COVID-19 has rocked our world, and definitely not in the way you would expect it to.
From the start of stricter measures in March, we’ve heard of tons of businesses shuttering due to the lack of footfall. Singapore has also seen the retail sector take its biggest fall since 2016, plummeting by 13.3% since March this year.
Nevertheless, we’ve also heard of businesses springing up in these times and thriving on e-commerce. Circuit Bakers (a wordplay on the home bakers-turn-entrepreneurs) have flooded online selling platforms. Toy suppliers have been busy delivering games to kids over the May school holidays. Electronic businesses have seen sales for monitors and keyboards go up due to the need to work from home. Despite the tough times, there exist those who power through the circumstances.
If your brick and mortar business has taken a hit the past few months, perhaps it’s time to consider going digital and not just rely on walk-in customers anymore. After all, it’s not too late to advance your business! As Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said, “Those who are willing to transform will not be left behind.”
Why bring your business online?
Increasing demand from online shoppers
Three-quarters of Singapore’s population owns a smartphone. And that means they have access to the multitude of online shops. Whether it’s an online business hosted on its own website or on Carousell, Shopee, or Lazada, it’s ridiculously easy to find and buy what you need.
In fact, circuit breaker measures had a direct effect on the increase in online retail sales. Despite movement restrictions, retail’s total sales locally hit $3.3 billion in March this year, of which 8.5% ($280.5 million) came from online sales revenue from registered businesses. On Carousell alone, the number of online transactions increased by 35%.
The main reasons for the increase? People are bored while staying home and crave a sense of normalcy, of which one way is to shop online instead.
Advertising your business instead of relying on word-of-mouth
Aside from the costs saved from renting a physical space and staffing, hosting your products online can open up a lot more ways for you to play the marketing game. Online data can tell you how many people are searching for products similar to those you sell and with these data, you can better craft your advertising strategy to target them to convert – something that is hard to master offline.
On Carousell, you will be able to see
- how many times your listing has been viewed (i.e. impressions) and
- subsequently how many clicks it has gotten, which is synonymous with interested buyers.
Through tools like Bumps and Spotlight, it’ll be easier to attract potential buyers to your listing which leads directly to sales!
Getting ahead of COVID-19
Whether or not you’re selling toys, electronics, sports apparel or even if you’re providing home services, your competitors have probably already brought their business online before the coronavirus outbreak. Despite circuit breaker measures, they didn’t bear much of the grunt from these restrictions because they had already established their business digitally.
Take a page from Kien Meng, a semi-retired G-Shock watch retailer who brought this business online 5 years back.
“(When you sell online), you need to be seen to get traffic. The reviews you receive are also very important. Even in my worst month, I still make a decent five-figure income… I don’t have to pay for rental and I don’t have to pay for brick and mortar operational costs. My favourite part about selling on Carousell? The moment I open my eyes in the morning, my shop is open.”
Other brick and mortar businesses that are already selling online on Carousell include furniture store @furnituregurusingapore, electronics retailer @sinsengcomponents and renovation service providers @budgethome.
How to kickstart your business online
You can bring your brick and mortar business online in just minutes. Signing up for an account on
Carousell is extremely easy even for businesses, the whole process takes only up to 3 minutes! On other online platforms, you may need to provide more details about your business but it would still be worth it.
1 in 4 Singaporeans use Carousell and we have close to 1 million active users daily. Our highly engaged online community across multiple categories guarantees that Carousell is a great online classifieds platform to advertise any business.
CarouBiz Booster Package
To stay ahead of the game when selling on Carousell, opting for dedicated seller tools can bring your business up to speed, boosting sales by up to 4.9 times and traffic to your store by up to 30%!
If you are a merchant and looking to digitalise your business, get a one-time 90% support from Enterprise Singapore for CarouBiz Booster Package which includes a 6-month CarouBiz subscription, $480 worth of Coins (where you can use to buy ads) and two free Services/Jobs listings!
By signing up for the package, we guarantee a dedicated client success representative to advise you on your business needs and 0% commission based on your sales.
Apply here to kickstart your online business – you won’t have any regrets!