The UK is Europe’s largest e-commerce market and the third largest in the world, after the United States and China.
E-commerce exports from the UK are growing, with Asian consumers forming an increasing share of buyers. With Singapore as an ideal gateway to ASEAN markets, the Singapore eCommerce Enterprises Development (SEED) office, with support from Enterprise Singapore, is launched in London. The SEED office supports UK companies with business advisory on the relevant e-commerce and export strategies for Singapore and the region.
Singapore companies can work with UK partners in areas such as order fulfilment and digital marketing to service cross-border e-commerce between the UK and Asia. For example, a Singapore logistics company is working with the Royal Mail to manage the “first mile” of product returns from Asian e-commerce customers who buy from British companies.
Logistics is another area you can consider in light of the e-commerce boom. In particular, localised fulfilment centres will be needed for just-in-time fulfilment should there are significant customs delays, especially if Brexit results in slower movement of goods between the UK and the EU.
Interested to find out more? Learn how homegrown e-commerce and logistics company Anchanto managed to build strong logistics networks in nine countries worldwide within a year, including the UK.
Technology businesses are at the heart of the UK economy and are playing an important role in driving growth across the country, from financial services and high-value manufacturing to retail and agriculture. If your company has a distinct edge in digital capabilities and innovative technology, there are opportunities to venture to the UK.
The UK offers an outstanding environment for technology companies. It has:
Specific areas to consider include artificial intelligence, cloud services, communications, cyber security, data centres, data management & analytics, electronic systems, and semiconductor design & sensors.
Another area of opportunity is the UK government’s goal to narrow the digital skills gap within the local workforce through education and training. Your company can offer solutions to reduce digital exclusion and improve the UK workforce’s core digital skills.
During the first half of 2021, the total value of raised investments in the UK Fintech sector reached a total of US$ 5.7 billion2, which was much higher than the total investment secured in 2020 (US$ 4.3 billion) and in 2019 (USD$ 4.6 billion), hence demonstrating the strength and appeal of the UK Fintech sector that attracts more fintech investment and talent than anywhere else in Europe.
Innovative solutions from Singapore in the digital tech industry can get exposure to corporates (banks, consultancies, sector specialists) who are keen to adopt such solutions. The four strongest performing areas that offer business opportunities are:
If you own a fintech business in Singapore, the UK government offers targeted support to your company through a “FinTech bridge” agreement. The agreement creates opportunities for Singapore companies to grow and scale into the UK market by:
2 Record-breaking year for UK FinTech - Innovate Finance – The Voice of Global FinTech
With a dense and affluent population with a high concentration of well-recognised international brands, the lifestyle sector in the UK is thriving with the main factors influencing purchase being price, quality, and design3. Meanwhile, the ever-growing focus on sustainability and social equality continues to present opportunities for businesses and brands. Demand from consumers and landlords for a unique and diversified retail experience continues to rise. If you are a lifestyle brand owner, there is no better time than to leverage this opportunity for expansion into the UK.
London is also an ideal springboard for fashion brands to penetrate the global market. The city offers access and exposure to a global, cosmopolitan and trendsetting crowd. For example, Ashley Isham, one of Singapore’s most prominent figures in the fashion industry, has been based in London since 1996 and his collections are often showcased during the London Fashion Week.
Want to export your lifestyle products to the UK but unsure where to begin? Read our Export Guide.
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