A Guide to e-Commerce Website Development in Singapore
Today, technology has become so incorporated into our daily lives that it’s hard to imagine that a single day could go by without modern technology. This is particularly true after the COVID-19 pandemic, where our reliance on technology for communication and commerce increased. More and more companies have moved to bring their businesses online, which has become more of a basic essential use than a luxury for many consumers.
With today’s digital revolution, each country’s global digital economy expansion plans can offer new business opportunities to grow economically. The value of the digital economy in ASEAN countries is expected to grow to a whopping $1 trillion by the time 2030 arrives.
The tremendous growth is not surprising, with eCommerce becoming part of our everyday lives. It is easier for businesses to expand and grow with an online presence. In Singapore alone, the value of the eCommerce market is expected to hit $6.59 billion in 2023. And thus, businesses in Singapore should consider the importance of developing a business website in eCommerce. For anyone new to digital marketing, it might seem daunting. But the reality is that one can easily embark on this journey with a good guide and support.
In this article, we will share a simple guide to e-commerce website development in Singapore:
1. Determine The Business Goals
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy what you do it.”
This is a famous quote coined by American author Simon Sinek. Every great endeavour needs a purpose – including a business. Determining a business’s purpose will determine its nature.
The first step would be to determine the business’s goals and what it does to serve its purpose and identify its requirements. Business owners should ask themselves several questions, including the following:
- What types of products will be sold?
- Who is the target audience?
- What is the budget?
With a clear business plan and objective, the next step would be to choose an eCommerce platform to meet the goals.
2. Choose an eCommerce Platform
a. Open-source platforms
Open-source platforms freely offer their source code to their users. They are both customisable and free to use. However, users usually require some knowledge of coding to be able to use open-source platforms. One would also have to be wary of security breaches. Hiring web developers to maintain the website’s security is ideal for business owners with minimal technical knowledge.
SaaS (Software as a Service) is a software licensing and delivery method which can only be accessed online through a subscription. The first factor a business owner should consider is the budget required to use the service. The benefit of using SaaS is that this platform is designed for eCommerce. Therefore, websites created using SaaS are scalable, convenient to use, and more secure than websites created using open-source platforms.
c. Headless commerce
This platform provides a different approach to eCommerce, decoupling a website’s front end with the back end. In other words, headless commerce platforms can keep the display layer and website shopping cart separate. Customers can then purchase things both online and offline. Companies will have more flexibility when building their website, and there is also a lower learning curve for website development.
3. Design and Develop the eCommerce Website
The next step would be designing and developing the eCommerce website. Conveniently choose from the ready-made free website design templates on the eCommerce platform. Another option is hiring a website designer to customise the design that best meets the business’s branding plans. To learn more, read our guide to building an attractive website in Singapore.
4. Set up an Appropriate Payment Gateway
ECommerce websites can only function with a payment method and will provide a better user experience for visitors with a convenient and simple payment method. In 2023, Singaporean eCommerce websites host various popular payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, eWay Singapore, DBS PayLah! and GrabPay.
5. Integrate Logistics and Shipping into the eCommerce Website
Ensure that the infrastructure of eCommerce logistics meets the consumers’ demand. Logistics in eCommerce includes the process of storing and shipping inventory for an online store. This process begins when inventory departs from the manufacturer and when it arrives at the customer’s doorstep.
For a seamless transaction, a business owner needs to consider the following:
- Location of their fulfilment centres
- Areas of their distribution hubs
- Sorting facilities
- Packaging materials
- Shipping carriers
Options for shipping and logistics information should also be integrated into the website.
6. Launch the eCommerce Website
Once the eCommerce website has been set up and built as per requirements, the next step would be to launch and go live. However, before its launch, testing must be first made to ensure that it works properly and efficiently. A good website must provide a seamless user experience, from selecting the product or server to purchasing from the online store.
Launching an eCommerce website involves working on other digital marketing strategies such as social media, SEM, email, video marketing, and other digital marketing channels to ensure the business reaches the right target audience.
What Happens After Developing an eCommerce Website?
Launching an eCommerce website is only the start of an exciting journey. An eCommerce website should be constantly maintained and updated to offer the targeted customers new promotions, products, and improvements. Use website analytics tools to learn and understand visitors’ behaviour to make improvements and provide better user experiences for users.
Overall, eCommerce website development requires meticulous planning, time, and energy. If done right, results will show very soon.