Frank Lavin has spent years giving business owners a single piece of key advice: expand abroad.
Over the years, though, the Commerce Department’s former undersecretary for international trade realized this was easier said than done.
“To say ‘why don’t you go to Mexico or France or China?’ is really tough,” said Lavin, also a former U.S. ambassador to Singapore. “The smaller the company, the less practical it becomes to learn a new language, deal with new tax codes and currencies and to take a huge global risk.”
Lavin is hoping his new Internet service Export Now can fix that by connecting American businesses with Chinese consumers.
Herman Leung, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group, talks about a potential takeover offer for Yahoo! Inc. The private-equity firm Silver Lake, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies are discussing a possible joint bid fo…
Alibaba-owned Vendio has acquired SingleFeed, a startup that helps online merchants to submit, manage, and optimize product listings on sites like Google Product Search, PriceGrabber and others. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
SingleFeed takes an online merchant’s products and delivers this data to comparison shopping engines. The virtue of SingleFeed’s service is that it helps merchants improve engagement, visits and transactions by being listed on more engines. As Vendio says, comparison shopping engines can drive between 15 and 40% of an online store’s monthly visits.
Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their tastes and expect a wider range of better products, according to a report released Monday that says local companies lead foreign ones in using e-commerce to expand sales.
The report by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and the consultancy Booz & Co. says China will likely become the second-largest consumer market in the world by 2015, just trailing the United States.
As their incomes grow, Chinese will have enough purchasing power to buy 14 percent of the world’s goods by 2015, up from 5 percent now, said the report, which surveyed 135 major consumer goods companies, 70 percent of them multinationals.