Singapore

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Payments

Domestic and Preferred Card Schemes

TBD

Alternative Payment Methods

TBD

Other Payment Methods

TBD

Digital Invoicing

TBD

Customer Experience

TBD

Payments Regulation

TBD

Local entities

TBD

Mobile payments

TBD

Logistics

Singapore is recognised as a leading logistics hub, renowned for its world-class port infrastructure, efficient customs and excellent connectivity. To meet the growing and ever-changing demands of supply chain customers, logistics companies in Singapore are looking beyond freight, warehousing and transportation to offer specialised logistics with capabilities in the marine, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and perishables sectors. [1]

Lack of warehouse readiness. Outside of Singapore and Thailand, warehouse capacity has not kept pace with economic growth. In addition, investment in automation is sometimes insufficient and online players struggle to meet logistics players’ volume requirements. Inefficient last mile delivery. Last mile delivery is particularly crucial in a region where cash-on-delivery is so common. However, ASEAN logistics companies are still familiarizing themselves with it and need further refinements in their processes to suit e-commerce. For example, local post office operators find that they are often not able to meet retailers’ and consumers’ expectations. Inconsistent and time-consuming customs. Import duties vary widely among countries, which hampers the regionwide e-commerce market and consumer adoption. For example, in Singapore, goods valued at less than 400 Singapore dollars (about $300) are shipped duty-free, while in Malaysia the limit is 500 ringgit (about $140). Limits, VAT, and duties also differ for different product types (see figure 17 on page 19). For a $100 dress purchased from an ASEAN country, a digital buyer would have to pay an additional one-third of the dress price in duties and taxes in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. If the dress has to be returned, reclaiming import duties would either be impossible or overly expensive. In some countries, importing certain product categories also requires import permits. [2]

Current picture Logistics and trade in ASEAN today do not seem to meet shoppers’ expectations. Almost half of Singaporeans say delivery is the main reason why they do not buy online, according to a study by the tech blog SGE (now part of Tech in Asia). A relatively small share of ASEAN online shoppers in the Vela Asia Online Shopper Survey in August 2013 said that they received free delivery in the previous year, indicating that logistics costs are too high for many players, who end up passing the costs on to consumers (see figure 15). [3]

Infrastructure

TBD

Import Duties

TBD

Marketing

Singapore is a promising ecommerce market for U.S. retailers looking to sell abroad, according to a report released today from Borderfree, a market leader in international cross-border ecommerce solutions. The report, part of Borderfree’s series of intelligence pieces on high-interest markets for ecommerce touts Singapore as a “very attractive” market for cross-border ecommerce thanks to the highest disposable income per household in Asia, a large population of expatriates, a thriving economy and shoppers’ familiarity with global brands.

Buying online from foreign retailers is ingrained in Singapore’s shopping culture, with shoppers spending more than 50 percent of their online dollars across borders.[1] Borderfree ranks Singapore as the fifth largest market by sales volume, with shoppers spending an average of $223 U.S. dollars per order with retailers on the Borderfree platform in 2014. [4]

Key to successfully targeting the Singapore market is understanding its demographics and shoppers’ unique preferences. Data in Borderfree’s report paints a picture of the average online Singaporean shopper and how they like to shop:

Eighty-seven percent of the population use Internet and 82 percent use smartphones, among the highest in Asia. Three hours and three minutes is the average time per day a Singaporean spends using the Internet with peak shopping hours during 10:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. local time. Expenses for personal appearance-related purchases top out at $3,533 per year, trumping a $1,780 figure from the U.S. The 20-64 year old population has 2.7 credit cards per adult with 80 percent preferring credit as a payment method.[5]

Singapore is a promising ecommerce market for U.S. retailers looking to sell abroad, according to a report released today from Borderfree, a market leader in international cross-border ecommerce solutions. The report, part of Borderfree’s series of intelligence pieces on high-interest markets for ecommerce touts Singapore as a “very attractive” market for cross-border ecommerce thanks to the highest disposable income per household in Asia, a large population of expatriates, a thriving economy and shoppers’ familiarity with global brands.

Buying online from foreign retailers is ingrained in Singapore’s shopping culture, with shoppers spending more than 50 percent of their online dollars across borders.[1] Borderfree ranks Singapore as the fifth largest market by sales volume, with shoppers spending an average of $223 U.S. dollars per order with retailers on the Borderfree platform in 2014. [6]

Shoppers

TBD

Social Media

TBD

Major shopping categories

TBD

Major retail holidays

TBD

Legal / Regulatory

Licensing Requirements for E-Retailers

For regulatory purposes, Internet content in Singapore is considered to be broadcast media content and therefore it falls under the purview of the Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA). Under the Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA) Act, all licensable broadcasting services, including computer online services provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Internet Content Providers (ICPs) must be licensed. Certain persons are considered to be automatically licensed i.e. “class licensees” without the need for them to make a separate license application. This includes e-commerce website owners. Furthermore, Internet Content Providers (ICPs) are required to register with the Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA) if their website promotes political or religious causes or if they sell online newspapers in Singapore.

Regulation of Internet Content

All class licensees, including e-merchants, are legally bound to comply with the Internet Code of Practice that prohibits the broadcast of materials that are considered objectionable on grounds of public morality, public order, public interest and public security or materials that are otherwise prohibited under Singapore law. How about ICPs that are located outside Singapore and are therefore providing content from outside Singapore but are accessible by users in Singapore over the Internet? Are these ICPs regulated by the class license scheme and are they bound by the Internet Code of Practice? The answer is that the SBA does not claim to have an extra-territorial jurisdiction over content providers that are not based in Singapore. In other words, the class licensing scheme and Internet Code of Practice is limited to only local ICPs. Therefore, if your servers are located outside Singapore, you are not covered by SBA.

Regulation of Online Business Activities

Depending on the type of products or services that you are offering online, you might be subject to the rules and regulations that currently apply to the physical provision of those goods and services. Some examples include the following:

E-retailing of second hand goods

E-merchants selling second hand goods online will be covered by the Second Hand Dealers Act, which mandates that every person dealing in secondhand goods (with certain exceptions as listed under Schedule 2 of the Act) be licensed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police. These regulations are designed to prevent the sale of stolen goods. Online promotional activities: Depending upon the type of promotional activity that a website operator conducts, (s)he may be required to comply with the provisions set out in the Common Gaming Housing Act and the Public Entertainment Act.

Web advertising

The web advertisement of certain products such as medicines, alcohol, and even financial services and products should not breach any statutory marketing restrictions or advertisement regulations that may be applicable to that particular product. Furthermore, online ads must generally comply with a) the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice and b) advertising guidelines issued by the Singapore Broadcasting Authority (where applicable). As regards spamming, although there is no specific legislation in Singapore, spammers may be liable to prosecution under the Computer Misuse Act. In addition, as a website operator you must also be aware of the Consumer Protection (Trade Descriptions and Safety Requirements) Act that prohibits misdescriptions and prescribes certain specific requirements relating to any trade description of goods sold in Singapore. [7]

FX Policies

TBD

Technology

TBD

Security

TBD

Mobile appetite

TBD

References

  1. Spring Singapore "Developing Industries."
  2. AT Kearney "Lifting the Barriers to ECommerce in ASEAN."
  3. AT Kearney "Lifting the Barriers to ECommerce in ASEAN."
  4. Borderfree. "Singapore Ranked As a Top Market for Cross-Border ECommerce."
  5. Borderfree. "Singapore Ranked As a Top Market for Cross-Border ECommerce."
  6. Borderfree. "Singapore Ranked As a Top Market for Cross-Border ECommerce."
  7. Guide Me Singapore. "Singapore ECommerce Law."