Amazon announced today at the inaugural Amazon Southeast Asia Online Seller Summit 2021 additional resources and support for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Singapore to start selling online and expand globally through its stores. Amazon announced that it is extending the waiver of professional selling account subscription fees for new and existing sellers, until 30 June 2021. This support builds on Amazon's current initiatives such as the online seller education series, Seller University, and over 225 free tools and services to help sellers grow their sales in Amazon's stores in Singapore and worldwide.
In addition, Amazon is teaming up with Enterprise Singapore (ESG) to help local retailers scale globally. Enterprise Singapore will support these efforts through the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) scheme. Support will be capped at S$100,000 per new country, includes support for up to 70% of eligible costs for overseas promotion, overseas business development and overseas country set-up, and gives SMBs the flexibility to expand across new countries at their preferred pace. This is one of several measures which local enterprises can tap on through ESG to grow and diversify their businesses. More details can be found in ANNEX.
"We will double-down on efforts to support our local businesses in gaining e-commerce capabilities and maximizing their growth opportunities from the digital economy. To help companies access customers in new countries, ESG has also been working with Amazon to onboard Singapore sellers to Amazon as a channel for international sales, such as in the US, Canada, and India. Support is available for Singapore companies that are looking to expand to these countries," said Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Chan Chun Sing.
"Small businesses are an essential part of Amazon's DNA. Through the Amazon Southeast Asia Online Seller Summit 2021, we aim to enable more local sellers to reach a global audience through our 20 stores worldwide. Whether they are just getting started or are an experienced seller, Amazon's comprehensive programs and network will help SMBs overcome operational challenges to maximize growth opportunities globally," said Henry Low, Country Manager, Amazon Singapore.
The Southeast Asia Online Seller Summit, being held today and tomorrow, has drawn over 3,000 participants who are interested to understand how they can sell with Amazon, scale their businesses, and seize cross-border opportunities. Guest-of-Honour, Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Chan Chun Sing, leaders of Amazon Singapore, industry experts, and local business owners selling on Amazon.sg came together on Day 1 to discuss local and regional retail trends and offer insights on how SMBs can 'Start Local, Go Global' with Amazon.
Connecting sellers to exchange best practices
As part of the Summit, Amazon hosted a panel of SMB founders to share experiences of growing their business online and their journey with Amazon. Through the support of Amazon's global network and its logistics and inventory solutions such as Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), each of them has expanded to serve customers globally -- all from the comfort and safety of their homes.
"When I started Rui Smiths in 2014, selecting Amazon as the e-commerce store for my business was a no brainer. Amazon has been offering an unparalleled service that perfectly fits my needs, since my initial days as a new business owner, allowing me to expand internationally from the get-go. In just 4 years, with Amazon, we had hit S$200,000 in sales and were already selling in the US, UK, and Australia," said Debbie Cai, founder, Rui Smiths. "I hope the insights and resources shared at the Summit will help many local sellers like myself grow their business not only in Singapore but also beyond shores for customers everywhere."
Local resources for sellers in Singapore to unleash and maximize global growth opportunities
To date, Amazon has provided support to thousands of SMBs keen to sell online with Amazon.sg and its stores globally and continues to help many of them go digital and build thriving businesses. To shine the spotlight on more local retailers, Amazon continues to promote a dedicated "Shop Local" storefront on Amazon.sg, featuring local brands' founding stories and a plethora of products in categories such as home and home improvement, electronics, kitchen and dining, health and personal care, toys and games, groceries and more.
Other resources introduced include the Amazon Seller App for local sellers with accounts on Amazon.sg to track sales and manage their business via mobile, the Marketplace Appstore, a one-stop shop to discover third-party applications and services for automating tedious business aspects, and the Seller Forum, a resource for first-hand advice from fellow business owners on selling with Amazon. Sellers can also join the Sell on Amazon Singapore Facebook page to connect with the community of sellers on Amazon.sg.
These initiatives are furthered by Amazon.sg's ongoing collaboration with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) for the Digital Resilience Bonus, offering eligible SMBs a bonus of up to S$2,500 for selling on e-commerce channels like Amazon. The bonus is available to eligible local retailers until 30 June 2021.
To learn more about the millions of small and medium-sized businesses growing with Amazon, visit: aboutamazon.com/supporting-small-businesses. More information about selling on Amazon can be found here: https://www.amazon.sg/sell.
Empowering SMBs to start local, go global with the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) scheme
SMBs selling on Amazon.sg may receive an international boost through Enterprise Singapore's Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) scheme to partially offset the costs of scaling their business overseas to new countries. Those eligible will receive the following support:
- Up to 70% of eligible costs, capped at S$100,000 per company per new country* from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2023, that covers:
- Overseas Promotion (capped at S$20,000)
- Overseas Business Development (capped at S$50,000)
- Overseas Set-up (capped at S$30,000)
- Each application is limited to one activity in a single overseas country (e.g. participation in a trade fair)
To be eligible, companies should meet the following criteria:
- Business entity is registered/incorporated in Singapore
- New country criteria, i.e. target overseas country whereby the applicant has not exceeded S$100,000 in overseas sales in each of the last three preceding years
- At least 30% local shareholding
- Group Annual Sales Turnover of not more than S$100 million; OR Company's Group Employment Size of not more than 200 employees
* With effect from 1 April 2020, a new country refers to a target overseas country whereby the applicant company has not exceeded S$100,000 in overseas sales in each of the last three preceding years. The maximum support level is raised from 70% to 80% from 1 November 2020 to 30 September 2021.
Interested and eligible SMBs selling on Amazon.sg can apply for the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) scheme via Enterprise Singapore's website here. SMBs can also approach Enterprise Singapore and Amazon for advisory support to develop their internationalisation business plans.
To further equip Singapore SMBs with the capabilities to sell overseas via Amazon, Enterprise Singapore is in active discussions with Amazon on new training programmes which include listing optimisation, customer service, and international demand generation. More details will be announced later this year.