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The Benefits of Using Visual Content

Visual content obviously makes sense with social media networks like Pinterest and Instagram, but it actually works just as well in Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

Here are some of the best reasons why:

It’s faster

Visual content can easily accomplish things that plain text articles struggle with – the fast delivery of information and emotion that engage the viewer. This is why videos are not really the perfect format of visual content. If it’s over a minute long, it might bore the viewer and disrupt the transference of information.

Still, well-made videos succeed in maintaining a consistent flow of thought, thus making the insertion of CTAs (calls-to-action) easier. Videos also appeal to most online media users, although it’s usually just for entertainment purposes.

It gets their attention

When was the last time you saw a plain text article gets re-shared on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+?Never – because articles for content marketing are always accompanied with a feature image to capture the target audience’s attention. Without a visual element, your content will simply be drowned in the 1.5 billion pool of digital content available online. This alone should be reason enough for you to incorporate some form of visual marketing to your content.

It’s efficient

Wherever you are and whatever your nationality is, great visual content will always deliver content more reliably and efficiently than text. Moreover, it is a lot more understandable and effective, especially if hard data is being presented.

Your audience loves it

There are plenty of statistics that can show the advantages of visual marketing in social media. Starting with the giant; did you know that Facebook advertisers get 65% more engagement from their target audience with visual content? It is also known that using visual content often can get you more followers in platforms like LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter by bumping engagement up to 37%.

Finally, always remember that visual content has more chances of going viral and give your brand a significant boost in visibility and relevance in such a short amount of time. In addition to lead generation, the links that you receive from all the re-shares will help solidify your search engine rankings.

Read the full article on Tech in Asia here

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Silver Prize Winners: The Shilla Duty Free Shop

When Shilla set out to launch their service, their goal was to encourage tourists to travel around Korea without wasting time shopping. “Before we launched our service, many Chinese individuals who travelled to Korea spend a lot of time in stores to purchase duty free products. Sometimes, they complain that they feel uncomfortable in these stores because they are too crowded. Moreover, they complain that they spend too much time in the stores, waiting in line.” Thus, Shilla came up with the innovative idea of enabling Chinese travelers to shop online in advance and pick up their merchandise offline when they go back to China. “Now, Chinese travelers can buy duty-free products in our online and mobile shops at home, or anywhere, before visiting Korea” says the project lead of The Shilla Duty Free Shop, the company who won the silver prize in the innovative service category for the 2015 ECI Awards.

When Shilla planned to launce these Chinese online duty-free shops, they spent a lot of time studying and researching the behavior of Chinese online users and benchmarking popular local sites such as TaoBao to make their sites familiar to the Chinese. With continuous efforts of site development, they provided a lot of seasonal promotions such as a solo day event on the 11th of November, and HongBao promotion during the Chinese New Year holiday.

After a variety of efforts, Shilla achieved great success. There were about 1 million Chinese users that visited the Shilla site and over 30 thousand customers who made transactions in February. Since Shilla opened the China mall last June, their sales have been rocketing from USD $500,000 to USD $9 million.

Shilla invested over USD $2 million to build the online China mall and mobile app. The company is continuing investments in finance and human resources to maximize its service to Chinese travelers. Also, Shilla works closely with Cheil Pentai, which is in the top 5 digital marketing agencies in China to develop its service.

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Gold Prize Winners: The Plum Tree Group and GlamGlow

GlamGlow is a Hollywood-inspired, prestige skin-care brand that offers a collection of high-end, mud-based treatment masks. It was founded in 2010 by Glenn and Shannon Dellimore.

Faced with a problem that plagues most emerging brands as they try to manage their growth, GlamGlow wanted to capture their existing customers and receive a higher profit margin on each product sold – rather than sacrificing margins to acquire new customers through major retailer distribution partners.

Finding innovative ways to engage with consumers was a key reason for the Estee Lauder acquisition and its unprecedented levels of repeat purchases stemming from brand loyalty. The solution that Plum Tree offered was to create an e-commerce store that would engage the customer while also providing a new distribution channel through which GlamGlow can deliver products.

Plum Tree developed an advanced integration with Instagram which allowing GlamGlow to post and engage with Instagram users on homepage of ecommerce site. Meanwhile,  allowing GlamGlow to create a micro community of brand followers who create and share their own content. GlamGlow focused on created a branded social community and experience through branded short films, advanced social integrations into the site, incredible video content, and some additional social tactics that lured customers toward the brand (GlamGlow) rather than the distributor. Additionally, Plum Tree configured functionality within the site that allowed GlamGlow to serve a personalized offer to capture new users within the brand email database, and a separate offer that was personalized to returning customers once the configuration recognized them on site.

The end result of the entire strategy was GlamGlow being able to exit their existing distribution arrangements as they were purchased outright by Estee Lauder, providing them with a whole new distribution network and new resources to scale their growth in ways they wouldn’t have been able to do before, and huge reason why Estee Lauder was interested in the purchase was because of the incredible ecommerce performance that GlamGlow was able to post in their first year, combined with the strong community engagement that the brand had generated on its social platforms.

In 2015 ECI awards, The Plum Tree Group & GLAMGLOW MUD case won the Golden prize of Innovative Service in the international group.

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Gold Prize Winner: “Ren Ren Express Delivery Network”

In recent years, because of China’s rapid economic development, people are accelerating their pace of life, especially in first-tier cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. There are more and more demands for city logistics distribution, which traditional distribution cannot handle. The Sichuan Chuangwu Technology Company engineered a platform known as “Ren Ren Express Delivery Network Platform”, for which it won the golden prize in the innovative product category and the grant prize in IECIA’s 2015 ECI Awards.

Based on the personal credit system and security system, the Sichuan Chuangwu Technology Company created “Ren Ren Express Delivery Network Platform” a new type of mobile electronic “crowd sourcing” business model. Its innovative core idea takes advantage of people’s daily shuttle trips in the city, provides customized services for others through means of “piggybacking” and “helping deliver”.

This delivery platform promotes mutual assistance between companies and individuals, and establishes a personal credit system. There are five systems on the platform: 1) the credit system, 2) the certification system, 3) training system, 4) process management and control system and 5) internet payment system priority security escort for the goods. During the process, this platform builds the trust between strangers and reveals new ideal economic and social benefits.

“Ren Ren Express Delivery Network Platform” works in the following way:

  1. “Fast service”, parcel will arrive in 30 minutes within three kilometers of the city and with a “timing service”, users can pick up a specific time to receive the parcel.
  2. Users can apply to become a “Ren Ren Delivery Courier” and provide a service to others in “anytime”, “anywhere”. These services will then earn rewards.

The “Ren Ren Express Delivery Network Platform” differentiates itself from the traditional delivery network in the following ways:

  1. Reduction of transportation costs, as well as reduction of temporary storage to make the distribution time shorter.
  2. Environmentally friendly – deliveries will be completed without tedious paperwork.

The “Ren Ren Express Delivery Network” mobile APP officially launched in 2013. It has now become China’s largest “crowd sourcing” e-commerce platform. The rapid development of “Ren Ren Express Delivery Network” has attracted wide attention of many domestic and foreign investors. In 2014, 33 capital investment companies wanted to integrate the platform.

There are 5 steps :

  1. Required information is sent through the mobile APP. After the platform receives the information, it will pin the address of the sender by LBS and send out the information to the “Ren Ren Delivery Courier” based on proximity.
  2. The “Ren Ren Delivery Courier” needs to call the sender to confirm the address, arrival time, and other information within one minute.
  3. When the parcel is picked up, the “Ren Ren Delivery Courier” will have to present his/her work permit and take at least two picture of what is inside the parcel at different angles.
  4. Inform the receiver on the arriving time and confirm the delivery address.
  5. Confirm the five-digit identification code (SMS) which is sent out by the platform from the receiver. Enter the code to the confirmation screen of the platform to confirm and finish the delivery process.
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E-Daixi: The Ideal Laundry Business Model

In IECIA’s 2015 ECI Awards in Beijing, “E-daixi” won the Golden Prize in Business Mode Innovation.

There are lots of problems in the traditional laundry business model, for both the consumer and provider. Consumers often find it tedious to do laundry and ironing after a long week at work, whereas the laundry operators often experience pollution and cash-flow problems.

To address these problems, Rong Chang Yao Hua Network Technology created the ‘E-Daixi’ model in 2011.

How it works:

“1 and 4” is one laundry company that has four pick-up and delivery service shops. The company launched a generic “Network Card” amongst all stores. It is available in all Rongchang Ilsa stores, so that the user’s laundry need not be subject to geographical limitations. This “Network Card” is the first generation of O2O product lunched by Rong Chang, which users can buy online and use offline. This not only benefits the distribution of the head company, but also increases the service quality and solves the cash flow problem.

In 2013, E-Daixi Version 2 launched where consumers were able to order laundry service on the WeChat App and enjoy a pick-up and delivery service.

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WeChat Butler Service Gets $4M Funding Just 2 Months After Its Launch

In China, two experienced entrepreneurs came up with ‘Laiye’, a brand account inside China’s popular WeChat messaging app, giving the startup easy access to the 600 million people who use WeChat regularly. To accessit, WeChat users need to add the ‘Laiye’ official account and begin talking to the real-life people waiting on your beck and call.

According to the founder, the Laiye’s concierge service is currently free to all users but they are considering paid VIP programs that promise a faster response as well as more diverse categories.

Click here to read the full article on Tech In Asia

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ECI Awards Attends GMIC Bangalore 2015

GMIC hosts mobile executives, entrepreneurs, developers and investors from around the globe across platforms to build partnerships, to learn from industry thought leaders, to better understand mobile technology trends and to shed light on how mobile is positively changing the world.

With great success, GMIC Bangalore 2015, was held on the 10th of September and lasted for two days. Based on the ideas of ‘connection’ and ‘innovation’, GMIC set up a ‘developer stage’ and an ‘innovator stage’ for attendees to discuss developments and opportunities of mobile Internet under a global environment.

More than 3500 industry leaders, experts and developers attended this conference. Executive Secretary of ECI, Miss Xiong was honored to be invited as a VIP guest.

The first Panel Discussion took place on the morning of the 10th, which was a groundbreaking discussion of GMIC, attracting a crowd of bellwethers of e-commerce and media in India. ECI’s attendance at this grand event was a great introduction to the Indian market, which mirrors China’s development path and market scale.

Miss Xiong also had a pleasant conversation with Mr. Gurpreet Singh, the president of GWC Asian-Pacific, about future plans of establishing ECI Awards in India. Mr. Gurpreet has shown great interest in cooperating in such an event.

We hope to hear more good news about ECI India in the near future!

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Apple Announces iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus

Apple is proud to announce its new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S plus. The updated versions of the previous iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus feature identical designs along with an array of new features. One of the key features is a pressure-sensitive display, enabling a feature that Apple calls 3D Touch. 3D Touch allows you to press down on the iPhone’s screen to pull up new menus, activate shortcuts and generally interact with the device in new, innovative ways.

The new iPhone 6S maintains the same design and 4.7 inch display size as the iPhone 6 but is being offered in a new color- rose gold. The phone is also built out of several new materials, which includes a new aluminum, which Apple says is its own custom allow. The display is also now covered with a new glass, the same as Ion-X that’s used on the Apple Watch Sport.

Read the full article on The Verge here

Image Credit: TechCrunch

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Inspired by Amazon, engineer quits job and starts ecommerce venture

Usman Siddiqui, Pakistani-born entrepreneur, accepted a software engineer job in Dallas, Texas after graduating from Purdue University. His time in the US meant he was exposed to the rise and subsequent growth of technology startups. Inspired by these models, Siddiqui quit his job to be closer to his family and moved back to Pakistan. He then explored the possibility of building a startup in Pakistan.

The first venture he launched was The Readers Club. He brought Jawad Yousuf, an old college friend, on board as a co-founder.

The basic problem Siddiqui wished to solve through The Readers Club was the lack of access to books and reading material faced by most Pakistanis. Public libraries are few and far between, and almost all are mired in decrepit conditions. New books are prohibitively expensive and therefore only in the reach of the upper-middle class. Rather than launching a store, the idea is that The Readers Club is a kind of online library.

Read the full story on Tech In Asia

Image Credit: Tech In Asia

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China International E-Commerce Development Conference

This October, IECIA is excited to announce that it will be co-hosting the China International E-Commerce Development Conference along with the People’s Government of Sichuan.  The conference will be held at the New International Exhibition Conference Center, Century City in Chengdu on October 14 to October 15, 2015.

Chengdu is the capital city of the Sichuan province and is known for its great history and architecture. According to the World Bank’s 2007 survey report on global investment environments, Chengdu was declared “a benchmark city for investment environment in inland China”. The city is located in the Southwest of China and is renowned for its progress economically, technologically and culturally, making it the perfect destination for IECIA’s next conference.

China’s state council has designated Chengdu as the country’s western center of logistics, commerce, finance and technology. For this reason, IECIA believe that the China International E-Commerce Development Conference will be instrumental in connecting the most innovative individuals to Chengdu’s most influential companies.

The theme of the conference will highlight how creativity and innovation in e-commerce will change the e-commerce market as we know it and lead the future. The conference aims to promote and communicate research, as well as create, develop and invest in any areas of e-commerce and technology. The China International E-Commerce Development Conference is also proud to announce the attendance of industry and country officials, including national state officials, prominent politicians, budding entrepreneurs and renowned academia individuals.

The two day conference will host a variety of events and activities that include an opening ceremony, international e-commerce leader summit, a business exchange forum, the international ECI Awards ceremony and China’s International and Mobile Internet E-commerce Expo.

This year, IECIA will be presenting the ‘Massive E-Commerce Award’ (MECA), which will acknowledge, recognize and reward key players in the e-commerce industry for their efforts. The winner of the MECA will be a global enterprise that has established its operations in at least 5 countries and has over 500 millions transactions. Also, the winner of this award will be judged on the following criteria: 1) Business Model Innovation, 2) Product Innovation,   3) Technology Innovation, 4) Marketing Innovation, 5) Service Innovation, 6) Management Innovation and 7) System Innovation. IECIA strives to cross multicultural barriers, massive consumer scales and transitions that reflect how truly global the world has become.

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