Mon, Dec 21, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Students launch innovative online shopping service

By Kevin Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Students at Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences launched a discount product Web site last week, betting that offering the lowest prices on everything online would not only benefit college students, but also earn support from brand-name vendors.

Crazy tuck shop (福利社瘋了) says it will refund the difference if members find cheaper prices elsewhere.

The store has enlisted several firms as key partners, including Synnex Technology International Corp (聯強國際), Asia’s largest information technology product distributor, Taisun Enterprise Co (泰山企業), a major player in the wholesale sector, China Airlines Ltd (華航) and Hewlett-Packard Co, the world’s largest personal-computer maker.

Meanwhile, Matsusei Supermarket (松青超市), Sunfar Computer Co (順發電腦) and Golden Life Cold Jewelry Co (今生金飾) last month became the latest retailers to join Yahoo-Kimo Inc’s (雅虎奇摩) virtual mall operation where 1,100 participating vendors have recognized the online shopping market as a continual growing business.

Charlene Hung (洪小玲), general manager at Yahoo Taiwan, said traffic on Yahoo’s online shopping site was growing at a steady pace this year despite the economic downturn. Hung expects the company’s electronic commerce sales to increase 30 percent more than last year, the company said in a statement on Nov. 26.

Taiwan has more than 15 million Internet users, many of whom have experience buying merchandises online, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ commerce department said in a release on Friday.

Citing estimates by the Institute for Information Industry (III, 資策會), the commerce department said the nation’s online business-to-customer market would exceed NT$200 million (US$6.18 million) in sales this year, up nearly 47 percent from last year’s NT$136.5 billion.

The ministry said more than 25,000 vendors had joined various online shopping platforms to operate their business 24 hours a day and seven days a week, and the number is expected to increase continuously.

As for transactions through the business-to-business e-­commerce, companies seemed to have more awareness about the advantage of Internet platforms, as the value of goods sold online is expected to increase NT$700 billion this year to NT$9.9 trillion, III estimates showed.

These figures showed that “the nation has gradually emerged from the impact of global financial crisis,” the ministry said.

Online sales represent a small part of the nation’s total retail trade. The III’s Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (產業情報研究所) earlier this year said that online sales would account for 4.7 percent of retail sales this year, slightly up from 4 percent last year.

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