In Taiwan, just nine of the 95 global brands we assessed in our new Digital IQ Index: Gateways supplement offer any kind of online shopping (versus eight in Hong Kong) and only three more link to third-party retailers. In Singapore, where B2C growth is already into the healthy double-digits, e-commerce accounts for just one percent of total retail sales. Despite that and the fact that only three of the 95 global prestige brands included in our report currently have sites that support e-commerce (Alfred Dunhill, Armani, Burberry), analysts don’t see Singapore’s modest numbers lasting for long, with some predicting that by 2015 mobile commerce spending, alone, will reach $2.5 billion in the country.
The role model in Singapore is Burberry (local flagship pictured at right), the sole brand to currently showcase local pricing. Burberry also serves as the gold standard for global e-commerce rollout: the British fashion, accessories, beauty and fragrance brand features e-commerce sites for all the key APAC markets–no brand, global or local, even comes close to that kind of presence. Burberry’s online customer service is also robust, featuring “Request Call Back” and “Free Returns Worldwide,” both of which are available around the globe. Acceptance of local payment methods and live chat functionality in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore round out Burberry’s remarkable digital profile in the region.