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Posts Tagged ‘ e-commerce ’

China remains the largest global eCommerce market in terms of trading value, accounting for over 40% of the total transactions.

 

Transactions through eCommerce platforms have reached CNY 26.1 trillion (USD 3.8 trillion) in 2016, increasing by 19.8% from 2015, according to a Sina news report citing data from the Ministry of Commerce.

 

Ecommerce-related services have accumulated a value of CNY 2.45 trillion (USD 357.5 billion) in 2016, growing by 23.7% from 2015.

 

This growing market is sustained by the increasing number of internet users who reached 731 million or 53.2% of the country’s population. Online shoppers account for 467 million, or 63.8% of internet users. Another 441 million use mobile phones to place orders showcasing an annual growth rate of 29.8%.

 

The eCommerce market’s growth in China is due to the fast expansion of Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall marketplaces and Tencent-backed JD.com platform. The report shows that clothing, electronic appliances, mobile phones, digital goods, food and drink are among the most traded goods on eCommerce platforms.

 

 

Ant Financial, the payment affiliate of Alibaba, has claimed that its number of daily active users doubled in 2016.

So far, the company has not yet disclosed data about the total number of active daily users, but it has reported that over 450 million people use its Alipay service for payments and various financial services like wealth management and insurance.

Launched in 2004, Alipay provides payment services for Alibaba’s ecommerce platform. Currently, it controls 54% of the total market shares, but competitor Tencent has made significant advances in 2016 to secure a wider market share. Now, Tenctent’s WeixinPay has a 37% market share.

Both competitors have expanded their payment services to physical stores. Tencent said that 29% of all in-store Starbucks purchases in mainland China were made through WeixinPay. In a similar move, Ant Financial managed to sign a deal with First Data that could give the company access to a potential 4.5 million merchants in the US. Similar agreements have also been signed in Europe with Ingenico and BNP.

The market has been expecting on an IPO from Ant, valued at USD 60billion at its last funding round in 2016, but it is currently off the agenda, at least until the end of 2018, the Financial Times reported.

Alipay to launch in the US

By on May 12, 2017

 

Alipay, the mobile payment system offered by Alibaba, has announced is coming to the US, thanks to a deal brokered with First Data.

The expansion follows limited trials in California and New York, and will bring Alipay into direct competition with Apple Pay, Android Pay, and PayPal. Alongside online payments and money transfers, Alipay users can also hail a taxi, book a hotel, and buy movie tickets directly from within the app.

The partnership will allow Chinese tourists who visit the US to use their mobile phones to complete transactions at 4 million merchants and retailers around the country.

Alipay has about 450 million customers worldwide, but Alipay’s deal with First Data aims to offset the mobile payment’s loss of ground in China.

For many people, the recession of 2007-2008 is still fresh on their minds. Going through another downturn, and so soon, would be dreadful. However, terrible policies and unnecessary political confrontations between nations could plunge the world into another recession.

And it’s not like we’re not feeling the effects of a slow global economic growth, already. Several countries have seen their projections contract.

 However, some business sectors have shown tough resilience in the face of unpredictable economic outcomes. Here is a look at some of those industries and the lessons they can offer on flexibility, and why venturing into one of these particular categories could keep you safe from a serious downturn during a future economic shakedown.
 

1. Trucking

The growth of the trucking industry is strong — especially in America. Trucking is responsible for  70 percent of the U.S. freight sector. A primary way to ascertain the strength of any industry is the number of jobs it’s created. Truck Driving Jobs currently lists more than half-a-million jobs available.

And that figure doesn’t even take into account the other, indirect jobs this industry creates, such as the mechanics servicing the trucks and employees of the companies selling the trucks and their parts.

 

2. Virtual learning

When the economy slows, people strive to improve their skills, to find better job opportunities. This is where virtual learning comes in. This industry provides the education needed by people seeking to advance their careers in a tough and competitive business world. It just doesn’t have the brick walls.

A 2015 growth forecast projected that the elearning industry will exceed $107 billion.

 

3. Ride-hailing services

Uber operates in more than 500 cities around the globe. In a 2015  Business Insider  report, Uber was described as the world’s biggest employer, offering 50,000 driving jobs per month. The rise of Uber in the ride-hailing industry has seen several competitors build up around this over-$40 billion dollar industry.

What makes the ride-hailing service particularly attractive is its receptiveness to the technology ecosystem. The most advanced tech companies in the world today have made important contributions to this industry. Even a hard-hitting economic recession is unlikely to its solidity.

 

4. Online marketplace for homes

From real estate to hospitality — think Zillow and Airbnb — online marketplaces are increasing their staff strength to accommodate exploding growth. Airbnb was famously born out of two founders’ difficulty in paying their rent. It has since grown into a multi-billion dollar business relied on by families that want to put empty guestrooms or whole homes to use.

This sector sees increasing growth. An example is an online marketplace dedicated to manufactured homes, where home sellers do not need to worry about a location before commencing construction.

 

5. Contract blogging

Blogging is a business that offers several income opportunities. More businesses are moving to include content marketing in their growth strategy or plan to increase content-marketing budgets. Being a blogger means you may well see several businesses competing for your work.

 

6. Ecommerce

As buyers cut down the number of times they visit brick and mortar stores, in favor of discounted online shopping, ecommerce businesses will see their growth increase. The rise of ecommerce has seen several big-name stores close their outlets.

This development means more ecommerce stores will open in more countries around the world, especially in developing countries where demand is still high.

 

7. Online sports betting

One of the largest sports-betting platforms, Bet365, boasts of having more than 10 million players. Data from Statista shows that the online sports-betting industry may well top $53 billion dollars by 2018.

 

8. Online marketplace for professionals

As the gig economy shifts online, and more people get connected to businesses via the internet, online marketplaces for professionals will see increased growth.

We can thank LinkedIn for the rise of this business model. What supports the growth of this business model is that job-seekers and employers alike embrace it. For example, The Sawaya Law Firm, based in Colorado, encourages its attorneys and lawyers to use professional marketplaces to connect with more people.

The unpredictability of our economy will see more customers embrace the notion of lower-cost but still experienced online professionals. And these professionals will be less vulnerable to the economy, come what may.

These apps and digital tools help reduce the time a solopreneur has to spend on mundane tasks.

Solopreneurs are in a class by themselves. Given all the typical pressure of an entrepreneur that they’re under, and the fact that they have little-to-no outside assistance, solopreneurs need tools to help them reduce the time they spend on mundane tasks.

Additional free time, after all, is a godsend: It allows solopreneurs to maximize their time and creative potential for tasks that actually help their businesses grow.

 

So, if you’re one of those besieged solopreneurs, here are some suggested tools:

1. WiseStamp

WiseStamp makes it remarkably easy to create a professional email signature that will show your picture and automatically give recipients all your contact information, including links to your website and social media pages. There are several ways to customize the process that are all entirely free. For additional options, the site offers a yearly subscription.

 

2. Workflow Max

Workflow Max offers everything you need in a single integrated platform. This tool can be used on the computer or on whatever smart device you prefer. You can handle everything from lead and client management, to invoicing and time sheets, job costing, purchase orders and more. There are more than 30 add-ons you can use to adjust the workflow as needed.

 

3. Zapier

Zapier lets you automate tasks easily by teaching more than 750 apps to work together. The free plan allows you to build individual connections and create basic automation, while the premium plan allows greater customization of the automation processes.

 

4. Shake

Shake by Legal Shield provides free templates that can be filled in with your specific information and sent to clients or collaborators to sign electronically and return. There is absolutely no cost when you use one of Shake’s free templates, or you can upgrade to the monthly plan to make extensive customizations. For most people just starting out, the free plan will be more than sufficient.

 

5. Square

Square gives you the ability to take secure payments anywhere you are and has zero fees to get set up. The company will send interested individuals the hardware that attaches to a smart device for free and then keeps 2.75 percent of any transaction that is completed. This gives solopreneurs the ability to accept debit and credit cards from wherever they have the opportunity to make a sale.

 

6. Adobe Spark

If you’ve read anything about using social media to grow your business, you already know how important it is to have high-quality graphics that are designed for the platform you are using. Adobe Spark lets you do this for free. The premade templates are sized appropriately for whichever platform you are designing for, and the site also gives you the ability to create stunning video with virtually no prior experience.

 

7. Hootsuite

Hootsuite makes managing all of your social media accounts as easy as delegating the process to a virtual assistant. The free version lets you connect three social media accounts, schedule messaging and see basic analytics information. Plans are available for people who need to organize more accounts and for those who already have a team.

 

8. GetResponse

Email marketing and connecting to prospective clients through those efforts is incredibly important to effectively grow your business. GetResponse helps businesses do this for as little as $15 per month and includes 1,000 subscribers. As the business grows, higher-tier levels are available within the service. Every company, no matter how small, can benefit from gorgeously designed functional email marketing. Plus, you get landing pages and marketing automation, too. Higher-tier plans include additional features, like webinars, Salesforce integration and campaign consulting.

 

9. Grammarly

Solopreneurs often begin by doing everything themselves, including writing their own copy for email, social media, website pages and advertising materials. This is an effective way to keep initial costs low, but not all solopreneurs have the requisite skill set to write beautiful copy. Grammarly evens the playing field by catching grammatical and punctuation mistakes often overlooked by word processor applications. The free version also allows you to check for plagiarism, to make sure nothing you’ve read for research accidentally makes its way into your finished product. The upgrade option catches more details.

 

10. WiseIntro

WiseIntro is a free way to build your online presence without any startup costs. As you gain traction and need more options, it is easy to upgrade to one of the tool’s monthly plans to unlock additional features. This is an especially good choice for solopreneurs. This is because of the strong visual component they have to their work and their need to show prospective clients exactly what they can do while still avoiding — at this early stage — having to pay a graphic designer to create a custom website.

 

11. Sighted

Sighted is an online invoicing tool perfect for freelancers and solopreneurs. The free plan is perfect for a small business, offering 20 invoices per month in multiple currencies, for up to 10 clients. As the business scales, paid plans (starting at $4.99 a month) allow for unlimited invoices, expenses and 100 or more clients. All plans feature the ability to accept online payments and include a profit and loss report to make tax time a little easier.

 

12. Evernote

Evernote is a place to store all of those ideas, pictures, mind maps and other assorted information that you want to remember. It can be accessed from a smart device or computer, and when you input something in one location, it will be available from all of your devices instantly. This is a great tool for any planning you do on the go, and it comes with a ton of free storage. If you find yourself relying on it as an extension of your own memory, you can upgrade to a plan with more storage.

 

13. Portent Title Maker

Everyone gets stuck with creating a catchy title for a blog post or article at some point. Portent’s Title Maker takes your keyword and turns it into an interesting heading to give you a jumping-off point for your next piece of content. This tool can even help generate ideas for newsletters, brochures and emails.

 

14. Assistant.to

Just because you are a solopreneur doesn’t mean you want to do every single task for yourself. Most businesses owners would agree that having a secretary to take care of details is essential. Unfortunately, it isn’t affordable for everyone just starting out. Assistant.to sets up your appointments by working with your email recipient, automatically adjusting time zones and even rescheduling meetings if something comes up.

Companies have found that by offering a limited version of their services to small businesses and solopreneurs, they are able to develop lasting business relationships that will grow over time.

Then, as their business demands increase, loyal users are more willing to pay for services they have begun to depend on. Take advantage of this marketing tactic yourself, and put it to work for your business today.

You’ve just opened an ecommerce business with great products. What’s next? The success of your business depends on attracting customers. You should think about your marketing tactics. Marketing takes time and dedication, especially when it comes to ecommerce websites. You need to work on increasing your site’s visits and number of followers on social media channels in order to improve your business. Here are some of the tactics that may help you gain more customers on your site:

 

1. Automatic emails

Founders of ecommerce businesses need to keep their brand top of mind for current and potential customers in order to have successful site. They need to find a way to engage existing customers make another purchase, as well as to attract lost customers and make them have an initial purchase. There are automated marketing platforms which allow you set up triggered emails based on specific formulas. For example, you may have an email set up to be sent to any new customer to encourage them to make another purchase or an email set up to be sent to recent purchasers asking them to leave a testimonial which helps you increase content on your site and improve SEO. For those shoppers who have abandoned their cart, you can send a cart recovery mail. Never miss an opportunity to convert a consumer.

 

2. Strong online presence

As owner of ecommerce business, you need to be in touch with as many of the potential customers as possible. Having an attractive and user-friendly site is not enough. You need to strengthen your presence on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. The right web content and properly managed social media sites can boost any start up business. You cannot simply publish couple of posts on social media and a few of online advertisements campaigns. You need to reach out to cross-marketing associates, have featured posts and/or pull a stunt in order to be noticed by the press etc. The basic purpose of doing so is for e-commerce world to become acquainted with your presence and to strengthen your existence on social media.

 

3. Affiliate marketing

In order to generate traffic on your e-store, affiliate marketing is the thing you need. It helps in capturing the attention of potential customers. “Affiliates” refers to third party sites which help you with traffic generation -with the use of Pay per Click- for small cut. If such diverted traffic makes purchases, you will pay the site-owner a pre-agreed percentage of the sale. You can analyze affiliate traffic through the Google Analytics which will enable you to see the sales. Use affiliate marketing to attract customers to your page. After that, you have to retain them there through various incentives and perks.

 

These three options may help you attract customers to your e-commerce store. Site visit don’t appear on its own and social media followers don’t come out of nowhere. With careful planning, having in mind various marketing options available out there, you can build a strong brand and increase your customer base. 

 

Customers who are keen to using technology have a huge effect on ecommerce business. Those times when customers were thinking whether buying something online is worth the risk have passed. Nowadays, technology helps customers keep track to their online orders. In addition, customers are now able to interact with retailers.

As technology is changing the world of ecommerce, there are certain benefits for both sides. Customers are able to access a range of tools which help them compare prices, get coupons and locate stores, whereas retailers can make their connection with customers stronger and build their brand faster.

Here are some of the ways in which technology is changing ecommerce business:

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Mobile apps are influencing customer/retailer relationship

 

Apps have given retailers the opportunity to connect with their customers. They no longer have to wait for someone to come to their store since businesses can now reach people everywhere. Even if they are not shopping, ads they have on their phones remind them of brands available out there, as an option.

 

Retailers are on customers’ minds more than ever

 

Email notifications are becoming pushed out more and more by marketers in favor of smart phone push notifications. These features allow marketers command consumer attention more than ever. All of those promotions that were once filtered as spam or scrolled down by consumers are now catching customers’ attention right on their home screens. By doing that, retailers inform their customers about the newest sales and promotions.

 

Personalized customer experience is growing

 

It’s not new information that customers want personally relevant shopping experience. What is new is the fact that technology is making personalization standard. These marketing methods are good for those who want to build a loyal customer base. Ecommerce sites are starting to realize that they need to adapt to the new customer service standards which are being set by technological improvements.That can be done by servicing customers on various channels- email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all other channels that are being used by customers to connect with brands.

 

Customers like the convenience of lower prices and faster delivery

 

With the increased demand for convenience, same-day deliveries pose new challenges for retailers. It is not at all cheap to put a driver behind a wheel for the same-day delivery. Due to that, online stores may encounter the need to make their price tags higher. But, technology comes to the rescue. In future, such deliveries could be done by drones or automated vehicles. Sites like Amazon have already started to use drones for their deliveries. Those sites that want to gain competitive edge offer their customers faster deliveries with lower prices.

 

Small businesses are taking over

 

The future for small businesses is looking bright, especially for those jumping into the ecommerce market. Consumers are now able to discover brands they have never heard of through their smart phones and social media. Thrift shops can now set up an online shop and offer global access to their products.

 

Technology is changing our lives more and more every day. Social media, mobile and cloud technology gives the opportunity to entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground faster or even start up a business from home. Those retailers who want to stay at the top or get there need to start thinking of using all the benefits Internet and technology has to offer.

 

amazon_paypal

Amazon and PayPal have discussed the possibility that the online retail company to support PayPal payments at checkout.

Amazon offers credit and debit cards, gift cards, and Amazon.com store cards as payment methods. Customers can also link their checking accounts to the site to make quick purchases.

PayPal grew to 197 million active users at the end of 2016. According to the company’s data, each of those accounts averaged 31 transactions in the preceding 12 months.

Amazon Payments can be used by merchants to facilitate payments, and by customers to make those payments. In many cases, the merchants that use Amazon Payments to facilitate purchases also offer customers PayPal.

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Facebook has obtained an e-payments license from the Central Bank of Ireland, signalling that the ability to pay people through the Messenger app (already available in the US) could soon be coming to Europe.

 

The Central Bank of Ireland’s approval of the payments license was authorised to Facebook Payments International Limited (FBPIL) in October 2016 for “e-money issuance” and “payment services.” TechCrunch reports, cited by businessinsider.com. As a member of the European Union, passporting rights mean that the Irish license would apply throughout the other 27 EU member states.

 

Currently, the payment service only works in the US. It allows customers to send money to friends via the Messenger app, a feature which it has recently been promoting. It has been reported that the social network will soon be adding payments to businesses, as well as friends, via the app.

amazon

Reports indicate that Amazon is eyeing the Southeast Asia market and will launch its services in this region early next year beginning with Singapore.

Singapore will be an ideal entry-point as it is a lot smaller than other countries in this region, which makes it easier for Amazon to acclimatize from an operational standpoint. Furthermore, its has a much higher level of consumer spend than its neighbors; plus, its consumer culture is more similar to that of developed markets. Reports also say that Amazon is quietly acquiring assets like refrigerated trucks and are ramping up new hires in Singapore.

Amazon is likely to offer its Prime and AmazonFresh delivery services here in Singapore, and that the current plan is to launch in the first quarter of 2017. However, it is believed that Amazon’s grand target is Indonesia, which is the fourth most populous country in the world, and also the largest economy in this region.