The 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs Carving Their Own Niche In Asia’s Retail And Ecommerce Space

This year’s 30 Under 30 Asia: Retail & Ecommerce category features entrepreneurs who have identified gaps even in the most crowded markets.


Starting with a study abroad trip to the Philippines at age 11, Yoomee Hwang has traveled the world, visiting 37 countries across six continents. Over the years, family and friends back home would ask her to pick up favorite items from local shops—eventually Hwang saw a business opportunity, one that helped land her a spot on this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list: Retail & Ecommerce category.

In her junior year at Yonsei University in Seoul, she sold suitcase-friendly (and customs-compliant) goods online, says Hwang. “I called it ‘hand-carry cross-border e-commerce,’” she recalls with a laugh. After finishing her degree in business and cultural studies in 2017, Hwang took the idea more seriously and with Junho Choi, 31, launched YOLO, a website to broker sales of goods brought back to South Korea by travelers.

When the pandemic grounded flights, Hwang was forced to pivot and in 2020 she launched online marketplace Croket. Within the first year, it listed 147,000 local products from 8,000 sellers (most migrated from the earlier website). Today Croket users in South Korea can choose among some 700,000 different items, from mango jelly sweets from Thailand to French handbags, from 25,000 sellers across 89 countries. Over 3 million people have downloaded the app and its cumulative gross merchandise value exceeds 155 billion won ($115 million), with YOLO taking a cut of sales. The Seoul-based company has raised about 6.3 billion won in funding so far from investors, including South Korea-focused Strong Ventures, to grow outside of South Korea and undertake new projects like a secondhand goods platform, says Hwang.

“Yoomee is young, and she looks

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As Rest of Retail Stagnates, Ecommerce is Hot. And what Walmart Said about this Phenomenon

Walmart US online sales +22%. It credits “convenience” of ecommerce for its success in attracting higher income customers.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Ecommerce sales in Q1 jumped by 8.6% year-over-year, to a record $289 billion seasonally adjusted. The rest of retail trade sales, not including ecommerce, ticked up only 0.3% to $1.53 trillion, according to data from the Census Bureau today. For the four-quarter period, ecommerce sales rose to $1.12 trillion.

Over the four years since the start of the pandemic, ecommerce sales have exploded by 90%, while the rest of retail trade sales (not including ecommerce) have increased by only 26%.

Quarter to quarter, ecommerce sales rose by 2.1% from Q4, seasonally adjusted, while the rest of retail trade sales, without ecommerce, fell 0.5%.

The share of ecommerce sales rose to 15.9%, the highest since the lockdown miracle of Q2 2020, as ecommerce continues to eat an ever-bigger slice of the retail pie:

The rest of retail trade sales without ecommerce has close-to-stagnated for nearly two years, after the pandemic spike, despite inflation and population growth. In Q1, sales rose only 0.3% year-over-year to $1.53 trillion, seasonally adjusted.

In a moment, we’re going to get to Walmart – the second largest ecommerce retailer in the US, but far behind Amazon – which reported earnings yesterday. Ecommerce sales at Walmart US soared by 22%, and without ecommerce sales, comp sales would have inched up only 1%, reflecting reality on the ground:

And here are sales at brick-and-mortar department stores. They do not include the ecommerce sales by those chains. There are only a handful of department store chains left, such as Macy’s. Over the past eight years, scores have been liquidated in bankruptcy court. J.C. Penney got bought out of bankruptcy by the biggest mall landlords so that

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Canadian retail investors seek advice on responsible AI investment

A large majority of Canadian retail investors are concerned about artificial intelligence (AI) and want to see risk mitigation embedded in their portfolios, according to a survey from the Responsible Investment Association (RIA).

Based on a poll of 1001 individual retail investors in Canada, the survey found that 79% feel it is important for their portfolio companies to identify and mitigate possible risks associated with AI. 74% want companies to provide information on how they are using and investing in it.

But half of the surveyed investors also say it is important for them to invest in the development of AI and make use of it in their retail products or services.

Two-thirds of respondents want their financial services provider to inform them about responsible investments (RI) that are aligned with their values, while under a third report they have been asked if they were interested.

A strong majority – 69% – of respondents agree that RI can have a real impact on the economy and contribute to positive change for society.

RIA CEO Patricia Fletcher commented: “Retail investors are interested in responsible investment and want their portfolios to reflect their concerns about social and environmental issues.

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Tech Trends in 2024 Impacting Fashion and Retail

In a just lately produced Mastercard Signals report titled, “Emerging Technologies Traits for 2024,” the company’s insights specialists explored tech trends across synthetic intelligence, computational electricity and information systems that will be shaping the encounter of commerce in the future 3 to 5 several years.

Especially, the retail sector is posed to practical experience considerable transformations altering how customers store and expend income, brand interactions with their buyers and how companies make conclusions and run.

Ken Moore, chief innovation officer at Mastercard, views these rising tech tendencies with a promising outlook for the retail industry and better degrees of engagement and connectivity in between shoppers and manufacturers.

Enterprises must adapt to new options and technologies to keep on being pertinent or risk getting out of contact. Nonetheless, Moore foresees the actuality of how sluggish or minimal adoption of new tech rollouts can be a obstacle when underwhelming consumer experiences, interoperability within existing systems or poor timing could arrive into enjoy.

The trend of AI-powered procuring assistants would streamline the method for consumers, enable populate pertinent solutions and pace up checkout. Very last year, Mastercard firm, Dynamic Generate, launched “Shopping Muse,” which combines conversational, colloquial textual content recognition to develop intelligent, personalized tips to assist buyers on their journey from item queries to profits. Other companies partaking in this trend which will likely floor in just the subsequent calendar year consist of Shopify, Instacart, Mercari, Carrefour and Walmart.

Other tendencies contain combined fact wearables as ordeals that merge the bodily and electronic earth the place spatial computing arrives into perform, improvements in good community tech to energy “smart cities” with related experiences at main shopper places such as main road shopping or transport hubs and expectations for “responsible companies” as individuals glimpse to commit cash with brand names that align with

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Turning consumer and retail companies into software-driven innovators

Software is disrupting and transforming every industry, and the impact is particularly pronounced in consumer-facing organizations. With the rise of the direct-to-consumer model, revenue increasingly comes from online rather than traditional channels. More than 500 million people interact with the Nike brand across its apps. The Starbucks app is the second-most-popular mobile payment platform in the United States for point-of-sale transactions, trailing only Apple. As digital experiences carry the weight of revenue, consumer-facing organizations have to make effective digital investments.

While technology has already revolutionized this sector, not least with the advent and mass adoption of e-commerce, the next wave of transformation is imminent. Customers increasingly expect experiences powered by software and on par with those offered or enabled by the most successful software and tech players. Building a shopping app, for instance, no longer suffices; the experience needs to be as engaging and seamless as it would be if app delivery were the organization’s core competency.

Investing wisely in software across the entire value chain, from initial customer interactions to internal corporate functions, can help consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail companies meet these rising expectations. And that investment can pay off in the long run. With technology increasingly a competitive differentiator, companies that make software a core part of their organization and harness emerging technologies—such as AI (including generative AI), mixed reality, and robotics—can lay a strong foundation for sustainable growth.

Many retail and consumer players recognize this reality and have already made decisive software and technology investments. For example, Starbucks developed Deep Brew, a tool to leverage AI for various applications. Lego partnered with Epic Games to create a metaverse for kids to connect, playing between digital and physical worlds seamlessly. And L’Oréal invested in Digital Village—a virtual world-building platform and nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace—to bet on

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Zalando Revenues Down 2.5% in Q2 Amid Challenging Retail Environment

PARIS — European e-commerce huge Zalando observed revenues tumble 2.5 p.c in the next quarter to 2.6 billion euros amidst “subdued demand” as customers moved absent from pandemic-era online purchasing practices and returned to retailers.

But internet profits surged 87 per cent to 144.8 million euros calendar year-on-year, as the organization grew its achievement and logistics, and focused on expense-cutting steps.

Extra from WWD

Zalando co-chief govt officer Robert Gentz tempered the revenue information, noting that the organization experienced envisioned weaker need as on the web buys evened out following a long time of development. The firm entered the yr anticipating “uncertainties all around shopper demand” and alternatively concentrated on escalating the logistics aspect of the enterprise, he stated.

“The image is distinctive in regards to our bottom line. This calendar year we go on to put into practice a vary of effectiveness steps. The figures validate our successful aim on profitability,” Gentz claimed in a phone with analysts following the launch.

“Amid the quickly demanding retail surroundings, we continue on to generate sustainable efficiencies in success and advertising,” additional Zalando main fiscal officer Sandra Dembeck. “These efforts have paid off this 12 months with altered EBIT pretty much doubling in the second quarter. These success places us in pole place to change our target more toward financial commitment and long term growth initiatives.”

The benefits had been mostly in line with analysts’ expectations, and the firm refined its operating revenue direction for the entire year, narrowing it from a vary of 280 million euros to 350 million euros, to a array of 300 million euros to 350 million euros.

The stock jumped up 8.19 % in mid-morning investing on the revenue information.

“Amidst a challenging backdrop, we feel Zalando is properly positioned, owing to its platform strategy and

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