One thing the pandemic brought to light, is the efficiency, expediency and convenience of online shopping. And the need for most brick-and-mortar shops to open up alternative avenues of sales through eCommerce channels and digital marketing to reach out to their audience and potential clients.
The business landscape for start-ups and businesses has never been as attractive as it is today thanks to the surge in technology use over the past couple of years. But starting an eCommerce business isn’t as easy as it seems, which is why we’ve created this guide to help you launch an online business in Singapore. We help you by asking some tough questions, looking at the best practices, and showing you the way to tapping on grants to alleviate the funding pains of eCommerce development.
1. How do I start building my online store?
First things first. Once you decide to make your business an online reality, you need to hire an eCommerce agency to build a customised e-shop for you and take over all the technical activities–be it coding, hosting, and maintenance.
I Concept Singapore specialises in providing digital solutions, including website design and eCommerce development. We listen to your every need and want, and customise a site that fulfils your requirements. With our experience and expertise, we will be able to share invaluable tips and advice on the development front, assisting with the technical side of things. Plus, our team of brand guardians can also help you build a digital brand identity for new-to-the-market brands.
2. Can I customise the look and feel of my online store?
If you choose to use third-party eCommerce platforms (like Shopee and Lazada), there are readily available design templates with preset themes that you can use, making the process of bringing your business online fairly simple. You can customise these templates up to a point, but they won’t be able to entirely match your brand identity, which might leave your brand exposed and your customers confused.
This is where custom-designed eCommerce websites, where brand identity, UI/UX (User Interface and User Experience) design comes in handy. If you are serious about launching a dedicated online store, it’s best to consult a creative consultancy team who will be able to guide you from scratch. UI/UX designers will create intuitive, aesthetically-pleasing interfaces that are aligned with your brand’s personality. The digital copywriting team will help portray your brand story in words to match the designs. And programming experts will ensure that your website is properly coded, and runs smoothly on the World Wide Web.
3. What payment methods should I choose?
Most businesses opt for PayPal or Stripe as a safe and secure payment gateway when starting out. Although you don’t pay a monthly subscription to the platform, seller fees can add up quickly.
There are alternative payment methods available in the market. Before setting up any payment method, make sure to check the commissions and fees involved. Talk with your eCommerce development team for their advice.
4. Will I be able to manage the content of my website?
It’s essential to have full access to your website, from adding products and categories to updating pages and shipping information. Several open-source and paid eCommerce platforms with great CMS (Content Management Systems) let you manage your website end-to-end.
When choosing a platform to work with, make sure it’s well-supported. You don’t want to end up frustrated for not being able to make updates or modifications in a few months’ time.
5. How do I calculate shipping costs?
Most eCommerce vendors allow you to integrate carrier costs into your store’s checkout section. Providing different shipping options (pick-up, normal delivery, express delivery) is critical for increasing customer conversions. After all, eCommerce is all about choice and convenience, isn’t it?
Free shipping is one of the most effective promotional tactics to increase your sales. According to a study, 88% of consumers say a free shipping offer would make them more likely to shop online – making it a top incentive for consumers at all purchase frequency levels.
6. How can I create attractive product images and descriptions?
Believe it or not, when it comes to establishing a digital eCommerce presence, creatives can make it or break it. Consumers can’t touch, smell, and feel your products – therefore, the way you display and describe them is imperative for your store’s success.
That said, consumers now expect high-quality imaging, 360-degree views, and animated images. Product descriptions’ digital copywriting should focus on the product’s features and benefits – what the product is and why it’s worth purchasing. While it’s tempting to start listing all the amazing product features and specifications, it’s important to remember to keep it short and simple. Consumers want to know what’s in it for them – without all the extras.
Working with a digital agency to create your eCommerce site
Uncertain about the know-how of creating your own eCommerce site? Wanting professional help in bringing your business online? Need assistance in building the perfect webshop for your brand? The multi-faceted creative agency that’s I Concept Singapore can readily help you with it.
From establishing your brand and designing memorable logos to developing your website and creating that integrated eCommerce platform that your customers will love, this digital agency can not only offer you the best advice with our years of combined experience but also assist you with the execution and realisation of it.
If you’re a Singapore-registered business that’s taking on this digital transformation, you’ll be glad to learn that you may be able to tap onto the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG), supported by Enterprise Singapore, and get up to 80% subsidy for your eCommerce site project developed with I Concept Singapore. We’re a Pre-Approved@SME Go Digital vendor, so you know you can trust us to deliver.
As a leading creative agency in Singapore specialising in digital marketing and eCommerce development, we have helped many of your favourite companies with their branding efforts and website design. We make the effort to listen and understand your preferences and business needs, and our team of experienced strategists and designers will assist in creating a fully functional website best suited to your brand.
Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services and the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG).