In the last year, the Singapore retail sector was among the hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
Several well-known brands such as JCPenney, Neiman Marcus, J Crew, and more recently Robinson’s Singapore are shutting down.
The ominous catchphrase “retail apocalypse” has become an unfortunate common term in the market and press.
However, a surprising find during these challenging times is that a number of retailers aren’t just surviving, but thriving.
Despite a gloomy outlook for retail malls, the long-term prospects of retail as an investment asset class still remains very bright in Singapore.
Before the Apple store on Orchard Road opened for the first time after the “circuit breaker” on Jun 24, a crowd had already formed outside its doors.
Likewise, the Sep 10 opening of Apple’s Marina Bay Sands outlet was highly anticipated, so much so that visits were appointment-only. (Channel News Asia)
The companies that managed to keep their heads above water in 2020 are the ones that already had strong omnichannel systems in place.
They built goals with the future of omnichannel in mind, recognising the importance of a seamless online and offline experience, and are now ahead of the curve.
Consumers have gone completely digital-first–buying everything from groceries to furniture online, and a lot of companies are trying to catch up and keep up with demand.
From the list of successes and failures of brands and companies we've witnessed in 2020, it's time for all business owners to acknowledge that omnichannel solutions are a must.
Most importantly, from recent findings stated above, we strongly conclude that retail is not dead, it's just evolving. Enormously.
The retail experience has changed extensively in the last decade and confusingly more so in 2020.
From the shift towards providing a great customer experience with two-day shipping to direct-to-consumer businesses that allow suppliers to provide an end-to-end brand experience and which the Millennials embrace so fervently, the retail industry (online) has never been so profitable; and different before.
How do we then equip ourselves for 2021 after the huge COVID pandemic that has set many businesses back tenfold and brought about new business avenues for some?
Having a seamless e-Commerce strategy that ties well with your brick and mortar business should be the focus of your business strategy in 2021.
E-commerce is set for global domination. It is already happening and are you keeping up?
Your e-commerce has to be your A game, designed with flexibility and adaptability in mind.
With the right strategical moves, your retail business will be saved and will even flourish better than in pre-pandemic days, as seen happening for some brands right now.
Continuous e-commerce expansion to move even faster in 2021
The great acceleration of e-commerce, fuelled by COVID-19, undeniably made one of the biggest impacts on e-commerce, being an unexpected catalyst for e-commerce's entire growth timeline and infrastructure.
Evolving shopper behaviour sheds new light on new priorities for online shopping touchpoints, resets our expectations of shopper convenience overpricing, and forces us to focus on value to meet the demands of our "evolved customers".
The amount of trade conducted electronically in Singapore and globally has grown tremendously with the wide-spread of Internet usage, especially during the recent COVID-19 pandemic when people are encouraged to stay indoors. (Kantar)
We experienced lockdowns and our favorite stores being shut down by the government, but what kept us going was our easy access to them amidst the crisis, and we all resorted more and more online shopping.
Experts have predicted that the impact of coronavirus will not be a short-term boost to e-commerce sales, but will stay even after COVID-19 is over.
People have grown more comfortable with the idea of online purchasing - as it has been deemed convenient and offers the benefit of contactless payments.
Covering Southeast Asia's (SEA) six largest economies, 400 million of the 580 million population living in these countries are online. That's 70% of the region. 40 million of them came online in 2020.
With our world-changing rapidly, we need to embrace the change that suits our needs best.
The E-commerce industry is ever-evolving and it is essential for retailers of this industry to take extra care to keep up with the latest trends, as it can either make or break their brand permanently.
For more e-commerce statistics, catch up on the e-Conomy SEA 2020 report here.
How businesses can prepare their e-commerce for the unknown
What many people don’t understand is that simply creating a templated website to sell multiple products and posting on it on social media, isn’t how you ace the game. Being a part of such a dynamic industry calls for one to keep up with ever-evolving strategical updates on the latest trends.
Constantly working in overdrive cannot continue for a long term without experiencing an inevitable industry burnout after some time. Is that what your business is currently experiencing now? A burnout?
Successful e-commerce in 2021 will not be achieved with mediocre means and tactics. At iFoundries, we are always looking ahead of time and striving to help our clients prepare for the unknown.
How is this achieved? Flexibility.
In digital marketing for e-commerce, the strategies that were successful a few months ago might no longer be bringing results. As a marketing strategist, it’s important to adjust fast, stay up-to-date with e-commerce website design trends, and come up with innovative ideas that haven’t already been used many times by other marketers.
Without compromising on your creative skills and output, you should integrate analytics into your daily routine for your e-commerce and keep an eye on KPIs. Always check all the requirement boxes of what comprises a great e-commerce website design. That’s how you build a more effective e-commerce strategy in 2021.
Many small and trendy marketing ‘hacks’ may get amateur marketers excited.
However, if you are planning to achieve bigger marketing goals and make progress with your career, you should ditch desperate, unaccountable short-term tactics and focus more on a well-thought-out strategy.
So, what aspects of work should you reconsider to become a more effective marketing leader?
First of all, think about how you spend your time introducing new strategies. Analyze how much time is spent on the campaigns that bring good results and those that underperform.
Use time-management tools to find out where you should focus your time and reduce the activities which don’t translate into your business’s growth.
E-commerce removes any location or time barrier from your customers who want to buy your products anywhere anytime.
Depending on your store size and the level of control that you need, a good e-commerce strategy and site are able to provide trackable profit and structured campaigns that you can scale up or down according to your changing business goals.
Is your security verification and credit card payment system tight? A good e-commerce strategy integrates numerous e-commerce solutions with other major payment gateways to handle all your online credit card transactions securely, your users will thank you in advance.
iFoundries' 4 Pillars Of E-Commerce Success
- Audit and conceptualize an e-commerce strategy with the objective to generate, grow, and sustain online sales.
- Identify key digital assets and performance tracking methods required.
- Omni-channel strategy (if applicable).
- Ecommerce website design and development on a platform that focuses on optimal user experience to achieve higher conversion.
- Setup relevant marketplace for further sales outreach.
- Instant messaging and Chatbots for real-time customer service.
- Integrate e-commerce platform with automation technologies for effective online customer engagement strategy.
- Develop and build automated workflows for marketing and sales.
- Personalize customer experience.
- Identify marketing needs to drive awareness and demand.
- Retargeting ad strategy.
- Content marketing strategy to increase brand/product visibility.
- Micro-influencer marketing.
"Singapore, one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in South East Asia, is predicted to hit almost S$10 billion (US$10 billion) in online sales for this year alone."
Singapore SMEs can receive up to 80% funding + up to $10,000 bonus payout for your e-commerce solution
Level up your business with iFoundries. Are you looking for an omnichannel strategy for your business, looking to add or enhance your business with a fantastic e-commerce website design, or solution for 2021?
The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG grant) falls under the IMDA’s Go-Digital campaign. It aims to support Singaporean SMEs in the procurement of IT solutions and other applications to enhance productivity and accelerate digital transformation. Eligible SMEs must be at least 30% owned by Singaporean citizens/PRs.
iFoundries is one of the approved partners of IMDA Singapore and we offer eligible SMEs e-commerce packages with funding support up to 80%* of the qualifying cost.
On top of that, your company may also receive up to $10,000** of Digital Resilience Bonus (DRB) payouts for adopting digital solutions including ours.
To learn how you can leverage our e-commerce solutions to grow your business while tapping on the Singapore government’s funding support, talk to any of our growth consultants today. iFoundries will find out exactly what your business needs, has formulated more than 200 e-commerce strategies and e-commerce website design for significant businesses with 16 years of experience.
We understand how such applications can be overwhelming and are ready and trained to assist you with this process in the quickest and surest way. Our team strives for clients to get our top quality solutions at subsidized rates. Nothing makes us happier than seeing our clients succeed at the lowest possible cost.