Fri, Jul 26, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Yahoo Taiwan seeking to lead mobile commerce

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Yahoo Taiwan Holding Ltd (雅虎), the local subsidiary of Yahoo Inc, aims to become the leader in Taiwan’s fast-growing mobile commerce sector, company executives said yesterday.

“We aim to lead competitors in tapping the local mobile commerce market, as we have in the realm of e-commerce, with the increasing popularity of mobile devices,” said Josephine Cheng (鄭雅仁), senior director of the company’s shopping mall group.

The era of online shopping via personal computers is on the decline, Yahoo Taiwan said, since PC users now account for 42.7 percent of online shoppers, while smartphones and tablets account for 49.5 percent and 32.1 percent respectively.

Shopping deals via mobile devices contributed 15 percent of total shopping volume at Yahoo’s shopping Web site, skyrocketing 478 percent in the past year, senior director Jacky Wang (王志仁) said.

With the growth of mobile technology, more people will use their phones than computers for online access, he said.

The company’s figures are in line with foreign forecasts that the number of mobile devices is set to more than double in the next years and 20 percent of smartphone users make purchases on a daily basis, while 14 percent do so on a weekly basis.

Almost 50 percent of Taiwanese mobile shoppers visit Yahoo’s Web site almost daily and make at least one purchase a month, Wang said, citing a company report.

Demographically, people aged 20 and under account for 43.5 percent of the shoppers and women shoppers outnumber their male counterparts by 31 percent, the report showed.

“This age group will make a greater contribution to mobile commerce after they join the real world and earn their own living,” Wang said.

A large majority of Yahoo shoppers — 73.8 percent — use smartphones running on Google Inc’s Android operating system, and that number is estimated to grow at an annual rate of 36 percent, a trend that potential sellers cannot afford to ignore, Wang said.

Lu Hsi-peng (盧希鵬), professor of information management at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, said companies should not wait for customers to come to them.

“They should operate like 7-Eleven convenience stores that sell a wide variety of items and provide services wherever there are customers,” Lu said.

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