Shopify Meetup Singapore March 2018

On Tuesday 13th March, 2018, TradeGecko, Shopify and Jumpstart Commerce co-hosted the Shopify Meetup in Singapore. Special guests and industry experts discussed tips on how SMEs can optimise their online store and grow their business in 2018.

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The event was a huge success with a full house of eCommerce merchants eager to learn about the latest eCommerce trends and tips for better managing their Shopify store. TradeGecko’s Akul Dewan was the MC for the night. He kicked off the event by sharing some key facts about the audience:

  • 52% had a Shopify store
  • 16% are thinking of starting an online business
  • 18% were agencies and freelancers

Arun Verma, Country Manager and Sarah Tran, Partner Manager from Shopify

Arun and Sarah introduced themselves as the new Shopify team based in Singapore. They will be focused on driving growth in the region, by supporting and growing new merchants and partner ecosystems.

Neeta Nelson, Product Marketing Manager from TradeGecko

Neeta started her presentation by walking the audience through the TradeGecko story and how our company has grown over the last 6 years. She also went through the basic functionally of TradeGecko and how B2B businesses can benefit using TradeGecko’s inventory and order management software. In the second half of her presentation, Neeta outlined the 3 key eCommerce trends that can help businesses drive growth in 2018. These trends included:

  1. Online and offline convergence - Businesses that started off as purely online retailers are opening physical stores to support online sales. Businesses who are experimenting with popup stores, click and collect, and stocklists, are proving that physical retail is certainly not dead.
  1. The disruption of B2B eCommerce - The B2B eCommerce market has outgrown the B2C eCommerce market by 320%. We are seeing this trend of wholesalers investing in eCommerce technology to provide the same easy experience that you see with B2C.
  1. Prepare for Amazon - Amazon is taking the world by storm and has forever changed the eCommerce world. Amazon Prime is now available in Singapore and it won’t be long until the Amazon marketplace arrives, so it’s best to understand the implications and services to start experimenting when Amazon does arrive.

Jeanette Lau, Director from Jumpstart Commerce

In Jeanette’s presentation, she discussed the Shopify merchants journey and the on-going problems merchants have when they are trying to scale. Merchants seem to struggle most with marketing and growth, operations, and reporting and analysis. She also discussed tips on how eCommerce businesses should scale. These included:

  • Go Global
  • More integrations
  • Better insights
  • More customisation
  • More channels
  • More services

Ricky Jack, CEO from VYNE Digital Marketing

Ricky started his presentation by discussing the importance of having a good product. Without a good product, you can’t succeed as competition is fierce these days, especially since businesses are competing on a global scale. He then went into detail about the 4 stages of group development:

  1. Product (forming) - determine who you are and what you want to deliver
  2. Acquisition (storming) - ensure you are everywhere and wear multiple hats
  3. Operations (norming) - put your conversion rate to work and think globally
  4. Growth (performing) -  to scale you need rock solid operations

Vincent Ooi, Owner from Source Collections

Vincent shared how he started his company Source Collections and how he has grown his business in Singapore over the last few years. He is a Shopify merchant and has had huge success selling online. Source Collections is a recognisable brand in Singapore, they don’t only produce clothing for men and women, they also ensure their clothing is eco-friendly and creates less pollution.

Victor Lee, Owner from Falcon PEV

In Victor’s presentation, he shared stories of how he started his company Falcon PEV. Falcon PEV was established in Singapore, in 2013. They produce electric scooters and bicycles, which sell through multiple sales channels, including online through their Shopify eCommerce store, and to wholesalers through TradeGecko’s B2B eCommerce store. By integrating their Shopify store with TradeGecko’s platform, Victor is able to centralise his business operations in one place. Victor also discussed how TradeGecko Payments has allowed him to get paid faster from his customers.

Akul rounded out the night with a panel discussion with all the key sponsor presenters: Sarah, Neeta, Arun, Janette and Ricky. Key findings from the panel discussion included:

  • Most eCommerce jobs will be automated in the next 2-3 years. This includes marketing your website and your products, pricing your products, the checkout and fulfilment process, and more. What will be the biggest differentiator then, is the story behind the products. Arun and Ricky pressed hard that founders need to dig deeper into what they are selling, why they love what they sell, and why they are selling it.
  • While Singapore is a great place to start a business, it can be a challenging place to grow a business. eCommerce store owners should look at a global strategy as one of their growth pillars quite early in their business journey.
  • Shopify is looking at Singapore as a key market and is open to feedback from merchants, partners and more.

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Singapore for the Shopify Meetup, we look forward to seeing you at the next event. Please keep an eye on our events page for future details and registration links.

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