Kampong Glam gets a digital makeover

Kampong Glam, Singapore’s first digitally-enabled neighbourhood, has launched five
initiatives in its first phase to help traditional businesses located in the area succeed in a
digital economy. Around 150 merchants have already benefited from the digital
transformation.

The neighbourhood transformation project led by the IMDA in collaboration with Enterprise
Singapore, the One Kampong Gelam (OKG) association and the Singapore Malay Chambers
of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI) is aimed at strengthening the neighbourhood’s appeal to
digitally savvy consumers and visitors interested in an experiential retail experience, and
helping businesses up their productivity quotient using technology.

The first phase of the neighbourhood’s transformation comprises the following five digital
initiatives: E-payments, for convenient transactions; digital map listings and virtual in-store
tours, for improved merchant discoverability; augmented reality-enabled navigational tool
with digital marketing features, to help visitors navigate seamlessly through the
neighbourhood; convenient, affordable shopping delivery services, so customers can “shop
without shopping bags”; and integrated point-of-sale system, to help businesses become more efficient.

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Following initial success in helping more merchants establish online listings and virtual tours
on digital maps such as Google Maps, a Memorandum of Intent was signed at the launch
between Temasek Polytechnic (TP) School of Business, IMDA and OKG to increase the
involvement of TP students to continue to assist merchants on their digitalisation journey.
To further enhance the digital capabilities of the neighbourhood, OKG is working with key
stakeholders to explore new ideas for the second phase of transformation, which may include pervasive outdoor Wi-Fi coverage, intelligent digital signages, IoT-based visual identifiers, social media-based brand identity and e-commerce capabilities.

Jane Lim, Assistant Chief Executive, Sector Transformation Group, IMDA explained that in
order for businesses, including traditional businesses to stay competitive in the digital
economy, they must digitalise their operations and processes. She added that with the
initiatives, businesses will now have more tools to engage their customers with an integrated
experience that unites the physical and digital, and be better positioned to seize growth
opportunities in a fast-changing business environment.

“As the lines between the physical and digital world continue to blur, our SME merchants
need to keep pace by adopting new mindsets and digital capabilities that enable them to fully
participate in this ever-evolving economy. Embarking on this digital journey will allow
businesses to better engage their customers not only here at Kampong Glam, but also beyond the precinct, bringing new opportunities to showcase the unique offerings of our SME
Merchants and reach new customers,” added Chew Mok Lee, Assistant Chief Executive
Officer, Industry Clusters, Enterprise Singapore.