The Minister of Trade of Singapore recently announced plans of making the island-state into a hub for e-commerce in the region and the world. The plan involves enhancing the digital infrastructure of the country that has become the preferred destination of multinational companies.
The move comes after authorities have gradually controlled the spread of the coronavirus in the country. Even as the pandemic resulted in the closure of small and large businesses across the country, it also allowed the e-commerce market to grow.
Consumers shopped online due to the lockdowns the government implemented to curb the spread of the virus. Singapore already has the most prolific e-commerce market in the Southeast Asian region. And the pandemic only allowed it to surge, with buyers staying home due to the health crisis.
The announcement by the government will only spur the growth of the e-commerce scene in Singapore. With this, small businesses can consider entering the e-commerce scene to take advantage of these developments.
But these businesses should also consider some e-commerce trends that may come in the future. Here are some trends that Singaporean business owners should expect.
Google Play Store and the App Store used to be the go-to place for mobile games among many Singaporeans. But it offers much more than games and entertainment. These digital distribution services also allow businesses to upload their apps so they can receive orders for their products.
With the high mobile phone usage in Singapore, it’s only practical for businesses to reach their customers through these devices. Using mobile apps also allows them to make purchases online easily.
But these businesses should also make sure they can connect with their customers. The chances of connecting with the customers will increase when the business has a good online presence. Businesses that set up their websites recently may need the help of a company offering digital marketing services. These companies typically help in promoting the website through organic and paid strategies. They can also provide recommendations on what business owners can do to improve their websites.
With an expected increase in mobile shopping, people may rely on their mobile wallets to make payments. A mobile wallet serves as a virtual wallet where payment card information is stored on a mobile device.
These mobile wallets facilitate payments for online transactions, particularly transactions made through a mobile device. They do away with the need for credit cards. Mobile wallets also allow people to pay for in-store purchases or restaurant bills.
The more popular mobile wallets in the world are Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Additionally, Singaporeans also can pay for their purchases using DBS PayLah!, SingTel Dash, and GrabPay.
Another potential trend in the e-commerce industry is the use of augmented reality. Besides mobile shopping, retailers in Singapore have started to leverage augmented reality to sell their products to their customers.
Even as some businesses worldwide use virtual reality and augmented reality, augmented reality has an advantage since it does not require users to get a headset. Virtual reality replaces what a person sees with an alternate reality using a headset.
On the other hand, users can download augmented reality software into their phones to easily shop without using a headset. Instead, it uses transparency on the immediate surroundings of the user and adds an object to it.
Augmented reality allows consumers to browse through the product offerings of a store and visualize the products they offer in their homes.
In the past, when people were looking for something, they would type the name of the product on the search engine before pressing enter. But sensory search is gradually gaining ground in Singapore. This increasing popularity of sensory search was also supported by voice-activated virtual assistants, like Google Assistant and Alexa.
These voice-activated virtual assistants allow users to say out loud what they want to do. For instance, the user can say, “Hey Google, play some music.” Aside from simple commands, users can also use these virtual assistants to purchase things for them by simply saying it aloud.
Companies are enhancing their systems to allow customers to use virtual assistants to order groceries or shop for furniture for them. These companies may have to ensure their systems are compatible with these virtual assistants to ensure the transactions are completed without a hitch.
The e-commerce industry in Singapore is gradually becoming bigger. Industry watchers expect it to increase with the government’s current plans to make the country the hub for e-commerce in the region and the world.