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Check here for yesterday’s biggest ecommerce headlines. We’re sorry this was slightly delayed, due to our website being under maintenance.

1. Rocket Internet aims for profitability in 2017 for its key startups

Sales rose at clothing retailer Global Fashion Group, food-delivery startup Foodpanda and home-furnishing business Westwing.  Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Southeast Asia is stage for Taiwan online service providers

For Taiwan-based online e-commerce, shopping or gaming service operators, Southeast Asia countries afford relatively good opportunities for extending business operations from the domestic market to overseas. Read the rest  of the story here.

 

3. Southeast Asian businesses urged to use Hong Kong as export hub

The HKTDC will come to Thailand  to promote Hong Kong as a gateway into China and other parts of the world. Hong Kong can offer a good logistics infrastructure, as well as business solutions and e-commerce.Read the rest of the story here

 

4. Masii co founder: “Thai people are smarter than the websites out there”

The startup has launched an online financial products comparison platform that offers credit cards, car insurance, hotel cards, and personal loans. Read the rest of the story here.

 

5. Pomona considers itself the Pokémon Go of shopping

The Jakarta based startup helps bricks-and-mortar stores drive foot-traffic and increase in-store engagement. Read the rest of the story here.

Nintendo Co. posted the company’s worst drop in 26 years after they dismissed the notion that the explosive popularity of Pokémon Go would translate into steady profits, reports Bloomberg.

The Kyoto-based firm was valued at 109 times projected net income after Monday’s plunge but the company has already said it doesn’t expect Pokémon Go will yield enough profit to increase its earnings outlook for the fiscal year.

The company is only forecasting $333 million this year, with analysts projecting that the number will actually be about $285 million.

Nintendo’s biggest profit was in 2009 peaking at $2.65 billion when the Wii and DS game systems were both chart topping hits. Pokémon Go debuted after the latest quarter ended and won’t have a measurable impact on the results.

“The important thing for Nintendo is to develop and operate a game using its characters, by itself,” says Eiji Maeda, Analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities.

One reason why the benefits from Pokémon Go are hard to quantify is the lack of clarity over how revenue is shared between the game’s producers, Niantic Inc. Nintendo is an investor in Niantic and Pokémon, while Google also has a stake in Niantic, which used to be a part of the search giant.

Roughly 13% of Pokémon Go sales will go to Nintendo.

Nintendo’s other ventures

Nintendo will have other potential revenue streams such as Pokémon Go Plus, a clip-on accessory slated for release this week in Japan. The gadget alone could add as much as $78 million in profit this year.

There’s also the exclusive partnership that Nintendo forged with McDonald’s Holdings Co. (Japan), which has set up Pokémon Go checkpoints at its stores and is promoting meals with Pokémon toys. The companies have not disclosed any details regarding the partnership.

“The big takeaway from all this is that the group’s intellectual properties, in this case Pokemon, has global reach. Nintendo has other world-known characters such as Mario and Zelda — when they begin to appear on smartphones, we can expect a boost to earnings. From a long-term perspective, the current stock price isn’t necessarily expensive,” comments Tomoaki Kawasaki, Analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities.

It seems like Nintendo will need a bit more time to see if Pokémon Go’s overnight explosion will generate long term revenue for the company, or amount to an overnight marketing fad.

A version of this appeared in Bloomberg on July 26. Read the full version here.

Since Pokémon Go’s surge in popularity in the US following the app’s launch this month, many retailers are now looking to seize marketing opportunities while the app is still trending, reports Reuters.

The app looks like it may be set to challenge young internet companies that specialize in increasing foot traffic for small businesses, and may play a role in major brand marketing.

The game, which requires players to walk around real-life neighborhoods to hunt for virtual Pokémon characters on their smartphones, has more than 65 million users in the US after launching in the first week.

The game is already playing a part in boosting foot traffic for restaurants, coffee shops and small retailers.

A pizza bar in Long Island City in New York claims that its sales jumped 75% over the weekend, by activating a lure model feature that attracts virtual Pokémon characters to the store.

The store manager only paid $10 to have a dozen Pokémon characters placed at the location.

This level of instant effect could become a potential threat for companies like Living Social Inc. and Foursquare, and other companies which have revolutionized online marketing for smaller businesses.

People born in the 1980s and 90s  grew up with Pokémon. It’s approachable and reassuring and that’s why it’s gone from zero to millions of users in just a few days.

The app has a chance to disrupt others as there has not been a geo-location social platform that can lure in so many people at once. With Pokémon Go, it is bypassing a lot of the digital marketing channels that brick and mortar shops have been relying on for the past few years.

Pokémon Go users are spending more time in virtual reality than on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, according to SimilarWeb.

The thing with overnight hype is that it can eventually fizzle out. Retailers should capitalize the Pokémon Go trend before it becomes a phase that nostalgic adults claim they played for a month or so.

A version of this appeared in Reuters on July 13. Read the full version here.

For some store merchants in the US, the new viral game Pokémon Go has literally driven people into stores purely to catch Pikachu or other characters.

The app’s ability to drive real-world foot traffic to certain locations is undeniable, something the majority of advertisements or even online stores cannot do. Some businesses in the US are leveraging a Poké presence to drive offline sales reports TechCrunch.

Pokemon Go

How does it work?

PokéStops and Pokémon Gyms are real-world locations that players visit to acquire collectibles pulled from the location database of Niantic’s original location-based AR game, Ingress. Locations are generated through user submissions, which means that anyone in the user community can apply to be added to the public database, after being vetted by Niantic. Brandon Badger, Niantic Product Manager, comments,

We hope to end up with a model where there could be a cost per-visit type model where large brands and small brands sponsor different elements of the game.

Business savvy store owners are using ‘lures’, an in-game item that turns any existing PokéStops into virtual feeding frenzy for players trying to catch Pokémon. However, this requires a PokéStop to be nearby so businesses are already looking to get Niantic to add one near their locations. As Nintendo has a history of striking offline partnerships, some people are already speculating that McDonalds, or a brand of that scale, would pay to have all their branches turned into Pokémon locations in order to draw in offline traffic.

When Pokémon Go finally comes to Southeast Asia, there will be opportunities for brands to leverage from, or drive offline consumer engagement using online locations. This trend is a chance for stores to convert online viewers into offline visitors.

Pokémon Go really is out to catch them all.

A version of this appeared in Tech Crunch on July 12. Read the full version here.