Taiwanese E-Commerce Still Has Room for Growth

Insights on Contemporary E-Commerce Challenges and User Behaviour– An Interview with Criteo General Manager for SEA, HK and Taiwan, Alban Villani

Taiwan and e-commerce actually go a long way back, but the UI/UX design of most current e-commerce websites leaves a lot to be desired. In addition to improvements in this area, implementing cross border e-commerce and multiple payment methods would likely increase conversion rates significantly.

Telling “Stories” Through Content to Reach the Right Target

With various different devices now providing internet access, adapting advertising and content marketing accordingly has become one of the biggest challenges for businesses. Traditional analysis methods are now increasingly unable to determine actual consumer needs, making marketing and advertising even harder.

Thus, marketing tools for e-commerce companies are now made up of AI, cloud computing and big data analysis, which allow them to gain an almost crystal-clear perspective on the buying behavior of consumers. Criteo, a French company focused on tech innovation, utilizes behavioral data analysis gathered from websites and apps to assist e-commerce companies with analysis and uncovering potential for new consumers. The online data can even be viewed in conjunction with accumulated offline numbers to generate a holistic view of real time consumer behavior for targeted marketing efforts.

Alban Villani, Criteo regional general manager for Southeast Asia, HK and Taiwan states that whilst in the past, consumers would browse mobile content before making the final transaction on their PC, it is now the case that more and more people are completing their shopping solely through mobile phones. Faced with increasingly complex browsing and shopping behaviors, data analysis is now plays an more important than ever, and moving forward to varied and cross-border developments has become crucial for any e-commerce business.

E-commerce Musts: Brand Building, Content Delivery and Storytelling Techniques

Four years since Criteo first landed in the Taiwan market, they have observed that close to 60% of Taiwanese consumers shop online and also use ticket booking among other online services. A great number of these transactions are completed via smartphones, laptops and other mobile devices, resulting in 140 million to 150 million dollars in total e-commerce transactions.

According to Alban Villani, there is a very high penetration rate of smartphones in the Taiwan market, where 90% of users will complete their online shopping on their phones, along with consumer behavior traits that are similar to Indonesia, Thailand and other developing countries. In contrast to the typically brief descriptions provided by other websites, most Taiwanese e-commerce businesses include more in-depth information to ensure that consumers feel assured about their purchase.

With the rising trend of shopping or searching online followed by completing the purchase in stores, the need to accommodate cross-platform commerce is now a key focus. E-commerce companies now need to rely on several data sources to be able to uncover where their target consumers are, and also to better devise marketing strategies to be able to survive in the increasingly competitive market.   

According to Criteo research, more than 57% of purchases in Taiwan are made through cross-platform selling. If e-commerce companies or advertising agencies are still categorizing activity in terms of “devices” as opposed to “people,” then there is a great risk of losing key insights as well as business. Through his past experience as both a producer and content provider, Albin Villani claims that the Holy Grail for marketers is to strike a balance between creating a great brand image, consistent delivery of engaging content, and the use of suitable storytelling techniques to be able to attract the consumer across all environments.

This also echoes what Criteo strives to achieve: emphasis on the relationships between brand building, content delivery and format, and the use of technology to drive better advertising experiences to reach customers.

Taiwan E-Commerce Still Has Room for Growth

From trend research done on Taiwan and its neighboring countries, Alban Villani believes that the rise of Alibaba, Amazon and other mega e-commerce companies in China and the Southeast Asia markets will also in turn drive the development of e-commerce in countries such as Thailand and Indonesia, or eventually generate new models of cross-border e-commerce that push forward a closer integration between online and offline selling.  

Taiwan and e-commerce actually go a long way back, but the UI/UX design of most current e-commerce websites leaves a lot to be desired. In addition to improvements in this area, implementing cross border e-commerce and multiple payment methods would likely increase conversion rates significantly.

However, Taiwanese e-commerce companies have also accumulated quite a loyal base of users, and with regional relations with Japan, China and Southeast Asian countries, as well as the high rate of mobile usage, Alban Villani is positive about Taiwan’s future potential for growth and development.

Though Taiwanese users are not as hooked on app services compared to their Chinese and Thai counterparts, there is a significantly higher number of gamers among them, listing in the top 5 globally according to Google. With the abundance of local app designers and technological resources, Alban Villani thinks that establishing ties with the gaming community has the potential to open up a greater pool of e-commerce opportunities.

Speaker Info

Among the first three Criteo employees who launched Criteo’s Singapore office and operations in Southeast Asia, Alban Villani has been the General Manager for SEA, HK and Taiwan since March 2017. An entrepreneur at heart, Alban has more than 12 years of experience and a solid track record in the media and internet industries across Europe, the US and Asia.

He started his career as a film and TV content producer for Universal Pictures and for Canal+, a leading French TV channel. He then founded his own production company in Paris, ASM Entertainment, which has since become a key provider of TV content, music videos and award-winning films in Europe.

Alban Villani will discuss his past experience as “content driver”, and give advice to Taiwan businesses on how to successfully become a “storyteller” across all environments.

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