Tag Archive | "driving"

Autonomous Driving for Trucks Will Happen First, Says Full Truck Alliance CFO

“Our view is that the commercialization of autonomous driving for passenger vehicles will probably take a bit longer than people would think,” says Richard Zhang, CFO of Full Truck Alliance. “We think the commercialization of autonomous driving for trucks will probably take place a lot sooner than it will take place in the passenger car vehicle sector.”

Full Truck Alliance is a multi-billion dollar valued company that is becoming the Uber of trucks throughout China. The fragmentation of the trucking industry in China between independent truckers and shippers has resulted in an empty load rate of over 40 percent, about four times higher than in the United States. The Full Truck Alliance app and online platform connects shippers to truckers in real-time enabling huge reductions in empty loads.

Richard Zhang, CFO of Full Truck Alliance based in China, discussed the company’s future in an interview on CNBC International TV this morning:

Full Truck Alliance in China is the Uber for Trucks

The problem we’re trying to solve is very simple because there are high inefficiencies between matching with the truck drivers and also matching with the shippers. The empty load rate in the US is only ten percent while the empty load rate in China is 40 percent. The empty load rate is very similar to the vacancy rate in the hotel business. The reason is that the market here is highly fragmented. You have highly fragmented truck drivers and highly fragmented shippers, lots of SMEs.

Before we came into existence the matching between the truck drivers and shippers were taking place across a thousand offline marketplaces in China. What we have been trying to do is bring that offline marketplace online and use our algorithms in the back office to match automatically the truck drivers and the shippers. We are trying to reduce that empty load rate to well below 40 percent.

Monetization Via Membership and Uber-Like Fees

Our monetization strategy for Full Truck Alliance is as a product of a merger between two companies, Truck Alliance and also Yunmanman a little over a year ago. Post-merger we started monetization and the monetization takes place in two ways. Number one is we are charging a membership fee for the shippers and also very similar to Uber or DiDi we’re charging a take rate on the transactions themselves.

We were very close to achieving our 2018 profit objective. We are actually very marginally close to break-even at the current moment and we have no doubt that we’re going be making earnings in 2019.

Autonomous Driving for Trucks Will Happen First

Our view is that the commercialization of autonomous driving for passenger vehicles will probably take a bit longer than people would think. We think the commercialization of autonomous driving for trucks will probably take place a lot sooner than it will take place in the passenger car vehicle sector. Therefore we are deploying a certain amount of resources into that sector in the form of investment.

We have decided to be a strategic investor in an autonomous driving truck company for them to actually develop that technology and for us to actually use. The mandate for the partner is to actually put a fleet on the road in China to start working with our shippers in the next 12 to 24 months. That’s our mandate and so it depends on how successful they’re going to be at executing our strategy.

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Box CEO: Digital Transformation Driving Global Growth

The digital transformation which has been powering the growth of many technology companies in the US is now starting to drive growth globally according to Box CEO Aaron Levie. He says that Box has a global opportunity where multi-national enterprises want to drive the same digital transformation that has been happening in the US.

Aaron Levie, Box CEO, discussed on CNBC how the digital transformation is key to driving Box’s growth globally.

Digital Transformation Driving Global Growth

As our business gets more seasonally loaded toward the back end of the year as we sell to larger and larger enterprises. That’s what ultimately drives a much higher billings growth outcome in Q4. We continue to move up-market serving larger enterprises like major top ten banks, pharmaceuticals, life sciences companies, as well as the federal government and global manufacturers. That’s what’s driving that surge in Q4 billings and growth rate.

We have a global opportunity where large enterprises, especially multi-national enterprises, want to drive the same digital transformation that we’ve seen in the US. That means everything from changing their business processes to collaborating and working in new ways which leads them to need platforms like Box and other technologies. We are seeing incredible growth in markets like Japan, Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe.

Our Partner Model is Critical to Our Success

We are working with major partners like IBM and other system integrators to be able to reach and enable customers. We are working with technology partners like Microsoft, Google, as well as a much broader ecosystem including companies like Slack, Okta, and others, to ensure that when customers want to modernize their IT environment Box is the system of record for the data and content that they work with.

Partners are core to our strategy both from a technology standpoint to ensure that customers have an integrated experience with their information technology investment as well as helping us actually reach those customers from a distribution and sales standpoint. Our partner model is critical to our success.

We Are Building a Fundamentally Open Platform

Our fundamental belief is that in the digital age enterprises are going to need a platform to help them secure, manage, govern, and drive the workflows around their core business information. That is what the platform is that we’re building. Whether it’s financial documents, digital assets, a pharmaceutical company with their drug trial information, or an ad company with their ad campaigns, we want to be the platform that helps them manage and secure that data.

We will have to work with technology partners like Microsoft, Google, IBM, and others to ensure that the technology that they’re investing in can link to the data that customers store within Box. We are building a fundamentally open platform and whether that is linking up to the artificial intelligence or machine learning technology that IBM, Microsoft, Google, and others are building or the common applications that we use every day we want to ensure that Box can connect to all of those applications so that you can have one source of truth for your data but integrated everywhere.

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Box CEO: Digital Transformation Driving Global Growth

The digital transformation which has been powering the growth of many technology companies in the US is now starting to drive growth globally according to Box CEO Aaron Levie. He says that Box has a global opportunity where multi-national enterprises want to drive the same digital transformation that has been happening in the US.

Aaron Levie, Box CEO, discussed on CNBC how the digital transformation is key to driving Box’s growth globally.

Digital Transformation Driving Global Growth

As our business gets more seasonally loaded toward the back end of the year as we sell to larger and larger enterprises. That’s what ultimately drives a much higher billings growth outcome in Q4. We continue to move up-market serving larger enterprises like major top ten banks, pharmaceuticals, life sciences companies, as well as the federal government and global manufacturers. That’s what’s driving that surge in Q4 billings and growth rate.

We have a global opportunity where large enterprises, especially multi-national enterprises, want to drive the same digital transformation that we’ve seen in the US. That means everything from changing their business processes to collaborating and working in new ways which leads them to need platforms like Box and other technologies. We are seeing incredible growth in markets like Japan, Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe.

Our Partner Model is Critical to Our Success

We are working with major partners like IBM and other system integrators to be able to reach and enable customers. We are working with technology partners like Microsoft, Google, as well as a much broader ecosystem including companies like Slack, Okta, and others, to ensure that when customers want to modernize their IT environment Box is the system of record for the data and content that they work with.

Partners are core to our strategy both from a technology standpoint to ensure that customers have an integrated experience with their information technology investment as well as helping us actually reach those customers from a distribution and sales standpoint. Our partner model is critical to our success.

We Are Building a Fundamentally Open Platform

Our fundamental belief is that in the digital age enterprises are going to need a platform to help them secure, manage, govern, and drive the workflows around their core business information. That is what the platform is that we’re building. Whether it’s financial documents, digital assets, a pharmaceutical company with their drug trial information, or an ad company with their ad campaigns, we want to be the platform that helps them manage and secure that data.

We will have to work with technology partners like Microsoft, Google, IBM, and others to ensure that the technology that they’re investing in can link to the data that customers store within Box. We are building a fundamentally open platform and whether that is linking up to the artificial intelligence or machine learning technology that IBM, Microsoft, Google, and others are building or the common applications that we use every day we want to ensure that Box can connect to all of those applications so that you can have one source of truth for your data but integrated everywhere.

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Digital Product Information is Driving Today’s Shopper

Today’s consumers have become so reliant on eCommerce for every stage of the buying process that shoppers are simply going to retail stores a lot less often. But when shoppers do find themselves in stores, their trusty mobile device is still helping to determine what they buy and how they buy in a big way.

A recent MaiChimp Audience Panel study by Salsify asked 1,000 online shoppers what makes them choose which brands and retailers to shop and buy from. An eyebrow raising 77% of shoppers use a mobile device while shopping in-store and only 35% would even just 35 percent of shoppers would prefer to speak to a salesperson if they have questions about a product.

“Consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to answer product-related questions, like price and availability, while they shop,” said Jason Purcell, CEO and co-founder of Salsify. “This year’s research again demonstrates just how critical it is for every brand and retailer to have a systematized approach to maintain robust and relevant digital content to retain shopper attention and win sales.”

The survey research also found that 87% of shoppers said that detailed product content was extremely or very important to their purchase decision. With so many turning to mobile while shopping in-store as well, the need for product content on every channel has never been more essential.

It’s pretty clear from this survey that eCommerce brands must prioritize the mobile experience. The research indicates that consumers between the ages of 18 and 29 are most likely to use a mobile device when shopping online (84 percent), followed closely by the 30 to 44 group (78 percent).

And good product content is crucial as 87% of shoppers said that detailed product content was extremely or very important to their purchase decision. In fact, bad product content means bad customer experiences and bad sales: 50% of online shoppers have returned a product if it did not match the product description and 54% are less likely to buy from an online retailer if they returned an item.

As found in another other recent eCommerce shopping study cited here, shoppers need robust product content before buying. Cracking The Consumer Code research found that 70 percent of shoppers need to see at least three product images and 86 percent want to read at least three product reviews before purchasing a product.

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Search still driving ecommerce, social and affiliate on the decline

Maybe it’s my naturally pessimistic state of mind, but when I see a comparison report, I’m more interested in what stopped working than what’s still working.

A good example is this chart from the Q1 2014 US ecommerce report from The Custora Pulse.

Cutora Pulse April 2014

Comparing 2013 to 2014, we see that search marketing is still going strong. Organic and paid combined are responsible for 44% of ecommerce orders. It worked last year and it still works today. Google is responsible for almost three-quarters of that traffic which is both good news and bad news. On the good side, you know where to go if you want results. On the downside, there’s only one place to go if you want results and that’s scary.

Email saw a slight gain, along with the infamous “other”. I don’t know what “other” is but it’s fun to imagine. Blogging? Contests? Apps or video? Come on Custora – what types of marketing did you lump into “other”?

Direct marketing took a big hit, dropping 3%. Display is the same but at 1% hardly worth the effort.

Affiliate has a larger piece of the pie than I would have thought but it’s on the decline. I saw this in my own business so it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I used to get a decent chunk of change from Amazon and other affiliate programs now. . . not so much.

What’s really disturbing is Social. Last year’s 2% isn’t that great and now it’s down to 1%? First there was banner blindness and now it looks like social is suffering the same fate. So many branded messages coming at us in so many forms, we’ve learned to filter them out as we skim.

The good news is that ecommerce revenue was up 11% year-over-year and orders were up 13%. So, even though some marketing methods are converting very well, it’s all adding up to a boost in online income – so that’s a win.

And though social is slipping, mobile is still climbing: 35% increase in ecommerce revenue over Q1 2013. Tablet purchases rose from 8.2% to 10.3%. Mobile phone purchases went from 5.5% to 8.2%. That means desktops showed a loss of around 5%.

What do you think? Are these percentages about right for your business? Or way off the mark?

 

 

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