Recently, we released the first part of this blog series on starting an eCommerce business in Singapore. This covered the many reasons Singapore is an ideal spot to launch an E-commerce brand, from friendly government initiatives to stable internet connections. If you haven’t already, read the previous piece in the series, Part 1: Registering an Ecommerce Business in Singapore. This useful blog will help guide you through the next step of launching your E-commerce brand: considering your infrastructure.
Related Read: Why Start an Ecommerce business in Singapore?
E-commerce Business Infrastructure 5 Elements:
Depending on the product or service you want to provide with your E-Commerce Business, you will need the appropriate supporting infrastructure. This infrastructure includes anything you need to make the sale and delivery of your products/services to your online customers. Choosing the appropriate infrastructure that aligns with your business strategy spurs efficient operations. The list below is not comprehensive but it is a robust foundation for you to start thinking about the various elements of your infrastructure. At a minimum, your E-commerce Business Infrastructure should consider the following 5 elements:
Website 101: Registration to Development
As is the case with any E-commerce brand, a website is important as this serves as your shopfront in place of a physical storefront.
|Register a domain name||This serves as your core digital identity and gives your website its own unique address. Good practices include using an easily recalled name that is easy to spell and pronounce, or a name that helps site visitors easily associate your company with its products or services.|
|Find a hosting service||When selecting a hosting service for your website, make sure to choose a provider with a proven customer service record. Factors to consider include how stable their hosted websites are, how much disk space and bandwidth is needed and their internet security. Look for trusted providers like our partners at FirstCom Solutions who provide expertise and advice in this area.|
|Design and develop your website||Like any site, e-commerce sites need to build traffic and convert visitors into customers. However, e-commerce sites also need to incorporate other important elements such as your product catalogue, shopping carts, checkout process, payment processing, security, etc. Developing a suitable layout and design for your platform is an important consideration that if done right, will strengthen your e-commerce brand’s performance.|
Marketing or Advertising? Prioritize Long Term Growth
Often, business owners seek short term marketing gains by unsustainably investing in online advertising to rapidly draw in potential sales leads. The problem with advertising-led marketing operations is that ads have no long-term benefits; as soon as you stop paying for them, they no longer run, and you are left right back where you started.
Rather than rely solely on ads, e-commerce brands can strengthen their infrastructure by creating and offering valuable content with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) keywords, educating site visitors about your product or service. This content serves two main purposes:
- It earns the trust of site visitors, as you build a network that helps you spread your brand awareness.
- As more content is published, search engines like Google will send more traffic to your site pages.
Office Space: The Heart of your Business
Even if you are starting up an e-commerce business, all companies registered in Singapore regardless of size and type still need a registered office address. If your online business is at a very small scale, you can explore the possibility of having a home office. Singapore’s Home Office Scheme allows business owners living in private or HDB properties to conduct small-scale businesses within their homes, provided their business activities do not fall under the scheme’s negative list. Note that in order to qualify for the Home Office Scheme, your business must be registered with the Singapore Company Registrar, ACRA beforehand.
Related Read: Why a Distributed Workforce is the Future of Work
IT and Customer Support: Your Operational Bedrock
In today’s highly connected world, an e-commerce brand’s back end and customer support impacts sales as much as pre-sales care. Some of the most successful e-commerce brands pride themselves on terms like “efficient” or “friendly” customer support. Having an efficient IT system for order processing and customer support will allow you to accomplish just that. To begin, invest in an infrastructure that allows you to start with minimal investment, but with the option to scale with your e-commerce business growth. A few ways to accomplish this are:
- Building your own system (Allows you full control of your IT infrastructure and back-end operations)
- Outsource development, and take over the system once built (Streamlined development timeline while maintaining control)
- Use externally managed SaaS platforms like Shopify or ClickFunnels (Easy to set up, reduces the need for in-house specialists)
Finances: Money makes the world go round
If your e-commerce platform is integrated into a robust accounting system like Xero, your financial and bookkeeping systems may be greatly simplified. However, this is not often the case, and many ecommerce businesses maintain separate systems for their accounting, website and order management. If your business falls under this category, don’t worry, there are 2 available options for you:
- Manage your finances, book-keeping and accounting in house, or;
- Through an Outsourcing partner
Both options are viable, though the latter allows you to leverage your partner’s expert knowledge and advice in managing your company’s finances.
Suggested Read: Taxation in Singapore
Beginning your Ecommerce journey with InCorp Global.
Singapore is currently perfectly positioned to provide the perfect springboard to jumpstart your e-commerce business. This industry is the future and is already changing how we do business. You can take the leap confidently and successfully, knowing that InCorp Global is beside you. As the leading provider of corporate solutions in the Asia Pacific region, InCorp’s full suite of corporate services delivers an integrated eco-system for those looking to establish their first e-commerce business or expand their operations to Singapore and beyond Asia. To learn more, contact us today!
FAQs in eCommerce Business Infrastructure in Singapore
- An e-commerce infrastructure is an integrated environment including your physical and digital elements that you need to run an e-commerce business. This includes your website, payment management systems, delivery operations and more.
- The minimm requirements to support e-commerce businesses are internet (access and networks), Web (servers and support), software, online catalogues and payment/delivery support.
- Registering an e-commerce company in Singapore is very easy provided you have the right team assisting you. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact us using this Incorporate now link!