SINGAPORE – 09 NOV 2023
1. Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) launched the refreshed Retail Industry Digital Plan (IDP) today. The refreshed Retail IDP highlights digital solutions in three key focus areas of Customer Experience, Operational Efficiency, and Business Growth. Their potential applications will help retailers address new challenges and opportunities to create a quality and immersive shopping experience for customers. This was announced by Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling at a visit to Singapore furniture retailer Scanteak today.
2. The refreshed IDP adopts a persona approach which characterises retailers by their respective needs and digital maturity. This allows retailers to find the best fit solutions at the different stages of their digital maturity.
3. Jointly developed by EnterpriseSG and IMDA, and in close consultation with over 250 industry stakeholders from the retail industry, the IDP is a key initiative under the Retail Industry Transformation Map 2025 to promote innovation and technology adoption in Singapore’s retail industry. The Retail IDP was first introduced in 2017.
Digital solutions to mitigate challenges and capture new opportunities
4. The retail IDP was refreshed in response to retailers’ emerging needs, business challenges and opportunities identified from industry engagement sessions. With these in mind, the roadmap outlines solution categories for companies to overcome these challenges.
5. Eight new solution categories were added based on the three focus areas to support retail SMEs in tapping more advanced digital solutions. They are:
- In-Store Analytics
- Immersive Retail
- Multichannel e-Commerce Software
- Self-Checkout Solution
- Electronic Shelf Label
- Unmanned Store
- Social Commerce Tool
- Omnichannel Retail Management
6. Four existing solution categories have been maintained or enhanced as they continue to remain relevant to the needs of retailers. They are:
- Customer Relationship Management Tool
- E-Commerce Solution
- Integrated POS (with mobile features)
- ERP (Inventory & Sales Management System)
Elevating customer experiences
7. Emergence of new customer behaviour and increasing demands and stiff competition for customers mean that retailers need to elevate customer experiences to stay competitive and relevant, leveraging tools such as CRM and immersive retail.
- Womenswear brand Love, Bonito leveraged customer data through the adoption of a CRM tool to better understand customer preferences. Love, Bonito considers customers’ shopping behaviour, purchase history and product preferences to provide relevant product recommendations and exclusive member privileges. This data is further used to segment customers and deliver enhanced personalised experiences.
- Scanteak, a furniture retailer, adopted Immersive Retail technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) to provide a more experiential, informative and interactive product experience. Its website also incorporates AR features, to allow customers to interact with products and envision how these furniture products might look within their homes and whether the design styles and sizes would fit their space.
Improving operational efficiency
8. Manpower constraints in the retail industry, including labour shortages, high turnover rates and rising labour costs result in operational inefficiencies, Disjointed operations due to non-integrated backend systems could result in reliance on manual intervention, further adding to the operational workload. Beyond POS and ERP, new solutions for unmanned stores and self check-out, etc. can help retailers alleviate manpower shortages.
- Octobox and Pick & Go's unmanned stores improve operational efficiencies by reducing frequency of stock taking, extended operating hours and the capacity to accommodate a higher volume of customers during peak demand, all without the need for additional personnel.
Accelerating business growth
9. There are also new growth opportunities given two significant shifts observed: the rise of social commerce and the importance of omni-channel platforms. The IDP outlines new solutions that can help SMEs capture some of such growth.
- For example, as consumers increasingly use social media for shopping inspiration and seamless transactions, Prism+, a consumer electronics company, turned to social commerce as a new channel to engage customers. This provided opportunities for customers to discover, interact with and purchase its products directly through social channels and live shopping. Social Commerce Tool can simplify the buying process on social media through integrated shopping features, recommendations and one-click purchases, leading to a smoother shopping experience and higher conversion rates.
- Menswear and lifestyle company Benjamin Barker adopted an Omnichannel Retail Management solution that seamlessly integrates its inventory management, CRM, online orders and POS systems. This integration and subsequent automation of inventory fulfilment resulted in the company’s ability to operate with real-time inventory visibility. This allows it to optimise supply chain operations, streamline manual processes through business process redesign.
10. The refreshed IDP also highlights examples of AI-integrated solutions that can enhance the delivery of customer experience and operational efficiency, based on considerations of SMEs on usage of AI.
- For example, Scanteak will be using Generative AI in its chatbot, which integrates with customer support, inventory management and delivery scheduling, to augment the role of its customer service officers.
Uplifting digital capability of our Retail SMEs
11. In line with the new generation of IDPs, a Cybersecurity and Data Protection roadmap is also available, providing retailers with measures to identify appropriate tools and practices for protection against cyberattacks and to safeguard their customers’ personal data. Additionally, the refreshed Digital Skills Training Roadmap serves as a guide to equip retailers with the necessary skills (including change management) to adopt digital solutions at each stage of growth and tailor their training programmes according to their employees’ needs. These training programmes are aligned to the Skills Framework and emerging areas under the SkillsFuture Series.
Support available for retailers to go digital
12. Other support measures for retail SMEs include IMDA’s CTO-as-a-Service, a one-stop platform that allows retail SMEs to self-assess their digital readiness, access digital solutions and engage digital consultants for customised digital advisory and project management services to guide them in their digitalisation journey. Retailers can also use the Enhanced Digital Health Check, an online self-assessment tool on CTO-as-a-Service, to assess their digital maturity and identify areas for improvement.
13. Visit go.gov.sg/CTOaaS-Retail-IDP for more information on the Retail IDP.