2004 Dec Issue
Cover Story
Matahari - Restructured and Ready
Other Stories
Sentosa's new themed shops offer unique shopping experience
Taiwan's online spend to grow by 50%
Generation Y changing US houseware market: The lack of brand loyalty opens door to new competition, products
Happy New Year! Cheers! But Asian retailers would still need to stay on their toes


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Taiwan’s online spend to grow by 50%

Recent research by a government-funded institute has shown that Taiwan’s online spending could increase by over 50% in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) transactions in 2008.

Released last month by the Institute for Information Industry’s E-Commerce Resource Centre, the study indicated that the revenue of B2B transactions online has grown by 50% from NT$4.94 trillion (US$154 billion) in 2003 to NT$7.39 trillion this year. The figure is expected to rise to NT$10.66 trillion by 2008.

Concurrently, revenue for Taiwan’s online B2C market this year could rise by 57.2%, year on year, to NT$34.72 billion and escalate further to NT$95.22 billion in 2008.

Overall, 50% of the more than 1,000 online stores and company-owned e-businesses polled from June-July 2004 indicated they were either breaking even or already made profits this year.

The bulk, 68%, of consumers’ online spending went to travel services, with a distant 17% on consumer electronics.

Meanwhile, Internet auctions, with their bargain prices, have seen improvements in customer-to-customer e-commerce. For example, transactions on e-auction site Yahoo!-Kimo by its members have risen in value from NT$10 billion last year to NT$15 billion, although the number of its listed items has halved.

However, security has remained a concern for online shoppers in light of the Internet scams and intrusions by computer hackers into online banking systems during the year. Of the survey respondents, 36.81% preferred to shop at brick-and-mortar stores, compared with 32.5% last year.

Retailers with limited marketing resources also face difficulties in enhancing their websites. However, Sophia Chang, a manager of the E-Commerce Resource Centre, suggested these retailers could either join hands with Internet portals to increase access to users, or establish shopping malls alongside other virtual stores.

Looking ahead, the resource centre said wireless Internet connections and mobile devices could facilitate e-commerce and reduce restrictions in transactions. E-commerce could also extend to TV commerce with the emergence of digital broadcasting.

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