Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry (III), through the Innovative DigiTech-Enabled Applications & Services (IDEAS) Institute, Taiwan, has set up an e-Commerce solution to allow merchants to create their own store apps and sell on several major e-marketplaces all from the comfort of their own home, with the apps fully managed by the merchants.
KD8, or “Kai Dian 8” (colloquially “Let’s set up shop!”) is described as an app shop enabler, and aims to provide retailers with their own exclusive store app. Partnering with MOLPay Sdn Bhd, Tony Hsieh, Project Manager from the International Division of III, came to the Selangor Digital Creative Centre (SDCC) to give a talk, co-organised by the Selangor Information Technology & E-Commerce Council (SITEC), MOLPay, and Techtrans Advanced Sdn Bhd, about the solution.
According to Hsieh, who had started his session with an introduction of III and IDEAS, there are already more than 15 partners who are already using KD8, though these brands are also among the more established. As such, KD8 is looking for more merchant partners to join their network.
Hsieh noted that the solution has several sections of tech that form key components, namely the Multi-app Auto Generator, which allows III’s servers to make an app within 3 minutes of a merchant uploading a product (no coding involved on the merchant’s part), their image-indexing system, which allows customers to snap a picture of a desired product, and the system would search their database for similar images, as well as a one-stop multi-channel e-Commerce management dashboard, which allows omnichannel control across marketplaces.
Hsieh then explained that KD8 had already integrated with AllPay, a payment gateway provider in Taiwan, while MOLPay would be their payment gateway provider in Malaysia and Singapore. While integration with MOLPay is still in progress, Hsieh expressed confidence that integration would be complete by the end of 2016. He also mentioned the possibility of local merchants being able to sell directly to the Taiwanese market in future.
Hsieh also clarified that KD8 fits better with those utilising a B2C business model, using their own brand. This can also be utilised in selling across borders, as the app can be downloaded by customers in other countries as well. Of course, it would still fall upon the merchant to be able to meet deliveries.
There was also a product demo by Hsieh showing KD8, and the ease of signing up and beginning to sell using an app made by the service.
The demo was straightforward, with Hsieh demonstrating how the website registration worked.
The operation of the system was also straightforward, with intuitive entry of information and a clear flow of steps to upload products with.
The app creator on the website itself only requires an icon image, and a loading screen image, with more templates promised by Hsieh as being in progress. After clicking Build, aforementioned app generator will begin generation of a beta version of the app, with the servers issuing a QR code once generation is complete. After making any necessary changes, the app can be finalised and is ready for use.
Throughout the demo, Hsieh also showed the backend management system, which will be managed by the client. The backend shows data such as most browsed products and popular products, among other information, that allows easier inventory restocking. Sales information can also be exported to Excel to serve as records.
The app on the customer side also allows for order status checks. The merchant will be able to provide updates, as well as send a tracking number to the customer directly through the service’s management dashboard.
The marketing tool built into the dashboard allows the merchant to conduct discount events, craft push notification messages, and also manage ad banners, while also featuring a simple CRM tool for the merchant’s convenience.
The KD8 service is currently in a very basic form, according to Hsieh, with the project manager promising further improvements from III in the future.
A representative from MOLPay also took the opportunity to speak about their cash payment alternative, MOLPay Cash, which allows consumers to pay for their online purchases with cash at 7-11 or Petronas. Also mentioned was the recent partnership with 7-11 about the Boxit parcel locker, of which Lazada is a current partner. The Boxit system allows for more convenient last-mile and return options for the consumer.