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IE Singapore Ecommerce Infographic- Jul 2015


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Learnings from iAdvisory Seminar: Expand overseas with e-commerce
Don’t worry if you missed last month’s iAdvisory seminar on expanding overseas with e-commerce. Here are some nuggets from our e-commerce experts in 7 easy-to-read infographics.

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IE Singapore Ecommerce Infographic- Jul 2015

  1. 1. WHAT WE LEARNT FROM Expand Overseas with E-commerce 30 JULY 2015 | NOVOTEL CLARKE QUAY
  2. 2. Facebook and mobile ads are a must to generate e-commerce revenue. Before rushing out to buy Facebook and mobile ads, first know where your most valuable customers come from – in terms of both online channels and geography. #IE_ecommerce EXPAND OVERSEAS WITH E-COMMERCE There's no need to start an online e-commerce site when my business is flourishing in a credible marketplace. Having your own e-commerce site should be your ultimate goal as direct interaction with your customers builds up long-term relationships and brand loyalty. Why rely on other platforms when you can own one? I don't need to invest too much in IT, as long as the site gets built. Once your online business scales up, you’ll need a strong IT team to support your operations for a smooth user experience. Other aspects you’ll need to pay attention to: logistics, payment, delivery, customer service. My mobile site can be done later on. Your customers will be buying through their mobile phones, so a mobile-responsive site is a must. Smartphone penetration expected to climb to 50% in South-east Asia. Physical shops are redundant since the digital space is where the action is. An omnichannel strategy is the way to go. Physical shops build trust and allow customers to feel and experience the product before purchase – this is an important consideration for certain product categories. Setting up an e-commerce outfit is the same as setting up a traditional retail store. Every aspect of e-commerce is different from an offline business: from how you balance your sheets to who you hire. For e-commerce, you need to hire two groups of people: those who know your business well and those who speak the IT language. 6 COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT E-COMMERCE
  3. 3. #IE_ecommerce EXPAND OVERSEAS WITH E-COMMERCE 5 QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK WHEN STARTING E-COMMERCE Who are my target audience and what are they like? Which markets do I want to go into? Different markets and consumers have different needs and preferences, online and off. Knowing what they are like will deepen your engagement with them. Can I understand my customers better? The good thing about e-commerce is that everything is trackable; from where your customer segments come from, how much they are buying, to whether they are buying for themselves and where they are shipping it to. These analytics allow you to better target them for the next purchase. Do I have the capability to scale up as my business grows? Remember: Whatever is made available must be fulfilled, so ensure your customer care, integration system, payment system, warehouse and shipping can handle high volumes. How do I want to go online? Which model should I choose? Do I put the selected goods all in one place, or sell through different channels and/or marketplaces? How do I fulfil the orders? Note: Delivery becomes more complex with cross-border transactions.
  4. 4. These days, more companies are listing products on ready ecommerce marketplace like,, etc. Building your own e-commerce website from scratch was the traditional way of going into e-commerce. Transactions handled fully by marketplace so no need for inventory management or order fulfilment. But generally, there is less control over transaction and no control over product pricing . 100% control over your own inventory and transactional process. Your overhead costs becomes drastically reduced as you typically only pay listing fees and other admin costs. Could be capital intensive to develop and maintain your own site and in fulfilling orders and delivery. Marketplaces typically attract large volume of consumers and could be a good way for new users to chance upon your products. Good for products that already have strong brand presence in the market. As the seller, you have no access to customer data as all transactions go through the marketplace. You have 100% access to customer data to understand their preferences and re-target them for future purchases. TWO WAYS TO GO INTO E-COMMERCE Getting your products listed on a marketplaceVS Setting up your own e-commerce platform #IE_ecommerce EXPAND OVERSEAS WITH E-COMMERCE
  5. 5. Agility Businesses must be agile to capture customers. They can do so by adopting tools and analytics that recognise market changes and shifts in buyer behavior as well as scalable systems that allow for fast action when opportunities present themselves. Convenience Convenience is more than a benefit to time-strapped shoppers, it is essential for a strong customer experience. Consistency Creating experiences based on a unified brand presence will help build trust with consumers. Relevance Consumers expect interactions to be real-time and personalised – businesses can use their buying preferences, purchase history and user behavior to achieve this. Empowerment Brands that empower and help buyers to make the best purchasing decisions create loyal customers. #IE_ecommerce EXPAND OVERSEAS WITH E-COMMERCE 5 KEY SUCCESS FACTORS FOR E-COMMERCE According to HerVelvetVase founder Clare Chan HerVelvetVase started as a blogshop selling ladies’ apparel. Today it offers an integrated shopping experience incorporating wellness, beauty and lifestyle products. Its successful online-to-offline strategy has even seen it setting up a physical store in New York City!
  6. 6. Every channel counts Traditional options such as newspapers, TV and billboards are still feasible marketing options, but they are costly. These days, Instant Messaging and social media are equally viable and cheaper too. Understand each channel Online and offline marketing channels have their own characteristics. Know each channel for its strengths and push out an integrated campaign for an effective cross channel strategy. Speak the internet language Don’t use digital channels to do direct advertising. Craft your messages to start a conversation and pique your customers’ interest to try out your product. Identify and cultivate your influential customers This customer is the one who can influence more people to try your brand. In the long run, he will bring more profit to you than someone who buys a lot but doesn’t talk about your brand. Milk customer data Once you know what your customers like, you can give them what they want, and foster their trust in you. This leads to recurring transactions without recurring marketing. #IE_ecommerce EXPAND OVERSEAS WITH E-COMMERCE MARKETING TIPS TO BENEFIT YOUR E-COMMERCE BUSINESS
  7. 7. 7 MUST-KNOW TRENDS SHAPING ASEAN’S E-COMMERCE LANDSCAPE Purchases tell tales Businesses are increasingly looking at online transactions and big data to gain insight into customer needs. Customers are chameleons People shop online for different reasons. Therefore, you shouldn't focus on just selling cheap products. Rather, understand what your customer is really looking for, be it convenience, variety or even customisation. Social media rules Social media referrals are a strong driver of buyer acquisition. Small markets, big potential Online retail in ASEAN is still very small, relative to markets like China, the UK and the US. But it’s expected to increase by 25% over the next 3 years. Mobile first Most buyers prefer to shop online with their mobile phones. 57% of ASEAN users surveyed are likely to make an online mobile purchase in the the next 6 months. Be local and global Offering only global goods doesn't cut it. Go for a right mix of local and international products to stand out from the rest. Bricks + clicks Businesses need to be online to survive. Offline and online stores should complement one another. #IE_ecommerce EXPAND OVERSEAS WITH E-COMMERCE
  8. 8. #IE_ecommerce EXPAND OVERSEAS WITH E-COMMERCE SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE STEPS TO ENTER CHINA’S E-COMMERCE SCENE Step1: A small budget can go a long way • Pick a suitable e-commerce channel, like WeChat, RenRen or Taobao • Use digital marketing to engage your customers and attract your first batch of fans Step 2: Expand your online presence • Open a small shop to showcase your brand • Offer discounts and promotions to entice your customers from Step 1 to buy • Find ways, such as referral privileges, to encourage them to share your brand • The referrals will lead to your second group of followers Step 3: Don’t stop raising the bar • Improve customer service and branding to get more attention • Continue to influence buyers with more intensive digital marketing efforts • With a solid customer base built up, bigger companies are more likely to approach you with investment offers
  9. 9. •We support companies in developing an e-commerce strategy for overseas expansion. - Up to 70% of costs incurred in engaging a third party professional. (For SMEs*) - Up to 50% of the costs incurred in engaging a third party professional (For non-SMEs) * SMEs are defined as having less than $100 million per annum turnover Developing an e-commerce strategy •Under MRA grant, we can defray up to 70% of third party costs incurred for search engine marketing and/or optimisation, social media marketing campaigns and online advertising campaigns Marketing & promotion Listing on regional/ global marketplaces •IE has partnerships with 3 online marketplaces (Amazon, T-Mall, Lelong) which will help Singapore companies list by lowering the barriers of entry and offsetting some initial costs. •For those marketplaces and beyond, you can defray up to 70% of third party costs incurred for listing/ subscription on global online retail/ e-commerce platforms with international reach as well as e-fulfilment, payment and logistics capabilities. HOW IE CAN HELP YOU IN EXPANDING OVERSEAS WITH E-COMMERCE #IE_ecommerce EXPAND OVERSEAS WITH E-COMMERCE
  10. 10. #IE_ecommerce EXPAND OVERSEAS WITH E-COMMERCE MY GREATEST REWARD IN STARTING AN E-COMMERCE BUSINESS IS… COMPANIES WITH E-COMMERCE OPERATIONS SHARE: The enlarged customer base in addition to enhanced efficiency brought about by the improved workflow. Jonathan Phoon, executive director, Freshening Industries Knowing that I can do it. It's not about how much money I can make from it, but that I was able to overcome my inhibitions to try it out. Sreenivas Saba, founder, Ecourierz The opportunity to recreate the online fashion experience. Clare Chan, co-founder, HerVelvetVase Knowing we possess the ability to empower women when we hear testimonials of our customers being confident and feeling beautiful. This inspires and pushes me to expand to regional countries so we can touch the lives of women in Asia. Viola Tan, founder, Love, Bonito