AirFrov is a peer to peer e-commerce platform that get travelers to bring back overseas products. It allows users to post requests of products that they intend to purchase with a willing-to-pay price. Travelers who are traveling to places that sells the products that are requested on the platform can then help these users purchase their goods by accepting the requests.
1. Commercial Potential
The group explained that the profit margin of AirFrov is really high, they are earning $1.1 Million in revenue and they have currently expanded their services to Indonesia as well. However, they did mention about the e-commerce competition from RateX, Taobao and Amazon. I think that this was really significant as AirFrov works because of the fact that some goods are cheaper to purchase in person overseas or some goods are only available in certain countries. However, seeing that Taobao and Amazon are such big corporations with deliveries worldwide, they can in fact just help companies to deliver their goods worldwide or allow them to sell their goods on their platforms. Based on economies of scale, if there are enough demand, they can even reduce the delivery cost and pass on the cost savings to consumers. In this way, the potential of putting AirFrov out of business is highly likely when Taobao or Amazon sees the revenue potential of offering the service that AirFrov is currently having.
2. Improvement of UX/UI
The presentation also touched on improvement of UX/UI through a more flashy interface. They mentioned that the existing design has too much white spaces and the UI components are boring with pale looking fonts. I had to point this out as i believe that improving the UX/UI of a website is not limited to a more flashy interface. Sometimes flashy interfaces might instead be of a disadvantage as users can find it too overwhelming. Additionally, i did not find the existing components too pale of boring looking. I think the definition of how a user experiences an application is subjective. But i did instead find error with how responsive the website is when i tried to change the sizing. AirFrov might also consider showing some numbers on the amount of transactions they have closed as an indication of how well AirFrov is doing.
3. P2P seller-based Marketplace
A new business idea they proposed was to create a marketplace that allows sellers to choose what they want to sell. I felt that this idea may not be feasible if this is in the context of travelers as sellers. In the long run, this would be dangerous as the sellers might not know what are the buyers demanding. If the sellers buy their goods and put it on this platform, they might incur sunk costs if they are not able to curate goods that are popular with buyers.
I think that AirFrov seems like a good idea as i have personally experienced the problem of having friends asking me to help them buy things from overseas simply because its cheaper or available in some countries only. However, i do believe that in the long run, with growth of e-commerce, it wouldn’t be too difficult to purchase more things from overseas online.
Also, I think one particular niche group that AirFrov can target are Sneaker-heads who want to purchase limited edition sneakers that are only released in certain countries. There is a very high demand from such group of people and they are usually willing to pay a much high price for the sneakers.
I also only found out about AirFrov after the group presented about it, so kudos to you guys for that!! 🙂