6singaporeAs Bloomberg recently reported, Singapore is booming and the Southeast Asian economic powerhouse expanded its overall 2013 forecast, expecting a final tally of 3.5-4 per cent GDP growth for the year.

But the economic news out of Singapore isn’t just a story of tremendous growth. Rather, Singapore is undergoing an economic revolution, the kind that places small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the forefront of the economy. Singapore SMEs make up an increasingly large portion of Singapore’s overall GDP (roughly 50%) and employment (70%).

Perhaps most essential to the Singapore SME boom is the increasingly sophisticated methods of these enterprises that drive better ROIs and much higher process productivity. SMEs have taken their customer relationships up a notch with stronger knowledge of their own customer bases and more attention to detail in customer relationships.

Singapore based Capillary Technologies, a customer engagement company that offers cloud-based intelligent solutions for businesses of all sizes, has been integral in assisting more than 30 Singapore SMEs over the past 9 months. Supported by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) under the iSPRINT package, Capillary enables emerging companies to create and manage powerful customer engagement programs, right from registration to exhaustive customer intelligence and multi-channel rewards, in order to capture consumer mindshare and build long term brand loyalty for accelerated growth.

“Today’s shoppers are a highly differentiated demographic that promises to be even more so in the future. Tracking our customers and paying attention to customer behaviors has added a whole new dynamic to our business, something we like to call ‘the Capillary experience” said Edna Ng, Director of luxury brand timepiece leader Aptimos. "There truly is a new mindset throughout Singapore regarding how SMEs interact with customers, a mindset that has revolutionized the way we operate with a new type of professionalism."

Warren Teh, General Manager for Juzz1, a Singapore-based holding company with subsidiaries active in the distribution and retail of mobile phones, consumer electronics, and related services and accessories, said: “Our first foray into a structured Customer Engagement program started with Capillary this year. It helped us move at an astonishing speed, and we were able to capture almost 70% of all customers in the rollout period. A recent ‘members-only’ campaign saw us achieving 19% of sales during the campaign period from members, a clear indication of what the future holds.”

It’s not just standard retail that is seeing the benefits. Lim’s Arts and Living, a home décor and furniture store with beautiful yet unusual products, is using smarter behavioral tracking to better understand customers in an effort to make the company more competitive.

“For most customers, the world has become faster, with more choices, where brands are using multiple channels to compete for their attention with zillions of personal conversations. Traditional businesses have known for some time the importance of taking steps to keep up with the ever-evolving and highly diverse Singapore consumer,” said Capillary Technologies Vice President Asia-Pacific Anant Choubey. “Engaging customers in new ways is a cornerstone of Lim’s Arts and Living’ growth strategy and these changes have been a giant step in the right direction.”

“Our customer feedback loop and overall engagement have dramatically improved” said Fifth Season Tangra Chinese Restaurant founder and director, Deepali Ray. "This isn't just a fad. We are able to build programs faster and enjoy quicker results from our efforts improving the overall productivity of our retail organization. We respond relevantly to customer behaviors and at the same time react swiftly to market trends and trading conditions for high-performance, growth and a definite competitive advantage. It's going to revolutionize the way we do business and the way companies like us do business. We feel fully prepared to take on any brand, no matter how powerful it might be.”

Capillary’s solutions have also improved business security. “In a luxury retail format, the ability to identify fraud and purchase precedent is pivotal to protecting our company,” added Edna Ng.  “We’re lucky to have started taking this approach before we find ourselves dealing with it retroactively.”

Capillary’s suite of Intelligent Customer Engagement™ solutions offers real-time, high quality data capture, actionable analytics, instant cross-sell solutions and instant shopper gratification to generate significant ROI within weeks of implementation. Specifically, Capillary has helped companies sharpen how they do business, take a smarter approach to sales and customer support, create easier access to customers and bolster their competitive strength.

In addition, Capillary has built a strong relationship with IDA, a statutory board in Singapore that aims to empower local companies by connecting them with global innovation leaders to improve the country’s economic and social development. IDA offers upcoming local retail leaders in Singapore and other SMEs to claim up to 70 % of the qualifying subscription costs, capped at S$20,000, for all Capillary Technology services. Also, a tax rebate up to 60% can be claimed on the non-refunded amount.

“We make an ongoing effort to work with enterprises of all shapes, sizes, structures and industries, and that includes SMEs, helping them create a pro-business and pro-consumer environment that is essential for businesses to thrive and consumers to reap experiential benefits,” continued Choubey. “Everyone can use a little help when it comes to gaining new customers, enhancing customer retention and encouraging customer loyalty, and Singapore SMEs are the backbone of the powerful Singapore economy. They drive job growth and make up a significant portion of the country’s GDP. These SMEs deserve access to the world’s best tools and consulting at a reasonable, business-friendly price. Capillary wants to help give them that opportunity to improve business productivity and enhance overall return from their investments”, he added.

These initial campaigns and the many perks that come with them, however, are just the beginning. As the economy continues to grow and the needs of companies across Singapore evolve, SMEs and large organizations will collaborate to continually adopt global best practices and pave the way for smarter business and better service. Singapore may have passed its initial test for modern economic status, but its SMEs will only continue to grow, for the betterment of both Singapore and Southeast Asia as a whole.

Source: Capillary Technologies