29 June 2020

On 12 June 2020, Enterprise Singapore (“ESG”) and the Singapore Standards Council (“SSC”) launched the first national standard, Technical Reference 76 (“TR 76”), on guidelines for e-commerce transactions. TR 76 supports ESG’s efforts to bolster SMEs’ online presence in the growing e-commerce market.

A Technical Reference is a provisional standard that is developed to address urgent industry demand and issued for industry trials for a period of time. Comments received during the trial period are taken into consideration when the Technical Reference is reviewed.

The guidelines in TR 76 serve as a practical reference for e-retailers and online intermediaries such as e-marketplaces. The guidelines provide comprehensive end-to-end coverage of the e-commerce transactions’ process, from pre-purchase activities of browsing and selection, to purchasing and payment procedures, and post-purchase activities which include fulfilment delivery, tracking of products, and returns, refunds, and exchange. The guidelines also cover best practices on customer support and managing relations amongst
e-marketplaces, merchants and consumers.

Businesses can refer to the guidelines as a checklist to develop e-commerce processes and policies, and convey clear and comprehensive information to consumers. This includes details on the e-retailer or merchant, their products or services, returns and refunds policies, and payment and shipping processes,
so consumers can access the information easily and make informed choices.

According to the ESG media release, online retail sales in Singapore generated an estimated 5.0% and 5.8% of total retail sales value in 2018 and 2019 respectively. This year, the figure increased from 5.5% in January to 17.8% in April, reflecting the substantial increase in e-commerce transactions fuelled by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the Enterprise Singapore website www.enterprisesg.gov.sg: