How to set up your E-commerce business in Singapore

How to set up your E-commerce business in Singapore

How to set up your E-commerce business in Singapore

Among the leading destinations in Southeast Asia for online retail, Singapore has a flourishing market due to its stable economic growth, high Internet penetration, and growing number of smartphone users. With among the leading Internet penetration in Asian economies at 82%, the E-commerce market is expected to grow to a value of USD 5.4 billion by the year 2025.

The E-commerce industry in Singapore is dominated by local companies. Among the top 10 E-commerce players, 7 of them are local companies with popular names including Qoo10, Lazada, and Zalora. As an online retailer looking to penetrate the lucrative Ecommerce Singapore market, you must follow the right steps in setting up your E-commerce business and devise the right marketing channel to sell your products.

This article outlines the steps you need to follow to start an online E-commerce business in Singapore and run it successfully.

Step 1: Market research and product planning

The first step in starting your E-commerce business in Singapore is to decide what products or services you want to sell, along with identifying the potential customers you want to target. Make a list of products or product lines that offer the best value to online customers in Singapore and help you make the initial sales. The most common products sold through online retail in Singapore include:

  • Consumer electronics such as cameras, scanners, and wireless devices
  • Computer hardware and software
  • Books
  • Fashion clothing and accessories
  • Beauty and health products

Along with the market research, perform an analysis of how you are going to manage the cash flows, and identify cost factors such as operating and start-up costs.

Once you are done with the product planning, start analysing your main competitor for your specific product line in the Singaporean market. Plan on how you want to price your product and position your product brand to stand out in the overall marketplace.

Step 2: Market regulations and taxes

As a business owner, you must be aware of all the laws and regulatory framework of running a business enterprise in Singapore. Get yourself educated on the risk factors of owning a business in Singapore, as well as of any tax benefits that can help in your business revenues and funding.

Step 3: Company incorporation

The next step is to incorporate your business in Singapore and start with your retail operations. Incorporating your business as a private limited company offers many business benefits including limited liability, credibility, tax incentives, along with quicker and speedier process of company registration.

Step 4: Business model

After company incorporation, the final and most important step is to decide on the business model to be followed to generate good online sales in Singapore. You need to develop the right IT infrastructure to ensure the marketing and delivery of your products to retail customers in Singapore. Building the right infrastructure typically comprises of:

  • Website registration, which comprises of registering a website domain for your E-commerce company.
  • Website design, which comprises of selecting the right E-commerce platform to host your domain, along with designing your website with E-commerce-related components including shopping carts, product catalogues, payment procedure, and checkout process.
  • Website marketing, which comprises of all activities done to attract online customers to your website. This typically including building relevant online content and improving the website ranking on Google or any other search engine.

Along with selling on the E-commerce website, online retailers can kickstart their E-commerce business in Singapore by also selling their products or services on popular marketplaces like Lazada and Zalora, which cater to the online fashion segment. Most successful marketplaces, despite the steep commissions they charge to the retail vendors, improve the visibility and brand loyalty of the retail products, while reducing the initial investment and promotional costs of the brand.


To build an E-commerce business in Singapore, online retailers are best recommended to follow a business model strategy that combines the market reach and visibility of the marketplace with the brand equity and revenues of your own E-commerce website.


Planning to set up your e-commerce business in Singapore? We can help.

Ace Turtle
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