3 local e-commerce services firms bag $100,000 deal under IE Singapore initiative

SINGAPORE - An alliance of three e-commerce services companies has clinched its first deal in South-east Asia worth S$100,000, as part of a new initiative by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore to help such small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) band together to offer services to the region's e-commerce market.

The deal - won by Shopmatic, Red Dot Payment and iCommerce Asia - is part of IE Singapore's broader efforts to develop a network of Singapore e-commerce companies, which will offer complementary services to the burgeoning South-east Asia e-commerce market, estimated to be valued at S$120 billion by 2025 by market researcher Euromonitor.

IE Singapore - the government agency which partners local enterprises to help them go global - is assisting in creating partnerships, which bring together different companies offering complementary solutions, aimed at capturing opportunities in the region.

As part of the initiative, IE Singapore says it is working with Shopmatic and Octopus Retail Management - a company offering front and back-end solutions for merchants in the retail and F&B industry - to develop an integrated online-to-offline (O2O) e-commerce solution targeting O2O retailers in India.

O2O refers to customers who are driven to make offline purchases in addition to their online ones.

Lee Yee Fung, group director of the Lifestyle Business Group at IE Singapore, said: "The e-commerce landscape today is highly competitive, where the concept of 'platform business models' is increasingly common."

IE Singapore says e-commerce companies need to offer "strong and unique value propositions" to stay relevant with rising competition, and is encouraging more companies with different e-commerce solutions to come forth and form alliances to respond to the fast-changing landscape.

The agency will conduct business missions to India, Indonesia, South Korea, Latin America and Vietnam in 2018 to help Singapore companies deepen their understanding of the local e-commerce landscapes, and will organise discussions in November to help them better understand challenges faced by small and medium enterprises in regional e-commerce projects.

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