Samy Liechti has built up a very nice subscription e-commerce business from Switzerland selling socks, underwear, and shorts. The company is 100% bootstrapped.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?
Samy Liechti: I’m Swiss and grew up in Switzerland. I went to one of the finest European business schools. I studied Business and Economics in Switzerland, Paris, and Toronto. After graduating, I worked in marketing and communications before I opened up my own company. >>>
Miva caters to 20,000 e-commerce merchants and Rick Wilson discusses the trends he sees in their customer base, as well as the industry in general.
Sramana Mitra: Welcome to the Thought Leaders in E-Commerce Series. Tell us a bit about yourself as well as Miva Merchant. Tell us what you do and how did you get to where you’ve gotten to.
Rick Wilson: Thank you for having me. I’m the President of Miva Merchant. From the way most companies are structured, I take what we would normally consider as the CEO role. We’re an SMB e-commerce platform. In the scheme of the market, our customers are larger than what you might see on a Shopify or a Bicommerce revolution. >>>
Online retailer eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) finally bit the bullet and took the call on spinning off their payments unit PayPal. The decision has already led to Board battles and now the resignation of VC Marc Andreessen from the Board.
The dynamics of e-commerce in China are very different from the US. Let’s dig in!
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to your company and yourself. Tell us what you do and your background. We’ll take it from there.
Excerpt from my new book, From eCommerce To Web 3.0.
In 1999, long before fashion on the Internet actually took off, I started a company called Uuma. It was a traditional venture-backed personalized fashion startup that received an acquisition offer from Ralph Lauren before the company was caught in the first dotcom crash.
I am going to articulate the vision behind Uuma, particularly because that vision still remains unrealized. I hope that some entrepreneur, somewhere, will execute on it.
As you know, I define Web 3.0 as a verticalized, personalized user experience. The web is still utterly fragmented. You have to go to different places to find information about the same context. I have long had the vision of a personalized Saks Fifth Avenue. I want my store — my personal store — that carries merchandise that applies to me; that suits my hair color, eye color, skin tone, body shape and personal style. I want it to stock my favorite designers and more like those. And I want to see articles and community discussions that are specific to my interests.
According to eMarketer, global business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce sales are estimated to grow 20% to $1.5 trillion this year. The growth is attributed to increased adoption of online and mobile devices in emerging markets and higher penetration of features such as advancing shipping and payment options, as well as the thrust into international markets by bigger brands. In fact, this is expected to be the first year when the Asia-Pacific market will outgrow the North American market with sales in Asia-Pacific estimated at $525.2 billion versus $482.6 billion in North America. Not surprisingly, China will be the largest market in the region. Here is an interesting infographic from the report showing the high e-Commerce growth anticipated by emerging markets.
According to iResearch, the Chinese online travel market is expected to grow from $46 billion in 2014 to $75 billion in 2017. A more conservative estimate for the market was released by PhoCusWright, which estimates the market to be worth $30.3 billion by 2015 and that it will account for 24% of China’s travel bookings by 2015.
We’re seeing a real trend of zero-logistics e-commerce businesses scaling phenomenally well. Read Azim’s experience!
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with the beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born and raised? What kind of educational path did you follow?
Azim Makanojiya:I am from India. My parents shifted from a village to Mumbai city for better opportunities. That’s where I was born. My father came to the US around 1984. My mom was still back there in India. Within two years, we came to Houston and settled down here. I was about a year old then. >>>