双11,不懂中文的老外怎么买买买?三个美国小伙儿建了个“英文版淘宝”_OK阅读网
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双11,不懂中文的老外怎么买买买?三个美国小伙儿建了个“英文版淘宝”
How three Americans founded an award-winning start-up in China

来源:中国日报    2018-11-01 13:34



        When Jay Thornhill graduated from the University of Southern California in 2007, he had a plan. He'd spend one year in three different continents teaching English before returning to California to start his career.        杰伊-桑希尔2007年从南加州大学毕业时,他计划用一年的时间到世界三个不同的洲教英语,然后返回加州工作。
        More than 10 years later, he's still living in China.        可是,10多年过去了,他还在中国。
        In 2016, he started a company in Shanghai with two other American expats living in his building. The company, Baopals, is an e-commerce platform that allows foreigners in China to buy products in English from Chinese e-commerce sites Taobao and Tmall.        2016年,他和住在同楼的另外两位美国人在上海一起创办了一家公司。这家名为Baopals(保派网)的公司是一个英文电商平台,居住在中国的老外可以通过这个平台购买淘宝和天猫商城的产品。
                 Baopals翻译过来是“淘宝的朋友”,不过Baopals并不是阿里巴巴旗下的公司。
        The site works by pulling data from the two Alibaba-backed platforms and translating the info into English. Baopals also offers a customer service center to help facilitate transactions and logistics. It adds a service fee starting at 5 percent for each product.        该网站从阿里巴巴旗下的两个电商平台获取数据,并将信息翻译成英语。Baopals还有客服中心协助交易和物流,每件商品收取最低为售价5%的服务费。
        Thornhill and his co-founders, Charlie Erickson and Tyler McNew, felt shopping online was a hassle for foreigners in China. Before they launched the site, they'd often ask Chinese friends to buy products for them and then pay them.        桑希尔和其他两位创办者查理-埃里克森和泰勒-麦克纽认为,对在中国的外国人来说,网购是个麻烦事。在创办这家网站之前,他们经常要求助于中国的朋友帮他们网购,再付款给朋友。
                 “我发现只有我们在不停去便利店、去超市,我们身边所有的中国朋友只需要一分钟就能解决的事情,我们要花上将近一个小时。”就这样,三个人创办了Baopals,为了方便像他们一样热爱淘宝的外国朋友们“剁手”。
                 桑希尔觉得中国在世界上有最好的价格优势,跟之前在美国用的东西相比,这里的商品都很便宜。而且人们还能在网上找到一些神奇的东西。
                 除了翻译信息外,Baopals还会根据算法对每个产品给出综合评分。来自店龄三年以上的天猫商铺,并满足物流和退款较快等条件产品,会在Baopals产品详情页获得一个“Trusted Seller”的标签。Baopals上还会定期推出好物推荐文章,其中,用户最喜欢的版块就是“最酷最便宜最神奇”的产品推荐。比如下面这个下巴放松器。
                 网站还搜罗了Baopals员工在淘宝上买过的物美价廉又有趣的东西推荐给用户,有时候可能是个热销款拖鞋,有时候可能是个印着Chinglish的T恤,还有可能是毛鸡蛋,图片下面认认真真地写着商品描述:“毛鸡蛋应该起源于中国,其实就是没孵出来的小鸡,但是很美味!”
        They now have an office space with 40 employees — 15 of which are foreigners and 25 are Chinese citizens. The company said it has sold more than two million products through its site and has passed $14 million in revenue since launching.        公司现在有40名员工,其中15人是外国人,25人是中国人。公司称网站已售出了超过200万件商品,自成立以来营业额已达到1400万美元(约合9750万元人民币)。
        After the platform gained traction, Baopals was written up by local media. The team also became the first foreign-led group to win the Shanghai-government backed honor "Top 10 up-and-coming entrepreneurs in Shanghai."        在平台越来越受欢迎之后,当地媒体报道了Baopals网站。创业团队还成为首个获得上海市政府评选的“十大创业新秀”的外资企业。
        Thornhill even appeared on a "Shark Tank"-like show in China, which translates to "Maker China," in which Thornhill said he was offered, but declined investor funding.        桑希尔还在中国参加了“创客中国”创新创业大赛。这是一档类似于“鲨鱼坦克”(又称创智赢家,是美国ABC电视台的一系列发明真人秀节目)的比赛。桑希尔说,他在比赛中获得了投资基金,但他没有接受。
        Alibaba is supportive of his company, Thornhill said, even inviting the start-up to its headquarters in Hangzhou for a tour.        桑希尔说,阿里巴巴集团对他的公司表示支持,还邀请创业团队去杭州总部参观。
        Since Baopals' success is entirely reliant on one company, however, its business model could potentially be upended if Alibaba launched its own English version of Taobao or Tmall.        但由于Baopals的成功完全有赖于阿里巴巴,如果阿里巴巴今后推出自己的英文版淘宝或天猫商城,Baopals的商业模式就会遇到问题。
        "We don't see any sign that that's in the works," Thornhill said. "It's such a small niche market, their platform is completely built for a Chinese audience and to do all of that for such a small market — it's hard to see them prioritizing it," he said.        桑希尔说:“我们没发现阿里巴巴有此计划。这是个非常小众的市场,阿里巴巴的平台完全是为中国顾客打造的,为这么小的市场费这么大力气,这不太可能是他们优先考虑的项目。”
        Currently, Alibaba has AliExpress, which is aimed at international buyers.        目前,阿里巴巴旗下的全球速卖通目标客户也是国际买家。
                 Baopals团队认为,这个平台未来也能帮助中国店主把产品卖向全世界,而不仅仅是卖给在中国的外国人。
                 为了提高用户体验,Baopals甚至会把用户退的货买下来。
                 有一次一个客人定制了一个沙发,但沙发寄到后无法放进电梯。由于沙发是定制的,商家不允许退货,于是Baopals把这个沙发买下放到了办公室里。
        Alternatively, Thornhill sees other potential future plans for the company.        另外,桑希尔还着眼于公司未来有望实现的其他计划。
        "Our goal is just building a better and better company and a better shopping platform and if that one day gets us a seat at the table where Alibaba is talking about an acquisition, that'd be amazing," he said. "We'd welcome those talks and see what it means for the company."        他说:“我们的目标就是把公司打造得越来越好,成为一个更好的网购平台。如果今后阿里巴巴要收购我们,那就太好了。我们欢迎这种商谈,看看会对公司未来的发展有什么影响。”
                 “在全球化之前,我觉得我们要做的就是让外国人相信,他们可以信任中国的卖家,中国的品牌,中国的产品。就像我们一样,我们已经在中国生活了很长时间,所以我们知道这里的购物体验非常棒。”
                
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