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.
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”.
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.