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Why Every Singapore Business Should Capitalize on e-Commerce NOW?

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Shopping has been dubbed as the national sport of Singapore.
Yet penetration of online shopping here is very low, compared to even lesser developed economies.
While some would call the island geography of the state as the reason for it but, being one of the most advanced marketplaces in the world, Singapore has got no excuse to take the digital space non-seriously.
If you are a local business operator at Singapore, now is the time to act and start offering e-commerce to your customers.
Here’s why:

1. Growing Online Shoppers:

Source: Statista 2018

The number of people connected to the internet is growing every minute and it is natural that their shopping behaviors are going to be affected by it.
The number of online shoppers has increased steadily as shown over the last few years and is expected to touch 4.4 million users by 2021.
The Ministry of Communications and Information also admits that ‘e-commerce would make up 6.7 percent of all retail here, triple that of the 2.1 percent figure in 2016.’

The revenues through online shopping are also predicted to double up from a $4 billion to $8 billion by 2021. If this does not make you want to get your stuff online, nothing will.


Source: Statista 2018

2. Knowing your Market:

E-commerce lets you have insights into your operations and sales. Being able to analyze your markets is necessary to take targeted action to increase sales.
E-commerce not just lets your customers access your product/service easily, it automatically collects and compiles data which can be used to focus better on sections of your market geographically or demographically. Like, e.g. If I see a scope for growth of customer base from the Western region for my shoe startup, I would want my strategy to shift from a holistic approach to this particular area.
This also comes in handy while planning and strategizing your future.

3. Understanding your Customer:

Knowing your customer has always been a tricky road since traditional times. But with e-commerce, you get that easy.
When users visit your website or launch your app, you can have insights into how much time they spent on it, what part did they spend the most time on, etc.
While providing your customers a more personalized service by having them log onto your app or website, you can enhance their experience with your brand manifold.

4. Greater Revenues:

E-commerce offers an opportunity to widen your customer base by transcending physical barriers. Making your service or customers access to a larger audience is one way of growing your business. Because in the end aren’t we all trying to make our books profitable?
By 2021, the over 4 million online shoppers are expected to be spending over $1700 on e-commerce. The time is ripe, the competition is still low and there is a huge scope for growth.
Now the question remains will your business be one of the enterprises to benefit from this or not?

If you are looking for making your startup go digital by having an app or website, contact us for a free consultation on it.

Why Fintech is the Buzzword in Singapore?

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Fintech or Financial technology is the use of technology in designing and delivering financial products or services faster and cheaper.

According to a LinkedIn report, 10% of Singapore’s startups are in the FinTech arena, making fintech the buzzword for the city-state.

Singapore also recently organized the world’s largest FinTech Festival which was attended by a host of dignitaries from around the world like heads of states Justin Trudeau (Canada), Narendra Modi (India) and institution heads like Christine Lagarde (IMF) among others, where it was agreed that FinTech is the future of finance.

“A new wind of digitalization is blowing and money itself is changing. We expect it to become more convenient and user-friendly, perhaps even less serious-looking.”- Christine Lagarde

FinTech has also allowed commerce to transcend physical boundaries with minimal or no currency conversion fees, this report by AsiaOne is an example.

Like any field, economic activity and finance are also being revolutionized by digitization. We are not only seeing economic processes being automated, but the shrinking role of cash and newer forms of currency are challenging the way we transact business.

Singapore with its unique demography is just the best mushrooming ground for FinTech startups and here’s why:

The rise of Mobile and Mobile Apps

Not only are organizations aware of the fact that mobile is the future of everything but are also investing in various mobile apps which offer FinTech solutions.

applifyblog_fintech                                                                                                                                 Image source: LinkedIn
Here are some examples:
Singapore based ‘fastacash’ provides a global social payments platform which allows users to transfer money along with photos, messages or videos, through the social network via a secure link.

MoolahSense, Singapore’s first crowd-financing platform aims to connect established businesses seeking loans for capital expansion, purchases or other needs to the investor community.

TOAST is a Peer 2 Peer money transfer app that allows people in Singapore, Hong Kong to remit money back home directly from a smartphone without the need for banks.

These are just a few from the ever-growing list.

As cash-based transactions are decreasing daily, enterprises in Singapore are opting to have their business run through an app. If you want that for your business too, you can refer to my blog A 4 step guide to choose the best app developer in Singapore for this.

With options of API integration, biometric authentication, and higher flexibility, mobile apps have become the platform for flourishing fintech space.

Fintech has served a lot of purposes: It has helped to make digital transactions faster, less cost-intensive and above all transparent.

While we can’t say for sure if the era of Fintech apps will make banks obsolete completely in the future, but we surely believe that FinTech is here to say and the time is ripe to make forays into the sphere.

 

DAPPS: All You Wanted To Know(And Should)

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blog_applify_dapps
What are DApps?
In 2016-17 cryptocurrencies kicked up a storm, bringing Blockchain technology to the forefront.
DApps or De-centralised apps are the application which is based on this Blockchain.
Nobody owns them, yet everybody governs them!
Find out more in this infographic we made for you.

Choosing The Best App Developer in Singapore: A 4 Step Guide

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applify_blog

Businesses these days are increasingly going digital. Be it the store selling ‘bak kwa’ at the corner of your street or a big real estate firm, everyone has a mobile app for its customers and is no longer meant only for large-scale organizations.
Mobile apps have significant advantages over a website because they increase customer engagement manifold and create a lasting impact.
For a market like Singapore, which has among the highest internet penetration rates in South East Asia, having a strong digital footprint is even more important for businesses. And having an app is one sure way ahead. Applify_BlogSingapore
While choosing any app development company for your business, it is important to keep certain things in mind that ensure a smooth sailing experience for you.
We are putting together a 4 step guide for choosing among the various app developers in Singapore.

Step1: Decide

applify_blog

Your project can either be only a development one, a design and development one or a complete solution involving strategy, launch, post-launch, and maintenance. So, shortlist companies based on the preferences of your project. Not all companies offer end to end solutions. Do you just want development? Or the strategy too?
Do you want your app for Android, iOS or both? Singapore has over 55% Android users but a significant population uses iOS too, so it is suggested that you build your app for both platforms.
(Source: http://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/mobile/singapore)

Step 2: Assess Credibility

applify_blogClutch.co lists thousands of app development companies and sorts them according to your need- by platform, by vertical or by location.
! In projects that require intensive development, it might be better to avoid freelancers. One-man armies generally might not possess the level of expertise needed for all the functions especially when it entails e-commerce and database linking. !

  • See portfolio:

    The first impression is important when dealing with screens. Visuals play a major role in deciding how good an app is. If the developer is a good one, they will have laid enough emphasis on the UI/UX design of the apps. Excellent user interface and eye pleasing visuals go a big way to judge how well an app does in the market.

  • Previous Clients:

    Reviews from previous clients and their experience with the firm create credibility like nothing else. You can go to clutch.co to refer to verified reviews by their clients. If possible, get in touch with them for a feedback on their services. Check out the clients’ applications and decide accordingly.

Step 3: Communicate: 

applify_blog

Using the above criteria shortlist a couple of app developers who satisfy your requirements. Contact them and talk to them in detail about your project: what is your aim, target audience, the kind of experience you want to deliver to users. It becomes necessary that your vision gets conveyed very clearly as to allow them to replicate that for your app.
At this stage, it is essential to ask the companies questions about how they plan to deliver your requirements.
‘Who will work on the project? Will it be paid employees of the company?’
‘ Who is going to my touch point?’ It is important that this person remains the same throughout the process.
‘What timings will the team be available for coordination and reference?’
‘How flexible are they in terms of changing demands within the process?’
Ask them if they will provide a prototype.
A clickable prototype is like a demonstration of how your final app will look and work, that is provided to you during the journey of its development. This allows you to assess the progress on the work as well as suggest the design or other inputs beforehand rather than waiting for the project to finish and then make changes. This proves to be immensely useful in saving both time and money. Applify, with its team dedicated to creating your dream app, furnishes a clickable prototype for you to test.

Step 4: Cost Analysis:

applify_blog

While for enterprises cost is a big factor, deciding on the app developer solely on it might not guarantee the best results. After you have had quotations from all prospective service providers, critically analyze the cost versus the output.

  • Timeline:

    According to Jason Fried, the founder of Basecamp and author of Rework, ‘The longer it takes to develop, the less likely it is to launch’. This statement emphasizes the importance of timeliness. If an app development company promises a lower price but takes longer to launch your app, you will incur heavy overheads thereby decreasing the efficiency. E.g. if you have an apparel business and planning to launch an app for online shopping soon, an app coming in the market after Christmas will mean a lost opportunity.

  • Understanding of market:

    For a firm to deliver to you your ideal app, it is important that they have an understanding of the demography of the market the app will serve to. Cheaper options might not assure this and hence, it is safer to pick developers which have worked in Singapore and know its demands.

Cheaper service might not necessarily mean the best for you, neither does the most expensive one. So choose wisely.
Having the best app is the way forward to create a lasting impact on the market and ensuring success in the ever-evolving business space with dynamic technological advances.
While there is no dearth of app developers today, finding the right one can be a dodgy affair.
With the above steps in mind, we believe your dream of having the perfect app for you will allow your enterprise to scale newer heights.

How can your company survive the cut-throat competition in Singapore

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Now is the digital age!

Here, things happen very fast, so fast that you might go to sleep with confidence that your company is going to rule the market and wake up to find that your competitor has launched a product that ultimately turned the tables.

Only those who can transform and seize upcoming opportunities faster than their rivals can survive in this game. If you’re not one of then, you’ve to learn.

But how?

With the help of this survival guide. These are the experiences Applify had when stepping feet in the Singapore market. Perhaps, you can learn a lot from here.

Now, without wasting any moment, let’s go through this list of:

Things to do for surviving the competition in the Singapore market

1. Rapid Experimentation

As the market is continually evolving, quick experimentation is the only thing that can keep you in pace with your competitors. If you chickened out of doing something new, you lacked behind.

Many companies are at the top slots because they follow this approach. You can do the same.

2. Follow agile methodology

The only thing that differentiates a normal company from the biggest firms in Singapore is that they don’t waste hours in long planning and lengthy processes. Instead, they follow a smart approach that can help save their time, money, and result in maximum efficiencies, such as Agile Development.

You should also start following their footsteps.

3. Hire people you can trust

If your company is a big ship, your employees are the crew that will help you reach your destination.

What if they’re unskilled?

You’ll never be able to achieve your goal.

So, while hiring employees for your company, make sure you choose the ones you can trust and who can help you in a longer run.

4. Keep clear goals

To be successful, you must have an idea where you want to go. Having a clear goal will prevent you from getting distracted and save your valuable time.

So, before you start a business, make sure you know what you want to achieve.

5. Stay up to date

Opportunities belong to those who’re aware of the latest trends and know how to use them in time for the benefit of your business.

Hence, it’s essential for you to stay updated on what’s happening in the market. There are many ways to do so. You can either subscribe to an RSS feed like Feedly or hire a team of marketing experts.

6. Take calculated risks

It’s true that you sometimes need to take risks in making your mark in the market. However, if the risks remain uncalculated, you attract the chances of falling.

So, take risks but only after carefully analyzing the repercussions. There’s no wisdom in taking a step that can cost you everything.

7. Don’t compete but collaborate

There’s so much competition in the market that you can’t survive if you make everyone your enemy. You also have to make some friends.

So, make sure you keep looking for businesses with whom you can associate and face new market threats together.

While these practices are not the magic that will make you a business tycoon overnight. Instead, it will help you prevent mistakes that most businesses do and help you establish yourself in the market.

Why Singapore is an Ideal Market for Startup Founders

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Singapore is very small in size. Just 721 sq km area and 5.8 Million people.

Despite this, it is the hottest startup destination with the maximum number of tech incubators in the Southeast Asia Region. Many great companies like Grab, Referral Candy and 99.co were started here.

Not only this, there are also many surveys that show how Singapore is emerging as a great market for people who want to start their own business.

Here, I am going to one such study released on August 28 by start-up event promoter Slush Singapore and venture capital firm Monk’s Hill ventures. This report called State of Southeast Asian Tech gives you an overview of what’s happening in the south Asian tech market.

Many entrepreneurs, investors, startup executives, and other key players from Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines have contributed to the survey. So, you can completely rely on them.

Now, without wasting any moment, let’s see what the study has to offer:

1. 35-40% of people want to start a new company in south-east Asia

In the first question, startup founders were asked:

Do you want to relocate your business to a different city?

77% replied with Yes.

And when asked where this was the response:


Can you believe it? Almost half of the entrepreneurs want to move their business to Singapore. Let’s not forget the survey respondents based in Singapore. 96% of them want to start their company in Singapore.

The main reason behind this is that in Singapore, startups have access to venture capitalists. Many international VCs already have offices here. So, there are big chances of getting a funding or sponsorship.

That’s why Singapore is an ideal place to start a business.

2. Singapore received the most startup funding in the last 5 years

According to the study, Singapore based companies have received $8.4 billion as startup funding from venture capitalist firms and individual investors, which is the highest investment in all Southeast Asian cities.

So, why wouldn’t you start a business here?

3. There are a plenty of Opportunities for App developers

Given the rise of app development companies in Singapore, there’s also a heavy demand for app and software developers in Singapore.

Have a look at the stats:

It shows that there are 1,845 job openings in Indonesia at present. Singapore stands at second place with 1,119 which is not bad.

This means Singapore is one of the emerging fields for software and app development as well.

So, if you have plans to start a business in Singapore, go ahead. There’s a lot of scopes. In case you need any advice from the experts at Applify, contact here.

Singapore App Development Market: An App that Rewards for Volunteering

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Imagine, I ask you to volunteer for something. Would you help me?

Probably not.

Now, what if I offer some reward in return?

You would probably change your mind. It happens most of the time. As humans, we are naturally more interested in doing things that have some benefit to us.

An app by the name Zeles is using the same tactic to help people come forward and assist others. While there are already apps like Sgcares that are making it easy for people to volunteer, Zeles stands out by offering incentives in return.

57 years old Ms. Chen Yew Nah is the brain behind this amazing app concept. She is the Managing director of Zeles Network that connects individuals, companies, and volunteer organizations for various causes.

In an interview to a leading source, Ms. Chen told that she always had a passion for helping others. So, she gathered feedback from voluntary host organizations (VHOs) and volunteered to create an app that will bridge the gap between people and bring them together.

Here’s how the Zeal app works

After you’ve registered with the app, you’ll be lead to the dashboard. There you’ll see the app’s calendar that will list the past and future events as well as their real-time volunteering stats.

You can avail incentives after you’ve volunteered for an event which can anything like free pastries from Delifrance or a free cable ride from Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC). It’s just like a box of surprises. You never know what you’re going to get.

“People volunteer for these things,” you might be thinking.

Well, the app has 2,000 volunteers, 55 VHOs, and 14 sponsors within 4 days of launch (the stats are of September 3). It’s also making it easier for companies to volunteer at different places. They’re pretty impressed.

Here’s what Chan Mun Wei, SDC’s divisional director of corporate planning division has to say about the app:

“The Zeles App is a meaningful way to show SDCs support for volunteerism and recognize many caring individuals who help others.”

Miss Alicia Chan, the program lead at the Association for Early Childhood Educators also share a unique experience:

“One of our volunteers was pleasantly surprised when she redeemed four complimentary tickets to take her family to the Bird Park.”

Ms. Angie Chew, executive director at Brahm Centre, a charity that promotes healthy living also believes that the app has made it easier to manage volunteers.

What other app developers can learn from this?

When I shared this story with the app developers at Applify, everyone was impressed. According to them, it’s the brilliant use of psychology in mobile app development. The app is not just encouraging people to volunteer but were also offering rewards for that. No wonder why people will not use it.

Other app development companies in Singapore can also take a lesson and product such as the type of quality apps.

Why Every Entrepreneur Should Code: Learn From Singapore’s top Entrepreneurs

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Should I learn how to code?
This is the question that many entrepreneurs face at some point in their career.
Every businessman’s reaction is different at this stage.
“I should learn it. The skill might be helpful later,” some think and join a coding course.
“I have people who do coding. Why should I ?” other wonder and ignore.
Well, if you ask Applify:
Coding is essential for everyone. It gives you a new insight.
Most of you might agree but not completely. For that, you will need a lot more than this. You need strong proof.
So, here we present:

Successful Singaporean entrepreneurs telling you why coding is essential?

After reading their responses, you’ll be forced to think. So, have a look:

1. “Coding helps you build a more innovative business with sophisticated technology” – Poon Da Quian

Poon Da Quian is the founder of a CEO of Butler in Suit, Singapore’s first hospitality service for homes and apartments.
According to him:
“Technology is not going to disappear. As a businessman or an entrepreneur, applications with more sophisticated technology stand out.
With artificial intelligence ramping up, a lot of manual jobs will be made redundant.
Be it entrepreneurs, C level executives, students, junior roles – you need to be prepared or at least exposed to these technical know how-tos so you can stay relevant to the economies of the future.”

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