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Talk of the Day -- Cold rainy weather fuels online retail sales
Central News Agency
2013-12-27 10:25 PM
Taiwan's Web retailers have seen their sales grow by leaps and bounds in recent weeks thanks to cold and rainy weather, according to a local media report. The country's capital Taipei, in particular, has been damp and rainy for most of December, recording the second highest number of rainy days and amount of rainfall for the month since records began in 1902. Web retailers said cold rainy weather has helped cool consumers' interest in going outdoors and has instead prompted them to shop online. The following are excerpts from a special report in the Friday edition of the United Evening News on the latest online shopping frenzy: The online shopping site operated by United Daily News Group, shopping.udn.com, saw its daily sales exceed NT$10 million (US$333,540) one day in December. "It's a new record and an encouraging record," said a spokesman. According to him, the website has seen its 2013 sales more than double last year's amount, with Q4 sales hitting a new high. Best-selling items include electric heaters, dehumidifiers, blankets, winter clothing, health food and herbal tonics, he added. Another online retail site, myfone.taiwanmobile.com, said it posted a 2.6-fold annual sales growth between Dec. 22-24. Two other Web retailers, rakuten.com.tw and 7net, saw their sales increase by 40 percent and 20 percent, respectively during the Christmas shopping season. GOHAPPY shopping site said it scored an about 30 percent year-on-year sales growth in December, with sales in the week ahead of Christmas accounting for 40 percent of the monthly retailing volume. It attributed the double-digit growth mainly to cold wet weather. Speedy, convenient delivery or click and collect services provided by Web retailers have also helped attract more online customers, the Web retailer said. PChome24h said its December sales of electric heaters grew by more than 200 percent year-on-year and sales of dehumidifiers also increase by 30 percent. Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan also said successive cold waves that have struck Taiwan this winter have help boost its sales of electric heaters, dehumidifiers and electric quilt heaters. Lin Yi-chang, eBay's Greater China chief executive officer, said Taiwan-based Web retailers are expected to play an increasing role in cross-border online trading business. According to an eBay survey, 52 percent of Taiwanese online retailers are planning to expand their overseas sales in 2014. About 30 to 50 percent of the respondents to the eBay survey said they are setting their eyes on emerging markets such as Brazil and Russia. Lin said the maturity of e-commerce will help Taiwanese traders explore new emerging markets that used to be less accessible to them. According to eBay survey, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom remain major export markets for Taiwan's online retailers. Nevertheless, the survey shows that their sales to Argentina grew by 162.1 percent in the year from June 30, 2012 to June 30, 2013. Sales to Brazil and Russia also posted a 38.7 percent and 37.1 percent, respectively. The survey also found that the best-selling items of Taiwanese Web retailers are clothing, footwear and accessories, cameras and other photographing equipment, auto parts and components, sporting goods, computers and accessories, in that order. (Dec. 27, 2013). (By Sofia Wu)
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