Singapore - Country Commercial Guide
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Singapore’s eCommerce landscape is growing fast, helped by its pervasive, ultra‐high speed, and trusted ICT infrastructure, tech savvy population, and the government’s dedication in embracing the digital economy and achieving its goal of becoming a Smart Nation. The Singapore government actively supports companies in leveraging IT to develop and expand their businesses. 

The Singaporean eCommerce market’s gross merchandise volume surged to US$8.2 billion in 2022, and projections indicate a climb to US$11 billion by 2025. Computer and telecommunications equipment commanded a notable 47.4 percent of online sales in 2022, while furniture and household equipment secured a 30 percent share. Other major eCommerce product categories include fashion, food, cosmetics and personal care, and toys.

With a total of 3.51 million e-commerce users in Singapore, a 2022 survey found that the largest share of cross-border online shoppers was between 55 and 64 years old, constituting at 24% of the total. In contrast, the younger demographic of 18 to 24 years old accounts only 13% of cross-border e-commerce users. Furthermore, a report published by PPRO showed that 62% of cross-border eCommerce in Singapore was from China.

There are many local fulfilment centers in Singapore including uParcel, iStoreiSend, ezyCommerce, Allsome, WhiteBox and SP eCommerce that provide full service end-to-end managed eCommerce solutions. Situated at the crossroads of international shipping and air routes, Singapore is a center for transportation and communication in Southeast Asia.  Singapore’s Changi Airport has established itself as a major aviation hub in the Asia Pacific region.  Singapore is also a leading international maritime center, connected to 600 ports in over 120 countries. Singapore’s well-developed logistics and infrastructure network has attracted major international logistics companies such as FedEx, UPS and DHL to locate major hubs in Singapore. Singapore has established itself as the best-equipped eCommerce market in Southeast Asia. However, the high logistical costs is the most pressing challenge faced by Singapore enterprises in conducting cross-border eCommerce in Asia Pacific.

U.S. companies entering the market will face fierce competition and the market size is relatively small compared to other countries in the region although Average Revenue Per Unit (ARPU) is the highest in the region. 

A major eCommerce event in Singapore, eCommerce Expo Asia will take place in Singapore from October 11-12, 2023.

Local eCommerce Sales Rules and Regulations

The Singapore government has strengthened statutes and regulations to boost consumer confidence in eCommerce.  U.S. firms interested in doing business in Singapore should be aware of the following regulations and laws:

Electronic Transactions Act

Sale of Goods Act

Misrepresentation Act

Computers Misuse Act

Copyright Act

Trade Marks Act

Personal Data Protection Act

Consumer Behavior

A study reveals that consumers in Southeast Asia have entered a new phase of development post-pandemic, which is marked by integrated shopping experience both online and offline. While there are some recoveries for offline shopping, online platforms remain important as consumers are also getting more familiar with online platform and the occurrence of frequent flash sales.

ECommerce offers unparalleled convenience and accessibility with wide choices of payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, digital wallets, buy now pay later (BNPL) solutions, and provided a greater variety of product categories available online. About 81 percent of e-payment users indicated that they used e-payment transactions to pay for online purchases. “Livestreaming” is also gaining traction on eCommerce platforms as livestreaming allows people to stay engaged and get a realistic view of the product’s features, functionality and overall quality before making a purchase.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, Whatsapp, etc. also contributed to the rise in e-commerce adoption as social commerce allows consumers to shop from the comfort of their own homes, and enjoy a frictionless process from product discovery to purchase. Social commerce has become one of the most preferred shopping channels in the region and is expected to be a key contributor to Southeast Asia’s digital economy growth. There was, however, a corresponding rise in online scams, and cyber threats. In 2022, eCommerce scam cases spiked to 4762 thousand cases from 2729 thousand cases the previous year.

U.S. companies interested in selling online to Singaporean and ASEAN markets may wish to join a major ecommerce event in Singapore, eCommerce Expo Asia, which will take place in Singapore on October 11-12, 2023 at the Singapore Marina Bay Sands.  Popular commercial eCommerce sites in Singapore include Amazon, Lazada, Qoo10, Carousell, Shopee, E-bay, EZbuy, Zalora, Taobao, TikTok Shopand Zaful.