IMDA Singapore announces new innovative initiatives under Retail ITM and launches the Retail Industry Digital Plan

IMDA Singapore announces new innovative initiatives under Retail ITM and launches the Retail Industry Digital Plan

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in Singapore
new innovative initiatives in line with the Retail
Industry Transformation Map
(ITM). The retail ITM was launched in 2016 and
it contains key strategies to support sector transformation, including a focus
on innovation and the adoption of new technologies to drive productivity, as
well as staying agile and responsive to trends in jobs and skills. The retail industry
in Singapore includes about 22,000 establishments, contributing almost 1.4% to
Singapore’s GDP and employing approximately 3% of the total workforce in

The new Innovative Initiatives will focus on creating better
customer experiences in both online and offline retailing.

Physical Retailers to
participate in Omni-Channel Retail and Integrated Digital Ecosystems

IMDA and SPRING will work closely with retailers and other
industry stakeholders such as wholesalers, logistics companies and e-commerce
marketplaces, to create solutions that can enable more traditional retailers to
go omnichannel.

By equipping retailers with the capabilities to transact
online and fulfil deliveries efficiently, they can complement their physical
shops with online channels to stay competitive.

These solutions will enable retailers to become more visible
to consumers that are within their vicinity, thereby increasing the probability
of making a sale through superior delivery lead-times and customer familiarity.
They will also allow retailers to manage inventory, receive orders and publish
products onto ecommerce platforms and expose retailers to new business models
by integrating digital platforms.

For example, by integrating e-commerce and federated
platforms, retailers will have the option to house these lockers at
their shops to increase customer footfall.

From a consumer’s perspective, they will enjoy greater
convenience with a wide selection of products to choose from when shopping
online from retail shops that are nearby. Consumers will also be able to enjoy
faster delivery lead-times and purchase from shops that they are familiar with
within a precinct.

The 99%SME

The 99%SME campaign was
jointly launched by DBS and Singtel to help SMEs venture into e-commerce
through the 99%SME e-marketplace. An MOI has been signed between IMDA, DBS and
Singtel to collaborate and strengthen 99%SME as an e-commerce marketplace to
help more physical retailers to go onto omni-channel retailing.

The MOI aims to do the below:

  • Help more physical retailers go into omni-channel
  • Enable physical retailers to sell products on e-commerce
    marketplaces and be provided with tools to transact, accept payments and fulfil
  • Develop applications to on-board physical retailers onto the
    e-commerce marketplace, complementing their physical shops to create a seamless
    omnichannel experience for their customers
  • Drive efforts to develop the 99%SME campaign into a
    self-sustaining business entity that can commercialise and market its solutions
    and services to regional countries.

Better Customer Experiences at Shops, Malls and Neighbourhoods 

To enable richer, immersive customer experiences, IMDA and SPRING will focus on the use
of digital technologies such as sensors, robotics, augmented/virtual reality and artificial
intelligence for greater personalisation for consumers. For example, if customers are unsure
of what to purchase, a kiosk or device could suggest what to buy based on a list of questions.
This will be done for shops, malls as well as neighbourhoods.

For instance, IMDA and SPRING will
work together with the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI)
and One Kampong Gelam to co-develop a digital roadmap that will enhance the
digital capabilities of merchants in the neighborhood of Kampong Glam, heritage area and transform the
visitors’ experience in Kampong Glam, catering to both locals and overseas

Credit: Erwin Soo/ CC BY 2.0

This roadmap is expected to be completed in the next 3
months. An MOI has been signed between IMDA, SPRING, SMCCI and One Kampong
Gelam to collaborate to develop a digital vision and roadmap for the

The objectives of the MOI include enhancement of existing IT
infrastructure at Kampong Glam to support upcoming technological
implementations and empowering retailers in Kampong Glam to go omni-channel,
equipping them with technological capabilities to uncover new opportunities and
revenue streams. Precinct-level technology solutions will be deployed to
transform the visitors’ experience in Kampong Glam, catering to both locals and
overseas visitors.

Retail Industry
Digital Plan

The Retail Industry Digital Plan (IDP) for SMEs was released
today, alongside the
of the Industry
Transformation Map
 (ITM) for the Infocomm Media sector. he creation of
IDPs under the SMEs
Go Digital Programme
was announced
in this year’s budget
 by Finance Minister, Mr. Heng Swee Kiat. Earlier
this week, the first
IDP was released for the logistics industry

The Retail IDP has been developed by IMDA in partnership
with SPRING Singapore (SPRING), to guide SME retailers on their digital
transformation effort. SMEs can use the guide to assess their digital readiness
and identify digitalisation opportunities relevant for their businesses, as
well as identify skill gaps to support their digitalisation.

The Retail IDP is a living document to be updated over time
as digitalisation of the industry progresses and new technologies are
introduced and made relevant for the sector. It is meant for local SME
retailers in sub-sectors, including supermarkets and convenience stores,
fashion and sporting goods, consumer electronics, department stores, jewellery
& timepieces and furniture & household products.

The Retail IDP for SMEs comprises: 1) An industry digital
guide, including a self-assessment checklist; 2) A list of pre-approved digital
solutions and various assistance channels; 3) Projects co-created by IMDA and
industry leaders to uplift whole sector; 4) A skills framework.

The industry digital guide provides a reference on solutions
relevant for SME retailers across 3 stages: “Getting Digital Economy Ready”,
“Growing in the Digital Economy” and “Leaping Ahead”.

In Stage 1, ready-to-go digital solutions will be identified
to enable automation of front-of-house operations and promote self-service, At
the same time, this will be supported by digitalised back-of-house operations.

In the second stage, more advanced digital solutions
identified to capture new consumer markets through aggregation platforms. With
a high smartphone penetration rate in Singapore, SME retailers can also enhance
customers’ self-served experience through their mobile devices, facilitating
both in-store and online shopping experience.

The final stage involves integration to other digital
platforms for the aggregation of industry data, harnessing analytical information
to make informed business decisions involving themselves and their business
partners in the ecosystem.

Exploiting new and advanced digital platforms like
omni-channel retailing and digital marketing, retailers can create, grow and
protect a global brand and enhance customer reach and experience.

A Self-Assessment Checklist will be made available online
where SME retailers can assess and identify their digital readiness and the
digitalisation opportunities based on a broad understanding of their business
operations, current level of digitalisation, and business expansion plans.

For a more comprehensive review of their business, SME
retailers can approach SME Centre business advisors for free business diagnosis
and advice on relevant digital solutions. SME Centre business advisors will
also refer SMEs that require specialist advice on more advanced digital
solutions, such as data analytics and cybersecurity, to the SME Digital Tech

SMEs requiring productivity tools such as video analytics
solutions will continue to receive support through access to pre-approved
digital technology solutions. SMEs can visit the Tech Depot for more information on
these solutions.

The Skills Framework for Retail, which was launched on 4
August 2017, identifies a spectrum of skillsets, career pathways and job roles
to cater to this new digital workforce. With the identification of the new
skills sets, companies can also tap on WSG’s Adapt and Grow initiatives such as
the Professional Conversion Programmes.

Concurrently, the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) programme
will support the Retail IDP by offering various programmes to develop ICT
manpower needs to help businesses in their digitalisation journey.