Start-up delivers parcel tweeting idea
Ever wondered why that book you ordered from Amazon two weeks ago for your sister's birthday has not arrived yet? Thanks to a local start-up company you may soon be able to keep track of your parcel's whereabouts by text message or e-mail.
AwesomeShip, created by software programmer Teddy Chan, aims to help online retailers raise customer satisfaction levels.
'Our idea is simple: when the merchant ships the item out, he will tell us the order and tracking numbers but also the customer's e-mail, Facebook or Twitter account,' Chan said. 'The customer only cares about the latest status of his order, so we will notify him whenever the status changes.'
His goal is to help merchants build a brand and improve customer loyalty.
AwesomeShip won 'Startup Weekend' one week ago. The three-day competition, held for the first time in Hong Kong, brought together about 40 young entrepreneurs who had to pitch an idea and build a business in 54 hours.
Chan, who has run his own retail website for six years, knew there was a market niche. 'Nobody provides this service at the moment,' he said.
Nicholas Wang, co-organiser of Startup Weekend, said AwesomeShip won because it answers a problem that online merchants are experiencing worldwide.
'It can work not just in Hong Kong, but also in the United States' he said.
Chan said AwesomeShip could also help when a parcel is damaged by alerting both the merchant and the customer. 'We are also working on bridging the language gap. We will have a version in English, Chinese and Japanese,' he said.
Chan estimates that he needs less than HK$500,000 to turn his idea into reality.
AwesomeShip is representing Hong Kong in the Global Startup Battle, an online competition for the 60 other Startup Weekend winners worldwide. Anyone can vote at the website globalstartupbattle.com for the best pitch. The winner will get to meet potential investors in California's Silicon Valley next March. Polls close on Monday night and results will be announced on Wednesday.
'We hope we can draw the attention of the biggest merchants, like Amazon and eBay, and let the world know that there is something we can do to improve tracking,' Chan said.