9 June 2015

Singapore-based eBay sellers reach an average of 41 international markets

Source: eBay report.

eBay today announced details of the growing successes for Singaporean businesses via its online marketplaces, which has been experiencing solid growth on the back of a revitalised US dollar.

Singapore’s retail exporters* sell to an average 41 international markets – ranked second in Southeast Asia behind Thailand and five destinations higher than US retail exporters.

“The US is the top trade corridor for Singaporean retail exporters and the strengthening US dollar has been a key driver of growth,” said Jason Lee, Director, eBay South East Asia.

An exciting trend for Singapore businesses seeking new revenue streams is the speed in which entrepreneurs are able to become a retail exporter, with 22% of Singaporean retail exporters on eBay hitting the US$10,000 sales mark in the past year alone.

“This demonstrates the huge opportunity for savvy entrepreneurs seeking a global customer base as compared to traditional exports, which has typically been limited to larger businesses,” said Lee. “We are seeing an increasing number of success stories from Singapore – SMEs selling on eBay’s US, UK, Australia and other global marketplaces.

“SMEs form the backbone of Singapore’s economy, and eBay aims to help local SMEs and entrepreneurs by providing them with a platform where they can not only have a local presence but more importantly, deliver goods and services on an unprecedented global scale. This is very much in line with the government’s emphasis on innovation and internationalisation, which is central to economic restructuring.”

In traditional commerce, many companies of all sizes have limited exposure to international markets. Commerce platforms like eBay allow entrepreneurs, including small retailers, to reach global markets directly in a way that is unprecedented in economic history.

In 2007, Gift of Time, a local premium watch retailer, began selling on eBay. Since then, the retailer’s business has expanded significantly, from one employee in Singapore to 16 staff selling watches around the world, including the US, UK, Germany, Australia, Russia, Brazil and China.

Jeson Wu, Founder, Gift of Time commented: “We have grown much faster than any of the Singapore watch retailers here, because of one simple reason – we decided to go online. Today, more people are using their computers and mobile devices to browse and shop online, so you need to make sure that your business is where the customers are going. Our presence on a credible platform like eBay also allowed us, a lesser established local merchant, to connect with and gain trust among foreign customers."

“Since entry barriers for Internet-enabled trade are lower, it is easier for newcomers to enter the market and for commerce enabling platforms such as eBay to have a pro-competitive effect. We have been working closely with the Economic Development Board (EDB), SPRING Singapore and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) to help SMEs in Singapore further expand retail exports,” added Lee.

According to eBay:

· Southeast Asian regional retail exporters reach an average of 33 international markets, more than other regional blocs such as NAFTA with an average of 27, and EU28 with an average of 17.

· The US, UK, Australia, Germany and Canada are the top five destinations for eBay retail exporters from Singapore; whereas in traditional (offline) commerce, major export destinations are Malaysia, mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and the US.

· The main products sold by eBay commercial sellers from Singapore are in the ‘Jewellery and Watches,’ ‘Cell Phones & Accessories’ and ‘Clothes, Shoes & Accessories’ categories.

These and other findings were recently issued in an eBay report, Commerce 3.0: Enabling ASEAN SMEs. The analysis in the report is based on research by Sidley Austin on datasets from eBay, and follows research conducted in the Asia Pacific, US and Europe.


Find out more about Commerce 3.0: Enabling ASEAN SMEs
*Singapore retail exporters are defined as eBay sellers in Singapore who have accumulated US$10,000 in sales to global customers (buyers outside of Singapore).