CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
With the new B2B site being designed for international payment transactions, JQW is out to expand beyond its domestic portal and build a new revenue stream. The move follows its 71.3% growth last year to revenue of 493.1 million yuan (US$79.1 million).
JQW plc, the company behind China-based domestic business-to-business portal JQW.com and B2B search engine JQW.cn, is learning to do business in English as it seeks to attract customers from outside China.
Based in Yangzhou in the Chinese province of Jiangsu, JQW is building on what it says was a breakout year in 2013, when net profit more than doubled year over year, as revenue increased, and its number of fee-paying members increased 40% to 197,000 from 140.000.
To top things off, JQW completed its initial public offering of stock, listing its shares in December on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange. That attracted a global collection of shareholders from markets including the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and Southeast Asia as well as China. AIM, formerly known as Alternative Investment Market, is the London exchange’s section for relatively small, growing companies.
In launching the English-language e-commerce platform, JQW will also for the first time enable buyers on the portal to complete payment transactions online as well as conduct transactions internationally, for which JQW will charge commissions based on the value of transactions, the company says. “This is an important development for [JQW] in terms of its move towards adding a sales commission-based model, rather than transactions being complete off-platform,” JQW says. JQW’s biggest competitor in China, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is also offering client companies the ability to complete payment transactions on Alibaba’s B2B e-commerce portals.
In addition, JQW says it also developing a service designed to help small and mid-sized businesses access financing for purchases made though JQW.com
“The board is excited by the opportunities that it has identified in the market, including developing trading services, a bilingual platform as well as a platform for smartphone users, and we look forward to providing additional updates as we make further progress in these areas over the coming months,” chairman Yongde Cai said in the company’s financial report for 2013.
For the year ended Dec. 31, JQW reported:
● Net profit more than doubled year over year to 128.4 million yuan (US$20.6 million), as revenue increased 71% to 493.1 million yuan (US$79.1 million) from 287.8 million (US$46.1 million) in 2012;
● Its number of fee-paying members increased more than 40% to 197,000 from 140,000;
JQW also noted the following figures as of the end of April:
● Total number of registered users at 10 million;
● 840,000 members with web site shops;
● 5 million page views per day.
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