Interview with Maventures’ Yaron Carni: Where does Taiwan stand in the waves of cross-border e-commerce?

Israel and Taiwan Tech Startups Collaborate: Rising Stars of Cross-Border Ecommerce.

With the current fast evolving internet technology as a major driver for digital retail innovations, cross-border e-commerce is now a key milestone for e-commerce services. Where does Taiwan, being among the leaders in ecommerce, stand within this fast emerging trend?

Yaron Carni, founder of Israeli venture capital firm Maverick Ventures, whose portfolio spans several e-commerce advertising startups, believes that Israeli startups will become major players in developing areas crucial to financial services, including encryption and blockchain technology. This might very well lead to future improvements on online transaction models and cash flow technologies, which are current pitfalls in the cross-border cart. With software development being one of the major strengths of Taiwan startups, working with Israeli teams might be a good strategy to expand and attract further investment.

How AI and Big Data Analytics are Transforming the E-Commerce Industry

Taiwan’s robust online infrastructure ranks highly among Asia’s key e-commerce markets, and has gradually begun to expand overseas for continued e-commerce growth. Going from servicing single market to cross-border sales is one of the major leaps and challenges for the current e-commerce industry.

New technologies are increasingly utilized, such as AI, big data analytics and newer and more convenient methods of online payment, in order to expand their cross-border selling options and open up new markets.

According to Yaron Carni and partner Libby Novack, the greatest change that cross-border e-commerce poses is the flow of funds. Costs such as hiring employees, brand marketing to current models of importing and storing goods will all face drastic changes. And with the addition of AI and big data analytics, overall sales effectiveness will also be greatly improved compared to past business models.

Improved Labor and Selling Effectiveness Under Cross-Border E-Commerce Trends.

An overall more effective cost management is a major advantage of online sales, especially under the introduction of new technology. This results in demanding less manpower and storage costs, and also increased exposure through online digital marketing, enabling quick and efficient sales globally.

As cross-border sales are on the rise, and the cross-border market continues to expand, more sophisticated data analytics and targeted selling methods are needed. Big data analysis and artificial intelligence will replace traditional methods of spreadsheets and human analysis. E-commerce giants such as Amazon and Taobao are increasingly relying on big data analysis to produce targeted methods of customer recommendations, and to reduce checkout procedures for a frictionless online shopping experience, in hopes of boosting transaction numbers.

Yaron Carni has also observed that higher selling rates of products brought on by cross-border transactions,in turn also improves stock and delivery costs, resulting in lower retail selling prices, thus prevents inflation. Carni also believes that new developments in blockchain, third party payment and artificial intelligence technologies will accelerate the growth of e-commerce business models. He predicts that over 85% of manual customer services will be replaced by online bots and software, further improving transaction efficiency.

The E-Commerce Knowhow Needed When Entering the China, US, and Japan Markets

When expanding to overseas markets, one must take into account the language, cultural, and lifestyle differences. Chinese consumers in general prefer Chinese language sites when shopping online, and the average age of online shoppers is also quite young, thus e-commerce sites should try to be localized into Chinese as much as possible.

As smartphone penetration among Chinese consumers continues to grow at a rapid pace, and along with the emulating of various e-commerce models, China is now at the forefront of the mobile evolution in e-commerce. Meanwhile, word of mouth and recommendations among friends and family still play an important role for US consumers, so businesses looking to enter the US market must be aware of these differences to create relevant marketing content. For the Japan market, businesses tend to emphasize a very targeted approach to hone in on relevant consumers.

The US is still the largest market in terms of the volume of online transactions, and is also more sophisticated in terms of personal consumption compared to other countries and regions. Compared to the Asian and US markets, the European region apart from the UK is still more inclined to shop through traditional brick and mortar stores. Though e-commerce has been gradually expanding in the region, the growth rates are still quite slow compared to other countries, and Asian e-commerce businesses quite actively eyeing the market for future expansion.

The “Consumer Experience” as Core to New Modes of E-Commerce

In China, e-commerce businesses including Alibaba have been experimenting with new ways of converging online and offline sales, and are also looking to expand into other Asian markets. In the US region, they have even been collaborating with Amazon in implementing overseas selling, in hopes of being able to provide a more flexible e-commerce model for different markets.

Focusing on a purely online experience, stores such as Amazon Go aim to provide consumers with a more effective and hassle-free way of purchasing groceries and daily goods. Increasingly, more businesses are now looking to sell fresh produce online, and working with improved logistic services to deliver to a wider reach of consumers. This is drastically starting to change the way local grocery stores operate, and also lessens the pressure of delivery and inventory stock limitations.

Overall, though developments in tech has seen AI and big data analytics being used in everyday e-commerce solutions, there is still a long way to go for businesses in terms of consumer experience and overcoming localization and cultural barriers, and worldwide venture capitalists all have their eyes peeled for up-and-coming startups working on various aspects of e-commerce.  

 

In this year’s 2017 DATE SUMMIT Discover Advanced Trends in E-economy, Yaron Carni will go in-depth with the latest trends in e-commerce that both Israeli investors and Silicon Valley are currently witnessing, and also what advantages and opportunities Taiwan still hold in the field of cross-border e-commerce.

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