Any businesses planning entry into Asia Pacific should seriously consider starting in Singapore.
As a thriving financial, shipping, and trade hub with a pro-business government, Singapore offers world-class connectivity to a region with budding economic potential.
Sitting within a six-hour radius of any South East Asian country, Singapore is experiencing a boom in cross-border trade and consumption. It offers a secure, highly efficient logistics and supply chain hub for businesses looking to break into the region and in 2020 imported more than £4 billion worth of goods and services from the UK alone (ONS 2021).
Getting the lay of the land
After setting up your core channels there are a variety of logistical challenged you will need to overcome, ranging from fulfilment and cross border deliveries to returns management.
Delivery is still a key pain point for consumers in South East Asia due to its diverse geographies and customs systems. Take the time to conduct thorough research and develop a good of the challenges this may present.
You then need to decide where to stock your products and identify the solutions you need to service your customers.
Ask yourself, “what channels am I sitting on?”, “what type of product am I selling?”, “what is the profile and average order of that product?” and “what are the transit times?” These are the key criteria you need to consider when choosing the right delivery partner.
Choosing the right delivery option
Look at options for delivery duty paid (DDP) shipping. This a type of delivery where the seller takes responsibility for all risks and fees until goods reach their destination and can play an important part in delivering a good customer experience.
Another option to consider is cash on deliver (COD), where payment is made on delivery rather than in advance. COD is incredibly popular in the region as many consumers still lack trust in supply chains. They want to see their purchases before paying, to ensure products are genuine and what they actually ordered.
If you are just starting out and haven’t built trust with these consumers yet, offering a cash on delivery option could be the key to making them transact so it is advisable to look for partners who can offer this.
Ensure everything is connected
Carefully consider how you link your sales channels you’re your logistics and warehouse. This is very important as ensuring smooth deliveries is vital for building trust with consumers and encouraging repeat sales.
This largely comes down town to the tech you use, so identifying the required IT solutions for connecting your marketplace, social channel or website is essential.