Just found a survey made by ConstantContact among SMBs in february. They figured out that SMBs have challenges to handle even their basic online marketing. This is somehow understantable as they need to focus to their own business and they usually do not have knowledge or resources to tackle ever increasing complexity of online environment. Actually 70% of companies in this interview say that they do not have time to manage the listings. Continue reading 49% of small businesses never update their listings online
There is nice story about treasure behind name of this Chinese company.
Impressive is also the company carrying this name: their profit rose from US$1.02 billion to US$1.84 billion. Expected revenue level for 2016 is even more attractive: US$18 billion! The analysts are taking it from there adding nice 25x multiple with 20 per cent discount rate and thus reaching an entity worth US$98 billion today. So it seems as valuable as Facebook was during IPO.
It will be interesting to see what happens. I do not predict any specific fate for this “treasure box”, but rather pointing few things that make me wonder.
Alibaba’s market share: Alibaba is currently dominating huge share of Chinese online market. It seems difficult to maintain current position, if competition is opening up.
Alibaba’s market: Alibaba is focused in China. The growth expectations of that market seem to be slowing down from faster period of growth experienced earlier.
Analysts seem to be little undesided too with the valuation. The latest comment i found has already decreased estimate to $62 billion. Timing is cruicial in IPO as you can see from valuation changes. Intresting to see what happens. Merchandise is excellent, but what it is worth?
Business Insider was writing lately about Citi’s view to disruptive technologies. The picture they have drawn about this payment ecosystem is quite interesting. This ecosystem or value chain has many players and many roles. Most of them have their own old positions to protect and there are only few new players visible who have nothing to lose. Maybe some of the potential players are left outside of this picture? Interesting equation for future is who will have power combined with interest to create something tangible about mobile payments?
Second part of equation is the tricky end user. When considering the issues related to end user acceptance of mobile payments most crucial roles are played by easiness and availability. I experienced mobile payments at beginning of this century, while queuing to lunch at premises of an innovative and advanced company. Only reason for queue there was the test drive of mobile payments, which was taking considerably more time to process than just wiping the debit card. This experiment was disappearing after few months trial period. Availability (solution was based on SMS) of solution was secured, but easiness was forgotten. These are the same issues todays mobile payment solutions are challenged with: you need to deliver the key (currently credit or debit card) of some sort that is widely accepted among users and utilization must be easier than earlier. I think Google, PayPal, Apple or similar companies could have chance to challenge global banks and credit card companies because of their current user base.
Third part of equation is the merchant: what is it there for them? New solutions definitely should increase competition, but in stable markets where debit cards are widely used cost structure for merchants is already quite bearable compared to highly charged credit cards. This will increase the challenge for new comers: get high availability fast with competitive pricing.
Definitely interesting opportunity for players in different parts of value chain, although i think credit and debit cards were already quite mobile. Now all players in related industry need to think out of the box to pick the benefits of this disruptive trend and its impacts into payment value chain. I believe that end results will be easing up everyday life of consumers.