EC bird Inc.Reiko Horimoto
Tell us about EC bird.
In short, EC bird Inc. provides a Google-like service specialized in EC sites. Users can collect product information from different online stores, such as Rakuten and Amazon, and manage the collected information on EC bird’s website using common icons. By this means, users can create their own personalized store shelves. Users can of course delete icons that they consider unnecessary.
When shopping at different online stores, it is time-consuming to check which site offers the product at the lowest price. Such process is already tiring as EC sites contain massive amounts of information. Meanwhile, EC bird’s website shows a list of price information on products from different shopping sites, which makes it easier for consumers to compare the products and prices as there is no need to access each shopping site. It also provides other necessary information, such as shopping points and shipping fees, so that users can determine where to buy the product based on all information that they need to include in consideration.
Particularly, commodities and other consumer goods are subject to constant price changes and repeated purchases. Our service is especially convenient for comparing prices of such products from different shopping sites when making repeat purchases.
Although our service has yet to be released, this is a new business model for which we have filed an international patent application through PCT. We are currently working on preparation for the launching of the service.
Tell us what made you start your own business.
I started my company because I myself wanted this service. I was feeling that it was tiresome to access multiple EC sites, input the product names, and check and compare prices when they are constantly changing.
I carried out a survey to see if consumers wanted a service to solve the abovementioned problem. As a result, we found that more than 75% of EC site users wished there was such service. In particular, 93% of married women in their 30s or above gave a positive response.
In Japan, there are 60 million EC site users, of which 40 million are using multiple EC sites. I concluded that I would be able to acquire a certain number of users. Since I also found that there was no such service at the time, I decided to create it myself.
Furthermore, my planning and sales skills that I had cultivated at a game company, for which I am still working, and experience from my previous job as an illustrator were useful for the planning of the service and designing of a user-friendly website. This also helped my decision to start my own company.
Tell us about the future developments.
In the short term, we are launching the trial version of our service in summer this year. I hope that it will reach as many users as possible. In the medium term, we plan to accumulate users’ preferences based on their browsing history and add a system to prioritize products that match their preferences when displaying the products. In the long term, I hope to create special sites for individual product categories, add more convenient functions (I would like to omit the details here as we are waiting to file patent applications for them), and further expand our business with an eye to overseas markets.
Although I believe that users’ needs for EC sites will change over the years, I would like to keep creating the best system for comparing products from different online shops. My goal is to keep providing services that are always chosen as a starting point by users when search online shopping information.