300 Ideas. 12 Cities. 1 Stage. APPLY your startup for Echelon 2014 TODAY!Organizing an event? Share it with Asia's tech community on e27!Change the world! Over 200 tech industry jobs in Asia and growing
Business  13, Dec 2013

Is Omigo the e-commerce site of SingPost? We think so

By

With Omigo.com.sg going live, SingPost is in a power position in the e-commerce space where it can control distribution and even impact prices

One of the biggest and fastest growing sectors in Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia now is undeniably e-commerce. Companies – big and small – are getting serious financial injections in a battle for the growing e-commerce pie.

Most recently, Rocket Internet’s Zalora raised another US$ 112 million in funding, bringing its total funding this year to US$ 212 million. This sends a strong signal from investors and Rocket Internet is bullish in the e-commerce space. Companies like Japan’s Rakuten and China’s Taobao are also setting up a base in Singapore.

Of course, how could local players lose out in the e-commerce land grab? Most notably, Singapore Post (SingPost) — associate company of Singapore Telecommunications and Singapore’s designated Public Postal Licensee — has announced publicly that it has branched out into e-store creation and management as part of an expanded strategy to capture a bigger slice of the e-commerce pie.

While the announcement to foray into e-commerce was made earlier in November this year, there was no announcement of its dedicated e-commerce website. What we knew is that Adidas, a global apparel brand, is SingPost’s first customer, where the latter is creating the online store for Adiads and is managing the whole shopping experience — from digital marketing to shipping and customer care.

However, we came across a new e-commerce platform, which might just be SingPost’s very own e-commerce answer to the other players in the vertical: Omigo.

Omigo claims to provide shoppers with the widest range of products at the best prices in Singapore. The product categories carried on Omigo include mobile phones, tablets, cameras, computers, audio and video, as well as home appliances. Currently, there are over 7,000 products from over 500 brands featured on Omigo.

As a comparison, Zalora Singapore claims to have over 50,000 products on its website, and we counted 16,260 items listed on Rakuten Singapore website.

Let’s take a closer look at Omigo’s website. When you first land on the website, there’s a pop up prompting you to sign up and subscribe to Omigo. The pop up says that Omigo is powered by SingPost:

On the main site, Omigo’s tagline states: “Your One Stop Online Shopping Destination by Singapore Post”. The footer too suggests that the Site is “Powered by Singpost Ecommerce Pte Ltd”.

The site’s Privacy Policy, states that “SingPost Ecommerce Pte. Ltd., part of the Singapore Post Limited group of companies, is the owner of the Omigo brand, and operates the on-line brand store Omigo”.

We are inclined to believe that Omigo is indeed the SingPost’s response to all the e-commerce land grab by the Chinese, Japanese and Germans.

In the playing field, Omigo has a certain edge over other players in the market owing to its control over a vast distribution channel. With an established collection and distribution network — post offices and mail collection boxes — and a strong delivery fleet, SingPost can easily tweak its delivery timing to best suit the needs of Omigo customers. For example, if there are a majority of Omigo customers who are looking at a collection timing after working hours, SingPost can definitely work around that request.

Given that Singapore Post is an associate company of SingTel, one of the main telcos in Singapore, it would be relatively easier for Omigo to strike any partnership or advertising deal with the mobile service provider, which we expect to see soon in the coming months. The association may also help Omigo provide a free consignment tracking mechanism to customers through SMSes.

Omigo definitely has an edge on controlling its delivery charges too, which can be cheaper than competition. As Zalora and Rakuten depend on SingPost itself on delivery to a great extent, we would not be surprised if these players start managing the delivery in-house or outsource it to some other logistics company.

Omigo currently ships and delivers to customers in Singapore only, and if the bill is than $99, one can enjoy free delivery too.

With Omigo in the fray, we definitely expect more competition in the e-commerce space with price reductions, bigger discounts and intense merchant acquisitions by the different players.

Read also: Online store Rakuten brings all things Japanese to Singapore

associate company of Singapore Telecommunications Limited[1] and Singapore‘s designated Public Postal Licensee

Jacky Yap

Jacky Yap

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

Work for a Startup

iOS developer
A_shakehand
Mobile Adv Platform Co-Founder
A_shakehand
Software developer for wealth management startup
Mesitis
Software Engineer
Ninja Van
Software Tester
GlassesOnline