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24 Mar 2021 Updated 25 Mar 2021

Chinatown businesses go digital with Chope and Qoo10 platforms

The Business Times Yong Hui Ting

BUSINESSES in Chinatown have partnered with digital platforms Chope and Qoo10 to bring their products and services online, in partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG).

The Chinatown Digitalisation Initiative was launched on Wednesday by Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Sim Ann and Minister of State for Trade Low Yen Ling. Also launched was the Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) Centre, which is aimed at helping businesses digitalise.

Set up by Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI), the SME Centre will provide business consultancy services, digital capability development, and help with the adopting of digital solutions from its tech partners.

Ms Sim said: "Today's launch in Chinatown marks a further step in our digitalisation journey, by supporting our Chinatown businesses come on board Chope and Qoo10's platforms, helping our cultural precincts evolve with the times, even while preserving our heritage."

Chope said it will feature the businesses on ChopeDeals, a collection of food-and-beverage dining deals on the platform, with a series of cash vouchers, one-for-one promotions, and buffet and set-meal bundles to attract visitors.

Qoo10 will also introduce location-based vouchers as an incentive for visitors, redeemable at selected Qoo10 stores in Chinatown.

These measures aim to help businesses in Chinatown attract more customers, given that the area, which is reliant on tourist visits, has experienced a large fall in visitor count as a result of the Covid-19 travel restrictions.

While Singapore's retail sales have been on a decline since the pandemic, businesses said that digital initiatives have helped cushion the fall in revenue.

Chee Sou Wee, director and partner of Joy Luck Teahouse Singapore, who took part in the digital on-boarding with Qoo10, said that online sales now account for 30 to 40 per cent of its daily sales.

"Our business is constrained by resources, and this is a way for us to get more bang for our buck," said Mr Chee, who opened the brand's sixth outlet last month.

Ms Sim urged Chinatown businesses to digitalise and tap the resources provided by the SME Centre: "I encourage our Chinatown businesses to continue to keep an open mind and explore these digital solutions with our tech partners, so that all of us can work together to capture new markets and growth."

Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.