates on the process. Find out how often they contact their clients and what kind of information they provide when they do. Also, find out what form of communication they prefer.
Let’s Wrap it Up
Singapore is a stable and trading hub for any business. It has the right environment for an ecommerce entrepreneur to build a business empire. With proper guidelines, you are sure to succeed in the realm.
The information shared in this article will give you some insights and steer you in the right direction.
While these post touches on some of the vital aspects of a great ecommerce store, most of the time, a great web designing idea will be operating within a brand’s standards. Meaning, it’s upon you to look deep into your business and analyze its needs before you can go ahead and consider hiring the services of a web developer to help you build a cool ecommerce website for your business.
For more information regarding ecommerce or help in setting up a stunning ecommerce store, you’re kindly invited to reach out to MediaOne today for free consultation and custom web development services.