Business and e-commerce are synonymous, get with it: Stridec CEO
By Chong Jinn Xiung August 31, 2016
- SMEs need to ride the e-commerce wave hitting SEA
- Stridec and Spring Singapore collaborating on programme
BUSINESSES need to embrace e-commerce and the best time to do so is now because in today’s fast-changing landscape, technology waits for no-one.
“You can't run away from digitisation and e-commerce as they are the future of business,” says Alva Chew (pic above), chief executive officer and founder of Stridec, a small and medium enterprise (SME) from Singapore that specialises in providing end-to-end e-commerce solutions to businesses.
“No matter how you look at it, the signs are out there. Within three to five years, things will be even more virtual, with even more e-commerce taking place.
“A lot of traditional businesses are very afraid of this change because it is something they are not familiar with,” he concedes, speaking to Digital News Asia (DNA) in a phone interview from Singapore.
A self-described e-commerce evangelist, Chew firmly believes in the benefits of e-commerce, saying it is the part of technology that has the ability to make processes more streamlined and efficient.
It was somewhat fitting that Stridec was awarded the opportunity to drive a grant-supported e-commerce enablement programme by Spring Singapore, an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry that is responsible for helping Singapore companies scale up.
The programme is part of Spring Singapore’s Collaborative Industry Projects (CIP) initiative that supports collaboration between enterprises and industry partners to address common but industry-specific business challenges.
READ ALSO: ABSS Click to Pay gives Singapore SMEs an edge
“We have a programme and methodology to address problems and issues that SMEs are facing,” Chew declares.
Stridec’s role is focused on building the e-commerce capability of SMEs from start to end. Such companies have limited access to funding and resources, and cannot afford to pay for ongoing support from an e-commerce enabler like Stridec.
So what Stridec does is to teach and coach them so that they can figure out how to execute their e-commerce strategy on their own, according to Chew.
He believes Stridec’s experience in the field allows it to identify successful e-commerce models that work.
Within the e-commerce enablement journey, there are certain steps and standards that would need to be fulfilled, which comes down to three main aspects.
Firstly, “it is a matter of top management getting into the right mindset and getting fully behind an e-commerce strategy,” says Chew.
“It is more than taking their offline operating model and translating it directly to online,” he adds.
Secondly, technological readiness is crucial. The business needs to ensure product content visibility on its e-commerce portal. This includes having appealing pictures of products with searchable specifications, search engine optimisation compliance, and mobile readiness.
Thirdly, businesses need to ensure operational readiness in how they train their staff to handle customer inquiries like a live chat platform for customer conversion, or providing technical support.
Not surprisingly, Stridec’s involvement in the CIP programme has helped its own business, with the company receiving inquiries from existing and new clients about the programme and how it can improve their e-commerce strategy.
“We have also seen some interest from our multinational clients. Though they definitely don’t qualify for the programme, it has sparked some interest on their end to examine their own e-commerce strategy,” says Chew.
"Little by little, we try to change certain misconceptions about e-commerce and how to use it properly,” he adds.
Singaporean SMEs Part 1: The government’s guiding hand
Singaporean SMEs Part 2: On the ground
Singaporean SMEs Part 3: The view up there
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