You already know about e-commerce and you might already be wondering how to start an e-commerce business in Singapore. So I won’t bore you with details on what it is and why.
Still, check this out – starting an online business in Singapore can be a lucrative venture. This is especially with the increase of online services and encouragement from the Singapore government.
If you are looking to take your business ideas to the next step, then this article is for you! It will provide all the information that you need to know to get started.
But just in case you haven’t heard, e-commerce is a booming industry with many benefits to new businesses and entrepreneurs. In fact, It’s hard to believe that only 10 years ago it was virtually impossible for people without a brick and mortar storefront to sell their products or services online!
Today, e-commerce is a big business worldwide, with over $1 trillion in sales every year and if you ask me, Singapore is the ideal place to start a business.
It is a well-known fact that e-commerce has been growing at an exponential rate in recent years. Especially during covid, e-commerce businesses raised the bar for people’s expectations of the online shopping experience. Singaporeans are no exception to this trend.
The e-commerce industry in Singapore is booming because it provides a wider selection of goods to choose from, the convenience of online payment and delivery options, cheaper prices due to lower operating costs and more!
Now, wouldn’t you love a summary to make your life easier? If you said yes, here are 6 things to help you out when starting an online business the straightforward way.
Let’s get started.
1. Find a profitable niche
The first step in starting your new online business is finding a profitable niche, AKA The market need.
This means that you need to do some research and find a market with high potential that isn’t too competitive. It can be helpful to look at industry trends and analyse what products or services are being sold the most online.
Once you have found a niche, you need to come up with a business idea that caters to this market. Remember: Your business idea should be something that you are passionate about and can see yourself selling for many years to come.
2. Define your business model
There are various e-commerce business models that you can consider when starting your e-commerce store. These include drop shipping, affiliate marketing and private label reselling.
- Dropshipping is a popular model in Singapore and is seen as the best way to start. This is because it doesn’t require e-commerce companies to hold any inventory or manage orders and sales directly. The supplier takes care of all these tasks for their clients instead who simply place an order via the online shop’s website and then wait for them to deliver! It also provides more security since suppliers often offer returns policies. On top of this, there are no extra costs involved with holding stock which makes dropshipping very appealing to new e-commerce entrepreneurs!
- Affiliate Marketing on the other hand involves partnering up with another e-commerce store to promote and sell their products in exchange for a commission on each sale. This model is great for business owners that don’t have the resources or time to create their own products.
- Private Label Reselling, as the name suggests, involves selling other brands’ products under your own private label. This can be done by either creating your own product line or finding a supplier who will allow you to do this. It’s important to note that this business model requires more initial investment than the other two models mentioned earlier but has higher potential profits in return!
3. Make it legit!
Once you have decided on your business model, it’s time to register your e-commerce store in Singapore! The good news is that there are no specific requirements or licenses needed to start an online shop in Singapore. You will just need to register for a Business Profile with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and set up a company bank account.
It is a very simple process that involves naming secretaries, directors and some basic paperwork that includes registering a local address, as well as making sure your company name isn’t taken.
The wait time to have ACRA process your application is fairly quick. It simply all comes down to how much time you need to gather all of your information and paperwork.
After the company is registered, you will need to open a corporate bank account and fund it. You can then start looking for an e-commerce platform or develop your own website. Your online enterprise is now ready to go!
You can find more information about registering your e-commerce store here:
4. Think of shipping
The next step is to think about shipping. Depending on the type of services or products you offer you might have to consider your fulfillment method. E-commerce stores in Singapore often choose between either using a third party fulfillment service or shipping products themselves. This will also depend on your business model and requirements.
There are also other benefits such as lower costs, less time wasted managing inventory, increased speed in order fulfillment and delivery times! Of course, for dropshippers, there is no need for extra investment or management which makes it a great option especially when starting with little capital!
5. Create a stunning e-commerce store
Once you’ve decided on your business model and delivery process, it’s time to create your online shop and show the world your awesome sauce. Getting your website up and running is an crucial step in how to start an e-commerce business in Singapore.
One important thing to note- create a website that is not only visually appealing but also easy to use. Keep in mind that your customers should be able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily without much work.
You should know by now that free web hosting is a mistake for your business website. Creating a professional and user-friendly e-commerce store is essential if you want to compete with the big players in the industry.
This means using a good eCommerce platform such as our E-store builder which provides templates and themes that are specially designed for online stores. Also, don’t forget to set up payment processing and shipping options so that your customers can buy your products easily.
If you want to avoid a big headache, the best is to make this process as simple as possible. GoDaddy helps you create the store of your dreams, so you have plenty of free time to focus on your new business. Easy!
6. Time for the marketing magic
Once your store is ready, it’s time to start marketing it! There are various ways you can do this through blog posts, social media marketing, email marketing and content marketing.
Don’t forget to think about SEO. This is the process of optimizing your eCommerce store to rank well for keywords that are relevant to your products and services.
You can use tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner to find keywords that have a high search volume and low competition. This is so that you can rank higher on the search results pages. Heard a lot about SEO but feel like you hit a dead end have you no clue what’s the next step? Check this awesome guide we put together.
Also, part of the whole e-commerce marketing game is about creating a sales funnel to convert your website visitors into paying customers. A sales funnel is a process that takes someone from being a casual visitor to your e-commerce store, to becoming a paying customer. There are various stages you can include in your sales funnels, such as lead capture, product promotion and purchase.
Oh and don’t forget about customer service!
Take the time to respond quickly to any questions or complaints that you get from customers on social media or by email.
The future of e-commerce
These 6 steps can get you ahead quickly if you want to start an e-commerce business in Singapore.
Still not convinced?
Attention business owners this is a pretty cool reason. If you didn’t hear, in the wake of the Covid-19 situation, the government of Singapore re-started something called the E-commerce Booster Package to encourage start-ups and retailers to go online. This is a great opportunity to get started with e-commerce and take advantage of the various incentives that are available!
Many businesses have started with a simple idea. If you’re looking for an easy way to start your own online business, Singapore is the perfect place!
Once you define your market and your product or service—we can take care of the rest! GoDaddy offers great prices, breathtaking templates and excellent customer support. Hence, setting up and running your new e-commerce site is as painless as possible.
Get started on building a profitable e-commerce business today!
Have any other questions? Let us know in the comments below.