When it comes to Asia, it is a multicultural, multilingual region with varying levels of development. From highly developed nations with high e-commerce penetration to developing nations with varying levels of smart phone penetration. There are countries with high credit and debit card penetration to countries where digital wallets or cash-on-delivery is the norm. In addition, COVID 19 has also impacted the projected growth rate of e-commerce and the purchasing behaviors of customers. Some common research statistics to look at would be:
(1) GDP per capita by Purchasing Power Parity (just because the absolute GDP per capita is small does not mean it doesn’t go a long way depending on the country)
(2) E-commerce penetration (just because the population is big does not mean everyone shops online)
(3) E-commerce basket size or annual online spending (customers could be purchasing online only in very few categories, or it could constitute a small portion of overall spending)
(4) Credit/Debit card penetration (just because customers shop online does not mean they can pay for the items in the payment method your online store can accept)
(5) Preference for imported goods and COVID behavioral online shopping changes (Local competitors could be strong and COVID spending patterns could affect your product category)
• Singapore has one of the highest GDP per capita (PPP adjusted) in the world (ahead of Qatar, Switzerland and the UAE)1
• Revenue of the Singapore ecommerce industry is expected to exceed USD 4.6 billion dollars by 20252
• The average basket size across South East Asia has increased by 23% despite COVID and Singapore
shows one of the biggest improvements with a growth of 51%3
Check out our Expand to South East Asia with Amazon Singapore guide to help in your research.
Known for its ease of doing business ,Singapore has been ranked #2 worldwide by the World Bank4 , #1 in terms of customs clearance5, #1 in Aisa for IP protetcion6. And SG is also the most connected city in Aisa with 26 FTAs including the US-SG FTA, China-SG FTA, EU-SG FTA which makes the import of most goods to Singapore tariff free7.
An importer of record (IOR) is required by Amazon to sell in Singapore. The IOR is the entity responsible for paying import duties and taxes, ensuring that your imports comply with local laws and regulations. Note that neither Amaonz nor its fulfillment centers can save as the IOR for FBA shipments.
Connect with our Amazon Service Provider Network
to get advice on customs, taxes and relevant import services to Singapore.
Asia is a diverse region of cultures, religions, languages. Due to increasing Western consumption influences and Korean K-wave influences, Asian customers are increasingly spoilt for choice with a wide selection of imports. Ensuring quality, trust, and fast delivery will be the key to unlock their hearts and wallets. Understanding local insights, local cultures, local languages, and whether your product is competitive in another country can be tough. Some insights to gather below will help you sell like a local:
(1) Local language preferences: While English is the dominant language in countries like Singapore, localized languages would be important in other Asian countries such as Japan.
(2) Local cultural nuances: If you are a seller that caters to Chinese festive decor and customs, selling to countries with a large Chinese population or one that practices Chinese customs or celebrates common holidays such as Lunar New Year would be advantageous. Similarly, Western holidays and trends are shaping purchasing behaviors in many Asian countries – make sure to research them beforehand. Leveraging a wider range of shopping events globally can help you diversify revenue and peak seasons outside your home country.
(3) Drivers of online shopping: Does free delivery matter or fast delivery? How to drive more sales during key shopping events?
(4) Competitor research: What is the usual pricing and availability of imports locally? How do they promote during peak seasons?
(5) Top trending Amazon products: Get the latest research on top trending Amazon products in the country and attend local events/webinars to network with other Amazon Sellers and gain more insights to the local Amazon Store.
Singapore is a melting pot of West and East, with English being a national language in Singapore. Singapore has four major races, namely, Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian, living in harmony. Due to the presence of many multinational company headquarters in Singapore, a vibrant expat community from around the world also lives here. Singapore customers are familiar with Western products, brands, movies, trends (pumpkin spiced lattes and spin studios/classes are popular here too!) and celebrate typical Western holidays such as Christmas and Halloween as well as Chinese ones such as Lunar New Year. Double digit shopping events such as 11/11 are also common.
Based on IPSOS research of Singapore online shoppers, we've summarized key findings that will help you navigate the Singaporean e-commerce scene like a local.
Check out our E-commerce Guide to Shoppers in Singapore and start selling like a local.
Amazon currently operates 3 Stores in Asia: Japan, Singapore and India. Using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) can greatly help to reduce cross-border fulfilment operational concerns. Use the FBA fee calculator
and FBA revenue calculator
to help you decide the right fulfillment choice for your end customers.
Once you’ve decided on a few ASINs to test pilot in a new country, do consider using Sponsored Products
, Vouchers and Deals to increase traffic to your Amazon Store. The advantage of listing in more countries is being able to leverage different peak shopping seasons around the world, and finding new customers to diversify revenue.
While it may seem like a lot of homework and effort to launch into Amazon Stores half way across the world, this can help diversify your revenue and help your brand grow in Asia. Asia is one of the most promising e-commerce regions. The World Economic Forum projects that worldwide, e-commerce is expected to grow at an average of 47% in the next five years. The Asian market is expected to grow at 51%, with Europe and North America growing by 42% and 35% respectively8.
Test piloting in a new country is more like a marathon than a short sprint. Experiment and be ready to grow with the emerging middle class in the region.
Amazon Singapore currently has promotional deals for new sellers that can help reduce the initial cost of investment:
• Monthly subscription fee (SGD 29.95) for the Professional Selling Plan is waived till 31 Dec 2022
• Free storage & Free Removals with the Fulfillment By Amazon New Selection Program*
• Deals and Coupon waiver for all deal types via Fulfillment by Amazon till 31 Dec 2021
(*) Terms & Conditions apply (Seller Central login requried)
World Bank GDP per capita by PPP comparisons, 2019-2020
Statista’s Singapore e-commerce revenue, 2021: https://www.statista.com/outlook/dmo/ecommerce/singapore?#revenue
iPrice 2020: https://iprice.sg/trends/insights/the-impacts-of-covid-19-on-e-commerce-in-southeast-asia-in-h1-2020
The World Bank, 2020: https://www.doingbusiness.org/en/data/exploreeconomies/singapore
Singapore Economic Development Board, 2020 https://www.edb.gov.sg/en/our-industries/logistics-and-supply-chain-management.html
The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report, 2019
Enterprise Singapore, 2021 https://www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/non-financial-assistance/for-singapore-companies/free-trade-agreements/ftas/singapore-ftas#:~:text=Comprising%20about%2030%25%20of%20global,boost%20trade%20and%20investment%20flows
World Economic Forum, 2021: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/09/e-commerce-fast-growth-online-sales-china-europe-america/