Singapore-based cloud e-commerce solutions provider CommGate is working with SPRING Singapore to help SMEs — retailers, wholesalers, distribution and trading businesses — go online.

The Capability Development Grant (CDG) will enable eligible retailers and sellers to receive up to 70 per cent subsidy off CommGate’s solution implementation cost.

The entire product currently costs about S$43,000 (US$31,100). So by leveraging on this initiative, SMEs can expect to pay only around S$13,000 (US$9,405). The operational costs after the pilot (12 months later) will be S$700 (US$506) per month.

What CommGate offers is an omnichannel cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution.

It features inventory management, CRM, sales and purchase management, invoicing and delivery management, warehouse management. It is also fully integrated with accounting systems, and offers pre-configured reports and analytics to perform demand planning.

“They [offline retailers] will have the capability to sell on Lazada and Qoo10, and at the same time, update their inventories. Our systems allow retailers to use their POS and update inventory centrally across all retail channels,” said Moonshi Mohsenruddin, Founder and CEO of CommGate.

Mohsenruddin said CommGate’s work with SPRING Singapore is a part of an effort to transform itself from an IT consulting company to a product company.

He added that CommGate will integrate its first 10 customers’ requirements into its product development roadmap. This allows CommGate to build its product according to the demands of the market and allow subsequent clients to integrate the solution quickly without many tweaks.

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Singapore’s offline retail industry is going through a slump. Once-popular shopping malls such as Raffles Place are seeing a drop in footfall, causing shops to be shuttered.

Part of this trend can be attributed to the rise in e-commerce spending. Last year, a survey by PwC said that 60 per cent of consumers in Singapore bought items online at least once a month.

With e-commerce portals like Zalora and Lazada undercutting offline retailers with frequent sales/bargains and free delivery, it is not difficult to see why e-commerce has an edge over physical stores.

On the other hand, more consumers still prefer the experience of  shopping at physical stores. So if retailers can optimise their sales channels both offline and online, they stand to grab a larger market share.

Image Credit: CommGate