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Welcome back to the third and final installation of Incorp’s E-commerce Guide. After reading all three parts, you walk away with a better understanding of the E-commerce scene in Singapore and how to go about starting your own. If you haven’t already read the previous blog posts, you can do so here: Part 1 and Part 2.
Recipe for Success in E-commerce in Singapore
Every industry has its fair share of secrets and success factors. The e-commerce sector is no different. Now that you know what the basic requirements are, it’s time to reveal the secret ingredients that can take your e-commerce business to the next level:: P.R.O.F.I.T! Still confused? See our points below!
Incorp’s Secret Sauce of E-commerce Key Success Factors:
Everyone knows how product pricing can impact the customer’s decision to choose between brands and this holds true for e-commerce. It is paramount to ensure that your products are priced competitively relative to the market rates and competitors. A few common tools of the trade are listed below:
|Keystone Pricing||Doubling the wholesale cost to make a profit|
|Psychological Pricing||Setting a price below a whole number to give the impression that it is cheaper|
|Value-based Pricing||Setting the price to match the perceived customer value (involves a good deal of research!)|
|Discount Pricing||Intentional cutting down the retail price to increase sales|
Take the time to analyze your competitors and their pricing strategies and come up with one of your own.
Reliable Delivery Services
“At your doorstep”, literally. A cornerstone of e-commerce is the speed and convenience that comes with it and this would not be possible without reliable delivery services. According to Forbes, around 22% of consumers distrust e-commerce for fear of their parcels going missing. Therefore, having a trustworthy delivery partner can greatly increase the credibility and popularity of your brand as a whole. We provide you with some solutions for improving your delivery prowess:
|Variety of delivery options/incentives||
|Choosing the right delivery partner||Pick a trusted logistics company with enough bandwidth to handle large volumes of orders. Compare their:
|Delivery features||Differentiating factors in delivery can set your brand apart from others:
Omnichannel Approach and Accessibility
The e-commerce landscape is fast-moving and ever-changing with consumer demand shifting each day. Having an omnichannel approach can massively impact your brand perception as one that is accessible across. Being within reach of your customers on multiple platforms like websites and mobile apps can extend your influence in many different spheres of people and can potentially translate into more leads.
Flexible Payment Methods
The electronification of payments has catalyzed the rise of alternative payment methods like wireless payment, digital wallets, e-banking, and more. Along with the e-commerce age, paying cash on delivery has been a newly introduced feature. Having flexible payment methods allows your customer more freedom of choice to pay however they want and this can suit their needs better. Below are some of the alternative approaches you can make available on your e-commerce business:
|Payment Method||How do customers pay||Examples|
|Digital Wallet||Mobile apps that allow payments to be made to businesses through it||Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Alipay, Paytm|
|E-Bank transfer||Online bank transfer to businesses||DBS i-banking, Personal internet banking UOB|
|E-invoices||Paying after delivery (for one or more) in one transaction or installments (usually for big e-commerce purchases)||Pagero, Datapost|
|Prepay||Paying for/redeeming a voucher and then using the voucher to purchase from the e-commerce store||Shopping vouchers|
|Payment upon delivery/ collection||Selecting a product online and paying for it at an affiliated store/website at a later date||Most food and beverage e-commerce businesses|
How to excel in payment methods? Give Your Customers a Sense of Security
One of the pressing issues regarding electronic payments online is their security. Providing customers peace of mind that their transactions are secure can boost confidence in your business and encourage customers to return. Some ways to protect your customers and reduce skepticism by solidifying your security measures would be to:
|Install encryption||Your mobile application can install additional encryptions to make transactions and e-commerce activity more secure
To read more on how to go about equipping better encryption for your e-commerce application, visit Xero, a trusted online security provider.
|Set up Multi-authentication processes||Besides the basic password, you can partner with e-payment services like Google Pay, Paypal that have multi-step authentication to prevent 3rd party intrusion|
Humans are largely visual creatures, so a good web design will go a long way to making a lasting impression on your customers. This ranges from how the products are displayed to the ease of checking out your selected items. Having a website that is easy to navigate and informative can reduce your site’s bounce rate (which is a good thing!)
Features to consider when making an impressionable e-commerce website:
- Show a Simple introduction video explaining your brand and the products you sell
- Maintain a simple color theme and eye-catching design throughout the website
- Add Calls-to-Action (CTA) at the end so that you don’t leave them hanging.
Last but not least, quality. When the e-commerce ship just began to sail, people were unsure of the standards and cultivated the notion that online products were scams or unreliable. This halted businesses from selling online for fear that the stigma might affect their sales. Increasing your credibility as an e-commerce business is a vital part of your success and here are some ways to get you started on building that:
- Partnering with trusted delivery services and selling your products on well-known platforms like Shoppee or Lazada
- Advertising your products through influencer marketing
- Post customer reviews on your e-commerce site or social media account
FAQs on the Key Success Factors of E-commerce Businesses
- You can start your website using any free or paid website builder available. You should start thinking of the theme, color scheme, and overall layout of your website to match your products and brand.
Visit Part 2 of our blog series to find out more about website development.
- While it is not 100% guaranteed, having an omnichannel approach increases your chances of reaching a wider audience. That being said, you do not need to have too many channels lest you confuse your customers. Pick and choose those that are aligned to your e-commerce business for maximum effectiveness.
- Customers will tend to pay more for products of a brand they trust and are loyal to. Hence, you should focus on building rapport and gaining support from your customers before thinking about increasing pricing.
- There are many ways to develop a loyal customer base online, experiment with various methods to see which suits your audience’s style and preference. Some ways would be:
- Engaging through social media features like Instagram Stories, Facebook Live
- Follow-up emails seeking feedback and thanking them for the purchase
- Consider introducing a customer loyalty program