SingTel, a major Singapore-based telecomm conglomerate, has just announced that it will offer Shopify’s e-commerce solution in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India. Available from S$17 (US$13.46) per month, the solution is an easy and affordable way for individuals and SMEs to set up beautiful online shops within minutes and accept secure credit card payments for goods and services.
What does the partnership entail? SingTel will be working with payment providers in each country to enable transactions in local currencies by September 2013. What this means for merchants is that they will be able to streamline their order fulfillment process and enjoy attractive shipping rates in the coming months. They will also be able to enjoy local hotline technical support 24/7.
To help merchants with their online marketing efforts and enhance the functionality of their storefronts, SingTel will also offer a range of optional services such as search engine marketing, social network integration, inventory management and email marketing capabilities. The pricing of these services is still unclear.
With the recent e-commerce boom in Southeast Asia, it was only a matter of time before players like Shopify enter the scene. With Shopify’s web-based solution, digital storefronts can be set up and ready for business with a few clicks of the mouse. Merchants can customize their online storefronts, keep track of orders and manage customer data via a web browser.
Of course, this also means that Livejournal will have to compete head on with Shopify. Many of the local blogshops are based on the international blogging platform. For many of these local merchants here in Singapore, getting a simple platform to display their items and reach out to customers free of charge has proved to be rather lucrative. One example would be a couple who earned some S$30,000 monthly revenue (US$23,758) with their blogshop. Shopify is definitely eyeing this slice of the e-commerce pie in Singapore, with the backing of SingTel.
And this would probably explain Shopify’s discreet meetup for its users tomorrow here in Singapore.