Singapore is a country with an advanced Internet population. Some 80% of Internet users – that is about 3.3 million people – are online daily. It is not surprising therefore that online shopping is increasingly popular in tech-savvy Singapore.
A PayPal study has forecast that the Singapore online shopping market will reach S$4.4 billion in 2015 and that in 2010 Singaporeans were already spending S$420 million on local websites.
Such favourable market conditions have encouraged the proliferation of local e-commerce sites in recent years.
In the early days, online retail startups may have to struggle with building their e-commerce store but today, that challenge has been overcome, with the introduction of innovative solutions such as Shopify.
Although Shopify has been described as a leading e-commerce platform that allows individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises to create beautiful online stores with the greatest of ease, big brands are using Shopify too and attesting to its strengths, according to SingTel.
Many business owners across Singapore are already running successful Shopify stores. Some are selling fashion, electronics, sporting goods, furniture, even food — and many Shopify users have found that getting their online store started has never been easier, regardless of their type of businesses.
Among the key features, Shopify users say the Theme Store, which makes available dozens of free and paid themes and are 100% customisable, is very useful. There are also optimised ‘social themes’ endorsed by Facebook and mobile optimised themes.
Another much appreciated feature is Shopify Mobile (shopify.com/mobile), a free iPhone app that lets the online store owner manage the store on the go.
The Shopify App Store is given the thumbs up by users for its ease of use. Shopify store owners can choose from more than 260 premium and free plug-ins. And just as they can install an app on the iPhone or iPad, Shopify store owners can easily add an app anytime to their online store.
Shopify also provides a full suite of payment gateway and fulfilment services.
Shopify User: Flesh Imp
Singapore street fashion label Flesh Imp chose the Shopify platform when its founders Vincent Q and Nicholas Cho decided to take their store online and seek growth in the global fashion market.
“The best part of Shopify is that it helps us to reach out to the rest of the world. We learnt about Shopify after doing much research online. There are a lot of e-commerce platforms out there, but we chose Shopify as they were able to meet our many expectations, including the ability to create a beautiful store to showcase our products, and having many applications to run the store,” says Vincent Q.
“With the wide range of applications available, it is easy to customise your site to your own requirements. Many of the applications are plug-and-play,” Cho says.
“I love it when the Shopify app starts ringing in the middle of the night, because it means that someone, somewhere in the world, has just purchased something from us.”
Shopify User: By Invite Only
By Invite Only, a Singapore jewellery brand, was started by designer Trixie Khong in 2009.
The brand is popular because “the products reflect a clean and contemporary look but at the same time it is fun with a touch of youth”, says Khong.
“I found Shopify to be very convenient to use because of the mobile app that comes with it. In addition, with its many other applications that I am able to plug into the store front, Shopify has helped me to manage the sales orders and the entire customer process easily.
“Shopify has helped grown my business tremendously. It has helped me have full control of my business as well as know who my customers really are. With that information, I am able to create better products and also personalise my customer service.”