Big data has become an essential component for giant e-tailers such as eBay and Amazon. As the consumption of data continues to grow rapidly, companies are investing heavily in big data to provide a new level of strategic marketing and offer better customer experiences.
On May 23, AmCham Taipei’s Innovation Council and Sustainable Development Committee jointly invited Robert Gou, CEO of Viewider, and Ming-Ji Wu, Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, to provide insight to global ecommerce trends at a Chinese-language luncheon program entitled, “從eBay與Amazon看電商全球化趨勢及大數據平台” held at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel.
According to Gou, worldwide retail sales are predicted to reach US$4.4 trillion by 2021, indicating tremendous opportunities for online retailers, especially those ready to invest in big data analytics. Big data can help online retailers achieve their goals by identifying markets, recommending pricing strategies, and improving business processes.
Gou highlighted some of the challenges small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Taiwan face in entering the online retail industry:
- Language barriers: difficulties to train and recruit talent for handling cross-border trading and dealing with foreign customers due to communications problems.
- Poor marketing strategies: lack of information and understanding about foreign markets to identify selling strategies, leading to poorly targeted marketing.
- Shipping and logistics: insufficient understanding of import regulations and delivery methods, and the high cost of outsourcing fulfillment.
- Payment methods: having a reliable payment processing system that is accepted by customers from different regions.
Director-General Wu discussed the growth of Taiwan’s SMEs – which numbered 1.4 million companies as of 2016 – and addressed challenges they face. In line with the government’s efforts to promote the New Southbound policy and to develop Taiwan as Asia’s Silicon Valley, the government offers various programs to assist entrepreneurs in expanding into global markets. These programs include 1) training, 2) funding, 3) industry promotion 4) market intelligence, and 5) technical expertise and support.
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