Tasted Menu sounds almost like the now defunct Tasterous.
Teaming up with Taobao
Coo8.com, the online arm of Chinese BestBuy Gome today announced reaching an agreement with Etao on joint force promotion/affiliate program, CPS advertising and so forth. The two are expected to cooperate more comprehensively in many areas for mutual benefits. For example, every month Coo8 will provide Etao with selected items, only for Etao users.
Coo8 will share with Etao all its inventory information – over 100,000 items, meanwhile, Etao will pay Coo8 back with user traffic, Alipay accounts and user behavior statistics.
Apparently, Gome is striving to catch up with Suning.com, the online subsidiary of Suning, one of the largest electronic chainstores in China.
Lagging Behind Suning
To many industry insiders, Suning.com was THE black horse in China B2C forefront last year. According to iResearch, a Beijing-based internet think tank, Suning.com is the third largest Chinese B2C by transaction volume in 2011, only next to Taobao Mall (or Tianmao) and 360buy. Chen Nian, founder of Joyo.com (sold to Amazon) and VANCL also believed that “Suning.com is the real black horse of the year, and if the site is taking the online business seriously, then we are assured a spectacle.”
As a matter of fact, Gome is having a hard time in keeping up with the pace of Suning on both online and offline fronts. Though self-claimed as the largest electronic stores in China on its website, the financial results of the two speak to the truth. In the first three quarters of 2011, Gome offline business generated RMB 1.791 billion in net income on revenue of RMB 43.983 billion, the outcome was overshadowed by Suning’s RMB profit of 3.422 billion on revenue of RMB 67.625 billion.
According to Wang Zhiquan, CEO of coo8.com, the 3C-centric site recorded RMB 2 billion in sales. While, Suning.com grabbed RMB 5.9 billion in sales last year, according to iResearch.
Coo8.com planned spending up to a whopping RMB 100 million on Etao’s affiliate program in this year.
Interestingly, Gome operates another more-of-its-own B2C site Gome.com.cn. The service went online in May of last year, about 7 months after Gome acquired 80% of Coo8.com in November, 2010.
When asked about the siblings, Wang said that “coo8.com and gome.com.cn are both brothers and competitors. The two belong to the same parent company. Electronic online retailing is a huge market, gome.com.cn to coo8.com is nothing different from to other online outlets.”
Price Engine Picking up
With the proliferation of Chinese B2C services, price engine like Etao help Chinese users buy smarter are burgeoning. B5M.com announced raising US$ 7.1 million in Series A round of funding in last month. Other competitors in the market include Smarter.com.cn, askyaya.com, Youdao Shopping (by NetEase), Beargoo.com (3C-centric) and so forth. Put aside how eager Coo8 is to catch up with or even outrun Suning, at least, tapping into the trend to foster its business is a smart move for the beleaguered company.
- TaoBao to Launch the First iOS-based Chinese Digital Publication Platform
- Online Luxury Store Xiu.com Raising $100 million in Series B
- Online Tea Retailer Maimaicha.com Raising US$ 15M from Domestic Investors
Lafaso.com, one of the Chinese cosmetics etailers is expected to break even after its inception in 2008, the company’s CEO Wang Lichen told local media.
Funded by Sequoia China, the women-centric site pulled in RMB 100 million and 300 million in 2009 and 2010 respectively, as for last year the number is expected to reach RMB 1 billion. The company’s marketing expenditure in 2011 was RMB 20 million, though.
Fours years after its founding, Lafaso now boasts 5 million registered users with a repeat purchase rate of 56%. The Beijing-based online outlet is trying to boost its user base to 10 million in this year, which means more marketing and branding expense. According to Wang, the company’s advertising budget will be 3 times last year’s to RMB 60 million.
On top of this, Lafaso is planning to expand its proprietary brands from about 10 to more than 20 in this year, with more than RMB 600 million ( marketing expense of RMB 50 million to 100 million for each brand) to promote these in-house brands. On the other hand, female apparel will also be added to its categories.
- Buding: China’s E-Coupon Distributor and More
- 360Buy to Revamp Website Soon
- Chinese Pinterest Huaban.com Grabs Money and Attention
Amobee wins prestigious Global Mobile Awards by consistently leading the mobile advertising industry with innovative mobile advertising campaigns for the world’s largest brands.
Amobee received the prestigious Mobile Marketing & Advertising Agency of the Year Award at the annual Global Mobile Awards at the Mobile World Congress today. Amobee was selected for its sustained leadership, creativity, innovation and success in mobile advertising, successfully spearheading growth, adoption and evolution of this fast-growing industry.
The winner of the award was selected by a panel of more than 170 independent analysts, journalists, academic and subject matter experts. Amobee’s mobile advertising team, equipped with the Amobee PULSE for Advertisers, is known for creating and delivering global mobile ad campaigns that have set the pace for the industry.
In the press release, Trevor Healy, CEO of Amobee said,”“We are incredibly honored to have received this esteemed award and we would like to thank the GSMA for this prestigious honor. I am very fortunate to work with such a pioneering, high-charging team that is changing the advertising industry as we speak.”
[a•mo•bee], the company defining mobile advertising, offers comprehensive, end-to-end mobile advertising solutions and services for advertisers, publishers and operators. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, with offices in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the US, [a•mo•bee] enables its large customers to run targeted, leading edge mobile ad campaigns on a global scale with unparalleled ROI. [a•mo•bee] has financial backing from some of the biggest names in venture capital: Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, and Globespan Capital, as well as strategic investments from Motorola, Cisco and leading operators, Vodafone and Telefónica.
Nokia didn’t just announce its latest range of phones at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona yesterday but there was an announcement that will excite many in Indonesia.
At MWC Nokia announced the winners of the global Create for Millions competition held by Nokia. Among the winners list, two Indonesians were listed among the top three in different categories.
The two developers are Mico Wendy who developed Baby Write Number and Kemas Dimas Ramanditya with his TransJakarta S40 app.
There were actually three finalists from Indonesia in the global contest but unfortunately, Agate Studio’s Urban Fatburner Macho! didn’t make the cut.
Create for Millions competition was an event which also ran locally; there were four winners that were announced at the Startuplokal event. I was invited to assist with the final selection of apps sent by developers. Four apps that were chosen were Toresto, Komodo Park and two more applications that went on to the global competition; Baby Write Number and TransJakarta S40.
I’m excited that two apps from Indonesia received international recognition. It turns out that the winners on the global competition are the same ones that I selected for the local event. A number of reasons that I considered at that time were: for TransJakarta S40 application, though it looks simple (and probably it’s already fixed for the global contest) the information provided is very helpful and very local, especially existing applications (web apps) is intended for the lower to middle range mobile devices; and the same applies for Baby Write Number although similar apps already exists in other platforms but I see this application remains attractive especially for the target market to be achieved.
From the official announcement from Nokia developer blog, the winners came from various countries such as Poland, Colombia, UK, Germany, Kenya, Finland, Egypt and the U.S. Ten winners of the four categories will receive cash prizes and for the three main winners from each category will receive EURO 50,000 each. Application of the winners will also be promoted globally in a variety of channels owned by Nokia; online, social media, newsletters and more. The main winners from each category will also have UX consultation from Nokia and support from top design agency for creating a spotlight banners.
Applications submitted in this global contest came from 61 countries worldwide. APAC (61%), EMEA (33%), and Americas (6%). The top 10 countries with most application submission are India – 353 applications, Indonesia – 149 applications, Kenya – 70 applications, Vietnam – 56 apps, Germany – 54 applications, Philippines – 47 apps, Denmark – 47 applications, Malaysia – 46 applications, Singapore – 37 applications, Brazil – 34 applications. Indonesia submitted the second most number of apps.
Nokia also said that the outcome of the contest aligns with Nokia’s strategy for identifying relevant local content (for users). A part of it, the Nokia Store downloads using Nokia Series 40 mobile phones reached more than 30% of Nokia Store total downloads. The development for these devices facility has also been supported by the In-App Purchase and In-App Advertising.
Congratulations to the winners especially for the winners from Indonesia. Hopefully these applications continue to have demand by the users in order to achieve the target market. To have Baby Write Application, you can click this link and for TransJakarta S40 you can click this link.
Here’s a list of winners from each category (including the special prize winners):
Access to Knowledge:
- Baby Write Number by Mico Wendy, Indonesia
- myQR.Card by Damian Dominiak, Poland
- YouTube Teletext by David Bello, Colombia
- I’m Feeling ..! by Mohammed Diab, Egypt
- Soundtracker Radio, by Daniele Calabrese, United States
- qeep, by Stefanie Merten, Germany
Fun and Games:
- Sushi Loop by Kosti Rytkönen, Finland
- Sandbox by Alexander Fürgut, Germany
- Crash Test Dummies 2 by Ledicia Perez, United Kingdom
In the Know:
- AroundMe by James Mwai, Kenya
- Heatmap by David Bello, Colombia
- TransJakarta S40 by Kemas Ramanditya Dimas, Indonesia
Special prizes were given to applications that offer the best touch features, location-based application, and best overall for the Web Series 40 applications.
- Best Series 40 Location-based apps: Locago, submited by Patric Nordström from Sweden.
- Best Series 40 Touch-based apps: Sandbox, submited by Alexander Fürgut from Germany.
- Best Series 40 Web App (Tie – prize money will be split): AroundMe by James Mwai of Kenya, and David Bello HeatMapoleh of Colombia.
One of the most prominent game studio in Indonesia, Agate Studio, held a survey about gaming in Indonesia. 1200 gamers were participating to gain inside knowledge about current condition in Indonesia. The result apparently quite obvious. RPG (Role Playing Games), Strategy, and FPS (First Person Shooting) are three most popular genre in Indonesia. In other hand, music and puzzle are the least favorites.
Desktop remains the most popular platform for playing games, although the popularity of mobile gaming is skyrocketing. Almost 90% confessed that they still use desktop to play games, with 33% said to play games using smartphones. In accordance to previous fact, most people (89&) are playing games at home, with only 31% are still playing in Internet Cafe or Game Center.
Social games has set a new bar by picking up the third place with 25%, while Tablet is still looking for its market by grabbing 11% of total audiences. If we go deeper on social games, the most popular genre is RPG, followed by War Strategy and Farming. Speaking of RPG, the Japanese series like Final Fantasy may have set a very high standard. Almost 70% of the audiences are picking Japanese RPG, compared to 30% of Western RPG fans.
What about paying? Do Indonesian gamers really pay for playing? The Agate survey captured that most people (70%) are paying less than Rp 100K(around $11) per month. 25% audiences said they are throwing between Rp 100K to 500K per month ($11-$55) from their pockets. Yet, only 40% have already used the money to buy virtual items or Facebook credits.
More and less, this survey is quite valid picturing about gaming condition in Indonesia. May it help Indonesian gaming developers to map their target even better and to optimize the ROI.
You can view full diagrams of these results at Agate’s blog page.
Long gone are the days when you could just throw up any old Website and expect it to drive leads, bring in clients, make sales or grow your list. It’s simply become way too competitive out there. If your site isn’t designed specifically to get your ideal client or customer to take notice—and take action—they probably won’t.
This is even more important if you’re using social media and other kinds of marketing to drive traffic to your Website or blog (and you should be!). Because if it isn’t designed strategically your site is going to keep costing you far more than it makes you. Not a good thing. Unfortunately, too few Web designers and developers know enough about sales and marketing to do effective Website planning. And too few entrepreneurs know enough to realize they aren’t getting a site designed to make sales and grow their business. To help you get a business-building, money-making site, below are four common yet costly mistakes and how to fix them. Resolving even one of these can dramatically increase your results!
No Call to Action
Every page of your site should ask the visitor to do something: go here for more info, buy now, register, call, watch a video whatever. You must tell people what to do next, and make doing it simple and obvious, or there’s no telling what they might do. But it probably won’t be what you’re hoping for.
Not Enough Information
You can’t make anyone take action until and unless they’re ready. So you always have to consider exactly what information they need in order to confidently take that action. At a minimum that means answering all their questions and dealing with all their objections. Typically the lower the cost of the action, the less info you need to share. Keep in mind, however, that even clicking to a new page means the visitor is paying you in their valuable, irreplaceable time.
Too Much Information
Every page of your site—even your home page—should be focused on one topic only. The goal of the info on your home page is to let visitors know they’ve landed in the right place, tell them what you offer and to whom, and get them interested in learning more. Then help them find the specific info they want in two clicks or less. If you sell three services and five products, don’t list them all on the home page. You’re only going to confuse people. Instead make your home page an overview and/or use it to promote your free offer. Then, use navigation links, content links or buttons to help people find what they’re after quickly.
Your Site Is Egocentric
Is your site all about you, your services or products, your company, your history, your experience, etc? If so, then you’re like the guy at the party who only talks about themselves—repellant. Instead focus your site on your ideal client or customer. Talk about their wants, needs, problems or goals, and how you can help. Show how they’re going to benefit by choosing your products or services over the competitions’. Then there’s a good chance they actually will.
Even though there is more of it, but I hope a few mistakes mentioned above can make you realise about what you’ve done and will drive you to improve your website on becoming a better one. It’s better to improve common mistakes now, rather than you add more useless functions which you think it’s better, yet losing more money.
Wego, a meta-search engine for travelers officially launch their service today in Indonesia and announce their global expansion plan. They held a press event today at Hotel Indonesia Kempinsky, and although their newly-appointed CEO Ross Veitch couldn’t join because of illness, Dailysocial managed to talk to Veitch via email.
In this interview, we talked about online travel, Indonesian market and Wego’s plan to expand globally and locally. Check out our interview with Ross Veitch below.
Can you elaborate a bit about you, your background and how you founded Wego?
I was born in Australian and have always been something of a geek with an interest in computers and the BBS scene as a kid. At 18 I deferred my university studies and instead went off travelling overseas. A few years passed and I never did actually start university. I’ve lived and worked in London, Melbourne, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur and then to Singapore in 1998 when Yahoo! offerred me a job as the head product guy for Southeast Asia.
During my time at Yahoo! I was exposed to the travel metasearch business in Europe and the US which planted the seed for Wego. My friend and co-founder Craig Hewett was similarly exposed to this business model when he worked at Intercontinental Hotels Group and we put our heads together and came up with the plan for Wego. We thought because of the very fragmented nature of Asian travel markets and the rapid growth of online travel that this part of the world was perfect for travel metasearch. We were possibly a little early in retrospect but it’s far better to be early than late!
Why you decide to expand to Indonesia?
Initially it wasn’t really a very conscious thing. Years ago a large number of Indonesians started using our english language wego.com site and it got to the point where there was obviously demand for what we offer. As a company headquartered nearby in Singapore we’re obviously quite familiar with Indonesia as a massive emerging market for travel and so about 2 years ago we set ourselves the goal of becoming the #1 online travel player in Indonesia.
Indonesian young market is still offline-oriented. How do you think Wego can deliver the balance?
Whether a user ends up booking online or offline is something we are actually agnostic about. We work with travel agents, hotels and airlines who support online, offline and hybrid booking & payment models. What’s important is that when a traveler comes to Wego.co.id we show them the best prices, the widest range of products and all the available booking options so they can choose what’s best for them.
Indonesia has a big market for budget traveller, not 5 star hotels but hostels, villas etc. How Wego capture this market?
On Wego we have a very wide range of accommodation including a large number of hostels, backpackers, homestays and budget hotels to help our users stretch their travel budgets further. When we’ve done datamining to analyse the accommodation preferences of our Indonesian users we actually see a very wide range. Yes there is a big budget section but we also see a lot of demand for business and luxury hotels so we’re clearly reaching quite a broad cross section of the Indonesian traveller market.
Which company you consider as competitor? And what does Wego have in advantage compared to other competitors?
We’re really competing with every other company that is fighting for the attention of travellers online. As in other markets, this means we’re often competing with our travel partners, which creates quite an interesting dynamic. Ultimately though, we’re all working to grow the online travel market so the more players that enter the market the better.
The advantages Wego has:
1. Great product that is 100% localized for the Indonesian market
2. Fabulously talented and dedicated team in Indonesia
3. Big distribution partnerships with Detik and Yahoo! Indonesia
4. Travel industry partnerships with pretty much all of the important players in Indonesia
5. Early mover advantage
What do you expect with the official launch in Indonesia?
With the official launch if we’re successful at getting the word out about Wego Indonesia I expect to see a pretty big jump in traffic to wego.co.id and an increase in the velocity of our business generally in Indonesia.
We’re also trying to get the word out that Wego is hiring in Jakarta for both our local and global teams. We’re looking for 1) frontend developers, 2) full stack web developers 3) web designers 4) mobile site & app developers. We just signed a lease on a fabulous space in Menara Palma, Kuningan that will be the new home of Wego in Jakarta. Anybody interested should contact Graham Hills (Wego Indonesia GM) or myself on LinkedIn to find out more.
Any targets you want to achieve both globally and locally?
For Indonesia I’d like to finish 2012 with wego.co.id as the clear #1 online travel site for Indonesian and with Wego on it’s way to becoming a well known brand amongst online Indonesians. That should keep Graham Hills, Wego’s Indonesia GM nice and busy!
Once the hobby of tech geeks, iPhone jailbreaking is now a lucrative business. In the U.S., the primary jailbroken app store, Cydia — named after the insect that bores into apple trees — earned about US$10 million in annual revenue and counted about 4.5 million weekly active users hunting for apps, according to a report in the Washington Post last April.
In China, jail-breakers mainly use 91 Assistant to download apps onto their iPhones. 91 Assistant is offered by Fuzhou-based NetDragon Websoft, which earned Rmb 70-80 million in revenue from the smartphone management tool last year. The tool also has an Android version. Currently, about 70-80% of iPhone and 40-50% of Android phone users in China use 91 Assistant. It is one of the most important distribution channels for mobile apps in China.
NetDragon has already spun off the mobile division, 91 Limited, and plans to list it in either the United States or Hong Kong, chief financial officer Joe Wu said.
The business of iPhone jailbreaking
With 91 Assistant, users can easily download software applications (or apps) from the Internet with their computer. In the case of iPhones, however, they must first “jail-break” the phone or other iDevices. Jail-breaking is the process of removing the limitations imposed by Apple on its iPhones.
“It is like installing a new OS [operating system] for the mobile phones,” said Joe, “Just like someone may buy a new computer preinstalled with Windows, but does not like it and installs Linux on the machine.”
Jailbreaking iPhones is legal, although Apple has said the practice “violates the warranty”.
Apart from downloading software, 91 Assistant also helps users to manage data on a phone, such as transferring photos, music, video, and other files to and from their computers, making backups for phone numbers, and so on.
The rapid growth
Being the first of its kind in China, 91 Assistant spread quickly among iPhone users. Today, 70-80% of iPhone fans in China, or 12-13 million people, use 91 Assistant to download applications onto their mobile phone, said Joe.
NetDragon runs a third-party app store to support the operation. So far, it has more than 241,658 different applications available. “It is an alternative to iTunes,” Apple’s official channel for selling applications, said Joe.
91 Assistant also offers a version for Android phones. More than 20 million people are using its Android counterpart, or about 40-50% of all Android users in China. Joe expects the number of users will increase rapidly this year. “Smartphone users in China will increase another 100 million this year. We expect half of them, or 50 million, will use 91 Assistant,” said Wu.
Joe’s expectation seems very likely to happen. Adoption of iPhones is set to grow in China following the announcement last week that China Telecom, the country’s third-largest wireless operator, will offer the iPhone 4S from March 9. At present, only the slightly larger China Unicom offers the phone in mainland China. China Mobile, the country’s largest wireless company, uses a domestically developed 3G technology. It has yet to close a deal with Apple.
Revenue and investment
NetDragon earned about Rmb 70 million to 80 million last year from its mobile operation, generating revenue through advertising and partnering with game and e-commerce companies. “Our mobile division is already profitable,” Joe Wu, NetDragon’s CFO, said. He expected revenue would triple this year as the user base increases and mobile Internet becomes more mature.
Several venture capital firms, including IDG, Vertex and DT Capital, have invested a total of US$34 million into the 91 Limited, although NetDragon still controls over 60% of the unit.
“This year, we hope to get our mobile division listed in either US or HK market,” said Joe, ” We prefer the US market as it understands Internet business better.”
Still, the very success of 91 Assistant has encouraged competitors to rush into the market.
One is Wandoujia, one of the projects incubated by Innovation Works, an incubator established by former Google China head Lee Kaifu in Beijing after he left Google in 2009. Wandoujia was launched in 2010 and with its sole focus on Android phones, has attracted more than 10 million users, according to an industry insider.
Another rival is iTools, which specializes in iPhones and other iOS devices. It is produced by Think Speed Group, which was formed by Feng Linyi and Kung Hoising, two early members of Tencent, China’s biggest Internet company, who were involved in building Tencent’s flagship product, QQ instant messaging services.
iTools, which is more convenient compared with 91 Assistant as there is no need to jail-break machines, has attracted more than 3.5 million users since it was launched last July. About 40% are in China.
Last November, Hong Kong-listed Come Sure Group Holdings signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire 51% of the company. The deal is expected to be completed by April. The company is also talking to Tencent for potential cooperation. “If they can get the support of Tencent, iTools can easily get tens of millions users,” said an industry insider.
In addition, Tencent also offers a similar product on its own. Wu understand the competition is keen. “There is no use to be afraid. We just have to do our best,” he said.
Partnership with Qihoo 360
But there is a bright side to the story. Recently, 91 Assistant has made a partnership with Qihoo 360 Technology to promote its product. Qihoo 360 is the country’s leading anti-virus provider. It has over 370 million active users per month and it is one of the top-three internet companies in China by user base. The two companies’ co-brand product, 360(91) Assistant, is quickly gaining market share.
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- NetDragon and IDGVC Announced $50millions Fund To Invest Mobile App Development Market
We just received official news that AdMax is acquired by Komli Media, a digital media network platform.
Through this acquisition, AdMax can access Komli Media’s vast variety of digital platform such as display ads, mobile ads, video ads, social ads, and search ads as well as the whole complete data. Prashant Mehta, Komli Media CEO said that this acquisition will strengthen Komli Media’s positioning in Asia’s digital platform for advertising and also expand its presence in markets like Indonesia, Thailand andd Malaysia where AdMax has strong presence.