Optimising e-commerce with big data

Many of us have been obsessed with certain games as youngsters only to grow out of them. But meet a person who not only stayed fond of a teen hobby, but even leveraged the knowledge and skills gained from playing it to build a viable business with impressive results.

Jun Yeung is the founder of Science Park company Viewider which specialises in e-commerce optimisation for traders and e-tailers. As a young student, he was into the Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game. Blessed with sharp business instincts, he noted market demand for rare cards and auctioned them on e-commerce sites to make pocket money. He learned a lot about setting prices and marketing through this side business and gained the confidence to launch Viewider to provide e-commerce marketing and promotion solutions.

Managing e-commerce for SMEs

He set up Viewider in 2007 and started by researching customer needs and market trends, while at the same time enhancing the functionalities of his tools and improving services. He says the company’s target customers are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which tend to have limited resources to set up their own e-commerce sites, making eBay and Amazon their platforms of choice. However, while these platforms provide some basic business management functions, such as how to publish product information, set prices, manage inventory and transactions and when to promote, SMEs still have a wide range of other issues to grapple with. Viewider addresses these gaps to deliver real value.

Diverse functions on offer

The company offers services in seven areas:

  • Product research: understand competitors’ products to help make better decisions on product positioning and marketing.
  • Price optimisation: use big data to analyse market trends and set prices according to different situations and timing to increase sales volume and cash flow.
  • Recommendation engine: learn from data, based on purchase history and browsing record, to predict users’ preferences and recommend relevant matching products.
  • Dashboard: present data with simple charts to let merchants have a better understanding of business performance.
  • Lister tool: create quality variations and multi-sku listings on eBay for fast listing in attractive formats.
  • Inventory management: consolidate merchants’ product inventory, with tools for searching, viewing and bulk updating of products to minimise out-of-stock risk.
  • Transaction management: a single-page display of all transaction details on price, quantity and shipment status for simple and convenient transaction management.

Viewider began by targeting eBay as the site was the preferred platform for budget-tight SMEs eyeing the global market. The company has been enlisted as eBay’s official business partner. eBay’s Taiwan offshoot uses it as an endorsed third-party tool, which means merchants can use Viewider services to list and manage products on eBay. The company has been exploring opportunities on other e-commerce platforms including Amazon, Rakuten and Alibaba, and is collecting and researching big data about those platforms.

Expanding online and geographically

Jun says that Viewider has about 4,000 merchant users in Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and other cities, and about 1,000 of them are active. Monthly transaction turnover is between US$800,000 and US$1 million. Beside eBay, Viewider has reached a partnership agreement with Turkey’s e-commerce platform Gittigidiyor and will serve as an approved third-party management tool. The company is planning to expand its footprint to Indonesia, Vietnam, India and the Middle East.

Benefiting from HKSTP’s startup support

Viewider has been at Science Park since its early days and joined HKSTP’s incubation and acceleration programmes tailored for startups, including Incu-Tech, LEAP and NxTEC. Jun believes these prorgrammes have helped the company tremendously in raising funds, expanding its reach and recruitment. As the company looks to develop management functions for high-value transactions and machine learning technology to enhance product categorisation efficiency, he hopes to continue working with HKSTP to promote research and development and contribute to making Hong Kong a world-class innovation hub.

Jun Yeung (3rd from Right) and the team of Viewider in Hong Kong Science Park

Jun Yeung (3rd from Right) and the team of Viewider in Hong Kong Science Park

Viewider offers one-stop e-commerce management tools for its clientele.

Viewider offers one-stop e-commerce management tools for its clientele.

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