Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce has been a popular way for many entrepreneurs to start their businesses. Singapore has even generated at least one-third of total online sales in the Southeast Asian region. If you are thinking of creating your own e-commerce business in Singapore, we’re here to give you a step-by-step rundown of what you will need.
1.Research and analysis
Choosing a product
This first step will probably be the most challenging, but crucial step to starting your e-commerce business. There are many types of products that you can sell on the internet, but not all will do well. While looking for product ideas, you can consider the trendiness, demand, and profitability of your potential product. This will help you to evaluate your product idea and the potential market.
Obtaining your product
After you’ve decided on a product, you will need to figure out how you are going to obtain your products. This can be done by making them on your own, manufacture, wholesale, or dropshipping. These business models each have their pros and cons, and it is up to you to decide which would be the most appropriate depending on your product.
Knowing who you are up against will give you a bigger picture of who you are up against. Thorough research will also allow you to know how to differentiate your business.
Write a business plan
A good business plan sets up a foundation for your e-commerce business to run effectively. This includes creating an infrastructure that factors in things like IT systems, operational processes, staff and facilities. Some elements that you can think about include:
- Designing and hosting your e-commerce
- Marketing and advertising of your e-commerce site
- The infrastructure of your website
- How to fulfil deliveries
Other factors that make for a successful e-commerce business include having flexible payment methods, secure electronic transactions and efficient logistic services. You will also need to have control over your inventory. It can be tricky, as you cannot have too many or too few stocks.
2. Building your business
The next thing to focus on would be how to build your business. Aside from finding an actual product, you will need to determine your business brand, domain name and logo. Creating memorable designs and names are simple marketing strategies that you can employ to attract the attention of potential customers.
Understanding search engine optimization (SEO) will also be a useful tool to help you structure your site and pages for Google and other search engines. Be sure to also structure your page in a way that is easy to navigate, and captivating for audiences.
3. Setting up your business
Now that you have what you are going to sell and a business plan in mind, it’s time to set up your business. In Singapore specifically, there are several regulations implemented to protect the business and customers. Be sure to familiarise yourself with these regulations that apply to your business.
Company Name and Registered Address in Singapore
To operate legally, you will need to incorporate your business. This should be done through the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). If you are unsure about how to do this, we provide both incorporation and accounting services to help you get all this administrative paperwork sorted out.
Directors, Shareholders and Secretary
If you have chosen a private limited business structure for your company, there are several things that you should be aware of. Your company should have:
- At least 1 shareholder
- At least 1 natural resident director, meaning a citizen or PR of Singapore,
- At least 1 company secretary;
- Minimum of $1 as initial paid-up share capital;
- A registered office address. P.O. Box addresses are not considered
- A Company Constitution
Business activity classification, licenses and permits
You will also need to understand the activity classification and associated licenses and permits. If you need help with this, Swiftly will help you get that figured out as well. But if you want to do it on your own, you can do this through Bizfile+ as well.
Setting up your e-commerce business in Singapore
Online shopping has risen in popularity due to its convenience. Consumers do not need to leave their house to purchase things that they need or gifts for their family and friends. However, setting up an e-commerce business is very different from setting up a retail business. If you need more assistance with setting up your e-commerce, Swiftly provides all sorts of services to help you get started.