Help Grow Your Business: A Guide To PSG E-Commerce
For the past few years, everyone cannot deny the truth that the e-commerce industry has already left a mark not just on the business world but also on history in general. As reported by Forbes magazine, e-commerce sales have grown up to 50.5% since 2019, with a staggering amount of $870 billion in the United States of America alone.
On a global scale, retail e-commerce sales worldwide have almost doubled from 3.35 billion (2019) to 5.54 billion (2022), according to Statista. It is not an unexpected growth knowing that more consumers are shopping for their needs online rather than in person.
Statista’s Bar Graph For Retail E-Commerce Sales Worldwide From 2014 To 2025
After months of lockdown, businesses, especially brick-and-mortar stores, had to adapt to the current situation. The world’s technological advancement and innovation made that happen. Consumers purchase their needs online and have them delivered to their doorsteps. At the same time, this shift in consumer behaviour propelled numerous companies to transition to e-commerce, not only in Singapore but also in other places in the world.
It is safe to say that online shopping will continuously be soaring and here to stay. The convenience that consumers have witnessed and experienced from online shopping over the past years is something hard to deny since it has already left an impact in the customer purchase journey.
Singapore, along with China, South Korea, and Japan, are Southeast Asian countries classified as “Mature Markets” in terms of digital trade development. The recognition that the country has received became possible with the help of government grants given to small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
One of which is the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) for e-commerce. With the funding support from the government, SMEs can now further develop and expand their business in the online space and successfully transition to e-commerce.
What Exactly Is E-Commerce PSG?
E-Commerce Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) is funding support that the government provides to SMEs that plan to adopt digital solutions and equipment and help improve e-commerce operations.
Once an SME owner gets approval for PSG for e-commerce website development, up to 70% funding support on e-commerce solutions can be claimed. Only the SMEs in retail sectors are eligible to receive up to 80% funding support until 31 March 2023.
With an approved E-Commerce PSG and by engaging with a pre-approved PSG vendor for e-commerce solutions, you can focus more on the e-commerce development of your SME and ensure your brand awareness will increase along with your online presence.
Another thing that you need to know about E-Commerce PSG is that it is constantly changing to meet the demands of SMEs. The rate of funding support you know now may or may not be the same in the future. Always be on the lookout for new information about E-Commerce PSG if you have plans to apply anytime soon.
Part 1: Importance Of E-Commerce PSG
No matter how advanced the world’s technologies are, it is challenging to predict when and where a health crisis like COVID-19 will begin, let alone determine how long it will last.
The good news is that digital transformation has already taken place, and businesses have long recognised the need to modernise and enter the digital age. That is why it did not take too long for SMEs with brick-and-mortar stores to find ways to reach out to their customers and make sales.
Digital transformation, on the other hand, is not limited to the use of social media like Facebook or Instagram. An SME owner also needs an e-commerce website in Singapore, a platform where they can sell and promote their products or services online.
Even though you can easily set up social media accounts and an e-commerce website with online tutorials on YouTube, there is a difference if you engage with a pre-approved PSG vendor and get an approved E-Commerce Grant.
The work of experts with years of experience and excellent skill-set in the e-commerce industry produces proven results. The funding support that an SME owner receives from an a pre-approved E-Commerce PSG vendor can go a long way.
The following will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of E-Commerce PSG:
The Benefits Of E-Commerce PSG
Converting to e-commerce with PSG has various benefits and is a good way for SMEs to expand and sustain their business operations, not just online. Here they are below:
● Develop An E-commerce Website
With the continuous growth of online shopping, it is only natural to have several competitors to attract customers and make sales.
Besides having an excellent reputation, a functional and aesthetically pleasing e-commerce website is one of the ways that SME owners should have to stand out against the contenders. SMEs that do not still have an e-commerce website but plan to build one can get help from an E-Commerce PSG vendor once they have applied for E-Commerce PSG and received approval.
Having an e-commerce website allows SME owners to showcase what they have to offer in a more organised way on your e-commerce website and to let everyone know how trustworthy they are. It also sets you apart from competitors that do not still have an e-commerce website themselves and only use social media platforms to sell their products or services.
● Receive Funding Support
Unlike business loans, the PSG for E-Commerce grant is funding support that does not require repayment. SMEs in retail sectors can claim up to 80% until 31 March 2023, while the other sectors can receive up to 70% funding support as long as it is for theire-commerce web development.
SMEs receiving enough funding support from the government can help them improve and grow their business online. As the country plans to position itself as a leader in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship, SMEs only need to focus on how they can get the most out of the funding support they have and ensure they can make sales online.
● Improve Staff Retention
While finding qualified staff is difficult, keeping them on board is even more challenging. SME owners should know that a fair salary and lots of benefits are not the only factors that can influence an employee to stay for good.
The digital tools and equipment that a company uses also affect the decision of employees. If the ones you have are all outdated, expect this may be an issue in staff retention. The more tedious and repetitive administrative work becomes, more of your employees might not complete their tasks on time and work less efficiently, especially the younger generations.
The Drawbacks Of E-Commerce PSG
While the benefits listed above are significant, E-Commerce PSG also has another side, like a flip of a coin that SME owners should know. Here are just a few of them.
● Strict Eligibility Criteria And Application Process
Not every SME is eligible for E-Commerce PSG as there are strict eligibility criterias and application processes to follow, including:
- Registered and operating business in Singapore;
- Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding; AND
- Company’s Group annual sales turnover should be not more than S$100 million, OR Company’s Group employment size should be no more than 200 employees
- Purchase/lease/subscription of the IT Solutions or equipment of SMEs must be used in Singapore
If SME owners do not comply with these, they will forfeit their eligibility to apply and the funding support that can help them improve their business operation online.
To increase the odds of E-Commerce PSG approval, you must become more careful and detailed with your application. You have to guarantee you have passed all the eligibility criterias so no issue occurring will arise in your E-Commerce PSG application.
● Cap To The Grant Offered
Even though receiving a certain percentage as funding support is considerably good for a business’s ecommerce web development, an SME owner can only exhaust it up to a specific approved amount. Even if the grant is only applicable for one-time, it gives SME owners a good headstart into the digital realm.
Offering a short-term solution is one of the downsides of E-Commerce PSG. You cannot keep the funding support for an extended time. To renew the e-commerce service with the vendor in the long run, normal rates apply as it will not be covered by the grant.
Before applying to PSG for an e-commerce web development grant, you must weigh these advantages and disadvantages. Doing so will help you make the right choice for your SME and also before you start your search for a pre-approved PSG vendor like OOm.
Part 2: Understanding E-Commerce PSG
For an SME owner to successfully apply for E-Commerce PSG and use it for the e-commerce web development of its business, they should have a deep understanding of E-Commerce PSG.
Grasping the concept of E-Commerce PSG would give SME owners a greater perspective on how they should apply and use the funding support to their business’s advantage.
Look through the following questions and answers to understand E-Commerce PSG.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About E-Commerce PSG
● Who Can Apply For E-Commerce PSG?
The E-Commerce PSG supports and covers a wide range of IT solutions, equipment, and consultancy services for SME owners from different industries, including food, retail, engineering, and e-commerce.
The ones who can only apply for the E-Commerce PSG are SMEs that can meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Registered and operating business in Singapore
- Purchase/lease/subscription of the IT solutions or equipment will be used in Singapore
- A minimum of 30% local shareholding; with the Company’s Group annual sales turnover of not more than S$100 million, OR employee size of not more than 200 workers (for selected solutions only)
● What Are The Requirements Needed For An E-Commerce PSG Application?
Once SME owners are eligible to apply for the E-Commerce PSG, the next thing they need to do is prepare the following documents.
- A purchase order or quotation contract (unsigned) from a pre-approved PSG vendor
- Screenshots of the chosen pre-approved PSG vendor for e-commerce web development that will execute and provide the IT solutions, equipment, and consultancy service
● Who Does Not Qualify For E-Commerce PSG?
Aside from the mentioned eligibility criteria, any SME that wants to apply for the E-commerce PSG should not be a part of the following entities:
- Charities, Institutions of Public Characters (IPCs)
- Government agencies and subsidiaries
- Religious Commodities
- Voluntary Welfare Organisation (VWO)
● Is It Possible To Claim The IT Solutions, Equipment, and Consultancy Services Before Getting E-Commerce PSG Approval?
No. All SME owners can only claim the funding support once they only get an approval letter.
You have to guarantee to submit your E-Commerce PSG application and wait for the approval before signing any contract agreement with your chosen pre-approved PSG vendor for an E-commerce web development grant.
● Can Someone Else Submit An E-Commerce PSG Claim On My Behalf?
All SME owners who wish to apply for an E-Commerce PSG should be the ones who will submit their E-Commerce PSG application and no one else. Please note that no third party is allowed to send an E-Commerce PSG application and other required documents on an SME’s behalf.
● Is There A Cap On E-Commerce PSG?
As stated on the GoBusiness website, only SMEs that belong to the retail sectors can get up to 80% of the qualifying cost, with a cap of S$30,000 per company.
● Is E-Commerce PSG Taxable?
Yes, SME owners should consider E-Commerce PSG as revenue and taxable. You can reach out to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) through their online live chat support or email via myTax Mail in myTax Portal for more information on the tax treatment of E-Commerce PSG.
● How Long Does It Take For Applications To Be Processed?
Any SME owner who plans to submit their E-Commerce PSG application should know that it will take between four to six weeks before they can receive approval. Make sure to check the application process on your account on GoBusiness from time to time to know your status.
You can also receive an approval snail mail letter from the physical address you have provided in your E-Commerce PSG application.
● Is It Possible To Change Quotations? Is It Acceptable To Offer Or Add A Complimentary Service Or Item?
Any changes in quotation mean you will be withdrawing your previous E-Commerce PSG application and submitting a new one. The payment that you have made is not transferable to your new E-Commerce PSG application, which only means you have to settle the cost of your application again.
Part 3: How To Apply For The E-Commerce PSG?
Applying for the E-Commerce PSG might seem overwhelming. However, in reality, that is not the case since you only need to follow the instructions provided to guarantee you will have a smooth E-Commerce PSG application.
As long as you follow and understand the process of the E-Commerce PSG application, you can apply for the said funding support for your SME. Here are the things you need to do to apply for E-Commerce PSG.
1. Access The List Of IT Solutions, Equipment, and Consultancy Services For E-Commerce PSG Eligible To SMEs
After confirming your eligibility as an SME, the next thing you need to do is choose from a variety of E-commerce solutions offered by pre-approved PSG vendors.
You can find these E-Commerce solutions when you go to the GoBusiness website. On the homepage, look through your right, and you will see the Government Assistance card.
From the Government Assistance card, click on the “Productivity Solutions Grant” button. The GoBusiness website will direct you to its overview page, where you can see the “Pre-Scoped IT Solution”, “Pre-scoped Equipment”, and “Pre-scoped Consultancy Service”, which you can see on the left side of your screen.
2. Request A Quote From A Pre-approved Vendor For E-Commerce PSG
On the same page, SMEs can also locate and check who is a pre-approved vendor for E-commerce PSG by clicking on the ones they need. Any SME owner can then contact their chosen pre-approved vendor to request a quote for their PSG package for the e-commerce web development grant.
If your chosen pre-approved vendor for E-Commerce PSG is OOm, here is what our plan looks like on the list of IT solutions when you click on others.
To get a quote from a pre-approved vendor for E-Commerce PSG, you only need to click on the package shown on the list like the ones above. The GoBusiness website will then generate a new browser tab. That is where you will see all the details from the package offered by and about the pre-approved vendor for E-Commerce PSG.
If you scroll down the screen, you will see the contact information of your chosen pre-approved vendor for E-Commerce PSG. Consider reaching out to them to learn more in-depth details about the E-Commerce PSG package they are offering.
3. Visit GoBusiness Gov Assist and Log In With Your Corppass
When you have decided to apply for the E-Commerce PSG, go to the Business Grant Portal and log in with the Corppass of your SME. If you are not familiar with Corppass, it is a corporate digital identity of a business to transact with Government agencies in Singapore.
4. Fill Up The E-commerce PSG Application
Before filling out your E-Commerce PSG application, you still need to gather all required documents asked in addition to the quotation you got from your chosen pre-approved vendor for E-Commerce PSG.
SMEs must ensure that all data they have entered, especially the contact information, are all correct since that is where the entity will refer to get the details so they can reach out to you. You can expect them to get in touch with you whenever they need additional requirements or to let you know about the status of your E-Commerce PSG application.
5. Wait For The Approval Of Your E-commerce PSG Application
Following the submission of their ecommerce PSG application and the relevant documentation, SMEs should wait and make sure that their line of communication is constantly available. It guarantees they will not miss any calls or emails with regards to their E-Commerce PSG application.
Watch this video of a step-by-step E-Commerce PSG application guide for more detailed steps:
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more digital marketing videos
When you apply for E-Commerce, make sure you take your time on each step before proceeding to the next step. Doing this guarantees you prevent you from making any mistakes in your application. Consider also asking some of your trusted peers to review if you miss filling up anything or attaching necessary documents.
Part 4: What Makes A Good E-Commerce PSG Application?
A good and solid E-Commerce PSG application may effectively address the goal of your SME, but you also have to make sure you have attached every document requirement asked.
1. Complete E-Commerce PSG Document Requirements
A lack of required documents will only prolong your E-Commerce PSG application since the staff assigned to you needs to get the remaining necessary files, which might lead to a delay for your E-Commerce PSG application.
2. No Spelling And Grammar Mistakes
Apart from submitting your E-Commerce PSG application with a lack of required documents, you also need to make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes. Otherwise, the personnel will ask you to make corrections to your E-Commerce PSG application and advise you to double-check everything before submitting it.
Engage With OOm And Apply For PSG E-Commerce For the Development of Your SME
The current situation (COVID-19 pandemic) aside, having a brick-and-mortar store alone is no longer enough to attract clients and earn a profit since more consumers shop for their needs online.
Embracing digital transformation is something all businesses, whether big or small, should do. Doing so will have them generate more sales in years to come as long as they have a functioning e-commerce website with an aesthetically pleasing web design.
For SMEs that need help with their e-commerce operations, they can reach out to OOm, a pre-approved vendor for E-Commerce PSG and get a quotation for the services they need. SMEs can submit their E-Commerce PSG application afterwards, together with the required documents.
Contact OOm at +65 6391 0930 or leave a message on our website to learn more about PSG for E-commerce Web Development Grant.