Shopify Singapore invited local merchants to their annual Singapore Ecommerce Day to share some great news. While there were about 200 attendees at the event, there were a few that could not be present. So if you missed the event or want to understand what running a Shopify store in Singapore is all about, read on.
Singapore’s Go Digital Program pre-approved Shopify
Probably the main reason why most merchants were excited to attend the event last Saturday was that the Shopify team shared the details on the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSD) and how to apply to get a discount of 70% on Shopify plans (Advanced and Plus) – up to USD$ 5600 annually.
But there were even more updates that folks in Singapore were looking out for:
- Shopify further localized their product – it now offers the merchant-facing Shopify admin in simplified and traditional Chinese
- A curated app collection for Singapore with useful apps for Shopify businesses based in Singapore
Read more about applying for the Productivity Solutions Grant with Shopify and its requirements here.
The current state of Shopify merchants in Singapore
The Ecommerce Day is traditionally for new merchants starting out with Shopify – and the topics and discussions were aligned with the same.
While rumor has it that 50% of Singaporean merchants are dropshippers, the event actually saw nobody referring to that business model. Attendees were instead interested in strategizing how they could bring their offline brand online, how they could expand their current online store or how they could develop and test a product in their target market using Shopify.
Following a comprehensive agenda, the highlight of the event was when three successful entrepreneurs took the stage and spoke about their journey to share success and lessoned-learned with the audience.
Christabel Chua (Founder, kāi)
The Founder of kāi, a Shopify store about fruit poaches and an Instagram star herself, Bel talked about her struggles in finding a proper manufacturer, which took her 2 to 3 years eventually. She stated two key factors for success – the quality of products you deliver and your social media audience.
“On Social media: Be consistent and engage your audience.”
Priscilla Tan (Founder, Sojao)
Priscilla always held the dream of building her own business and motivated fellow entrepreneurs with her story of starting a brand around ethical sustainability and luxury bedding that is actually 100% organic cotton – and not just a marketing gimmick.
Visakan Veerasamy aka Visa (Founder, Statement.sg)
Singled out at school and having faced life challenges alone, Visa found his calling and started out his own Shopify store. He spoke about how he didn’t really have a strategy to hit success. He simply did stuff he liked and iteratively tested a lot on his products. He came down to selling t-shirts by testing how many likes the product would get on Facebook; once he knew the market wanted it, he started selling them.
“You know, my strategy is not having a strategy.”
– Visa, statement.sg
And of course, Shopify knew how to even top it and invited successful Shopify entrepreneurs Wouter Muis, the Co-Founder and CMO of Bundies, and Fabio Miceli, the Founder of Sonno together with speaker Visa on the panel to answer all pressing questions from attendees on how to build brands online, that further instilled positivity and brought helpfulness in the community seen at the event.
Knowledge sharing at the core of Shopify
On top of success stories and practical advice from other merchants, Shopify made sure to also bring thought leaders on stage to help attending merchants with the most typical questions when you start out your Shopify store: Conversion, and Facebook ads.
JJ Tan (Director, 360 & 5)
As the Director of a reputed Shopify agency, JJ Tan took the stage to share his knowledge on the importance of user experience to drive more conversions. His presentation included a number of case studies that represented the impact of changing or improving different aspects of the Shopify store, like the product pages.
Rich Burns (CEO, ROAS Media)
The CEO of ROAS Media, Rich Burns got on stage to get everyone to do some number crunching. He walked the attendees through how their stores need to perform in terms of conversion rates and what Facebook ad metrics to shoot for.
On being questioned why a store would possibly spend 50% to a third of revenue on ad spend to achieve 2-3x ROAS, he answered simply. First, based on the niche of the store, say cosmetics, one has the margins to do that. Second, one has to consider the customer LTV, post-purchase upsells, word of mouth/social referrals.
He also stated that not understanding the importance of Facebook ads, not knowing what ratios to target, many Shopify stores are wasting their money. There are also those who never get started with the growth strategy.
Kush Sagar (Facebook)
Facebook Ads were such a big topic, that the event also had Kush from Facebook step in. He explained the current and soon-to-come features that would help merchants to sell outside of Singapore. Some of the notable features being turning dynamic catalogs into localized ads – all within one campaign instead of creating multiple ones as before.
Dynamic Language Optimization allows advertising in different languages via only one campaign and product catalog.
We had a great time
And of course, we had a great time and would like to say thank you to the whole Shopify Singapore team for inviting us, especially Sarah for organizing the event.
We were also excited to meet our friends and partners Xavier and Jeanette, from Jumpstart commerce. The only Singapore-based Shopify Plus agency also joined the event. With offices all over the SEA region, the duo mingled with everyone – right from the Shopify team to partners and merchants. Knowing everyone in the room, they also helped attendees with introductions that would now be lasting relationships.
Well, that’s all we got to share with you from the Singapore eCommerce Day 2019 hosted by Shopify.
Let us know which event you will be at next. We would love to meet you in person!
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