Why Is It A Good Time For SMEs To Go Digital?
A survey by QBE Insurance Singapore found that Singapore SMEs are not keeping pace with digitalisation. Among the reasons why, 41% of SMEs cited high costs of investments, 39% alluded to the lack of financing and funding, and 57% attributed it to the lack of financial support from the government. But what if these concerns can now be alleviated?
Initiatives to support SMEs
SMEs Go Digital was rolled out by Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in 2017 with the aim of helping SMEs utilise digital technologies to seize growth opportunities in the digital economy. This is especially relevant in this Covid-19 backdrop as many brick-and-mortar SMEs face woes of declining revenues with significantly lower footfall compared to pre-Covid times. Even with the start of Phase 2, many still continue working from home.
A survey by Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI)
revealed that of all the companies that participated in their poll, half indicated that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on their business models and almost 60 per cent said that it will take them one to two years to recover to pre-pandemic levels.
Since the introduction of Go Digital, there have been further improvements in the program with the launch of Start Digital Pack in January 2019 to provide SMEs with digital solutions for services such as accounting, digital transactions and so on at subsidised rates. The importance of riding on the trend of digitalisation is now more pertinent than ever, as 3D Brand Agency founder Faisal Masri aptly puts:
“To grow in Singapore today, small companies like us need to make effective use of technology to improve our productivity. As an SME, our strength lies in how we can adapt more quickly to changes, and we need to capitalise on opportunities like Start Digital.”
Looking to sell overseas?
SMEs that aim to sell overseas can also explore Grow Digital, an initiative launched by the IMDA in collaboration with Enterprise Singapore (ESG). Even without a physical presence, this initiative would enable SMEs to participate in Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce platforms to sell overseas. Emphasising the relevance of this aspect in times of Covid-19, Assistant Chief Executive, Sectoral Transformation Group of IMDA, Ms Jane Lim said:
“E-commerce is a critical enabler to help SMEs cope with challenges and shifts in consumer purchasing trends brought about by Covid-19 — shifts we expect will become the new normal. Through the Grow Digital initiative, we aim to help more SMEs leverage these e-commerce opportunities, and tap on the growth in overseas markets.”
Currently, more than 500 SMEs in Singapore have already benefited from this initiative by gaining digital access to new overseas markets, allowing them to penetrate new markets and diversify their revenue streams as well.
How can Obbo also help SMEs in digitalisation?
Obbo believes in the importance of empowering SMEs in going digital to transform and grow their businesses online. In close relation to the initiative above, Obbo has partnered up with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to introduce the Covid-19 SME Go Digital Package which would greatly benefit brick-and-mortar stores looking for a convenient way to list online for greater product visibility and zero upfront fees.
Visit Obbo B2B Marketplace’s page to find out more on how we can help SMEs thrive digitally to tide through this difficult period and flourish even beyond such hard times!