Global Marketing News – 1st May
Egypt’s e-commerce activity is set to double
The co-founder of an online shopping platform called Souq.com has said that Egypt has some of the fastest growing figures for online shopping. A recent Mastercard study revealed that 52% of Egyptians said they’d made an online purchase in the last three months.
With mobile penetration in Egypt at 90%, customers are also buying goods using their mobile devices.
Studies show that the most popular products bought online are airline tickets and hotel bookings.
One of the reasons that online shopping is becoming so popular is the difficulty in importing goods.
Online shoppers in Egypt prefer local websites. With 72% of shoppers choosing local websites compared to 28% using foreign sites. The most popular online shopping sites seem to be Souq.com and Jumia.
Souq.com is an e-commerce site often referred to as the ‘Amazon of the Middle East’. It sells a range of products and has 23 million visits a month. It’s also a marketplace for third party users.
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The Russian social networking site VKontakte is launching a video service
Russia’s largest social networking site will soon be launching a video service similar to YouTube.
Previously known for its pirated content, the social networking site is keen to improve its image and is taking steps to launch more legitimate music and video content. Currently, users can save music and video uploaded by other users but this is hard to police because withdrawn content can be uploaded again straight away.
The head of VKontakte’s customer department said that videos will be recommended to users based on their interests, with revenue created by InVideo ads, similar to YouTube.
VKontakte, known as VK, was launched in 2006 and is the Russian equivalent of Facebook. It has over 280 million accounts and is the second most visited website in Russia.
Baidu’s video site iQiyi is expanding into Hong Kong
IQiyi has engaged a top advertising firm as it gears up for a major expansion into Hong Kong, hoping to take on Google’s YouTube as well as Chinese rival, Youku Tudou.
Fast internet speeds and high mobile phone penetration mean that online video is big news in Hong Kong, and digital advertising is fast taking off as an alternative to television.
Iqiyi has already launched its own film production studio; its aim being to invest in original, high quality content. This news comes as a rival Chinese video company, LeTV, recently announced that it is spending up to HK$1 million on a locally produced TV series in Hong Kong.
Iqiyi is hopeful that its relationship with Baidu will set it ahead of its competitors, aiming to use data from Baidu searches to provide targeted advertising.
Launched in 2010 by Baidu, iQiyi is already a top video provider in Hong Kong, with 500,000 monthly users compared to YouTube’s 2.5 million.
Yudo launches the world’s first video chat app
The video-chat app will use real-time translation to translate the conversation as it is going on. It will be available for free in France and Japan and comes after the success of its well known video chat app, Saito San.
Japan will increasingly be in the global spotlight in the run up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Yudo hope that this app will help share Japanese culture and encourage international friendships by helping to overcome the language barrier.
France already has strong connections with Japan; Japan Expo has been held there for over 15 years so it was an obvious choice for the first release of the app. But Yudo hopes that France is just a stepping stone to the rest of the world, and is planning to add more features related to Japanese culture, such as games and karaoke.
Ebay has defended Google over the Brussels antitrust probe
The European union has recently accused the search giant, Google of distorting online search results in order to promote its own shopping service. Google refutes this, claiming that its search engine had not been given an unfair advantage and the success of other, more popular sites such as Amazon and eBay is proof of this.
In an interesting turn, this argument was recently backed up by one of these competitors when the chief executive of eBay, John Donahoe spoke out in Google’s defence, confirming that his company is a strong competitor to Google.
While this can’t be seen as an official backing, it is definitely supporting Google’s defence and is maybe a sign that the barriers between online commerce companies are starting to break down.
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