Victoria-Based Company Utilizes Data To Suggest And Create New Global Products
VICTORIA – Mining data to find the missing link.
That’s what eBuyNow has been doing since 2012, and the Victoria-based data driven consumer electronics technology company has been making a global impact by identifying new markets and creating innovative products for clients like Kodak, Skype and Motorola ever since.
What Chief Executive Officer Craig Smith and partner Connor Tobin started has now become a company with its head office in Victoria and 85 staff in offices in Hong Kong, Vietnam and throughout Europe. It is preparing to become a publicly listed company.
“Originally, we were an agency serving big-name brands,” recalls Tobin. “We were working with Skype and had been delivering products for other brands, delivering cameras for Panasonic, products for Motorola, and headphones under a house brand. Over the course of time we developed a competency at identifying key trends in the market and finding products to meet them.”
Tobin adds: “We can tell a company what their market is going to do next. We can see opportunities for them, and we make presentations to them. We do their market analysis, and they don’t have access to the data that we have.”
Basically, eBuyNow became an off-site Research and Development team behind other companies, using information mined from that company’s own data base to identify gaps in their product line-up, combined with eBuyNow’s own analysis to suggest new items to fill the void. They also built a supply network where they can have the products built and delivered to the client, who markets them with their own existing sales systems and distribution systems.
“In 2017 we pivoted from doing strictly R&D to building the products ourselves,” Tobin notes, adding their first product launch, a baby monitor for Kodak, was in 2018.
“We were able to look at the market and customers, and realized that a lot of big companies had a major weak point, in that they weren’t using data-driven information to launch new products,” he adds. “We were able to identify key opportunities in their consumer product line. For example, Kodak had great products, but we saw there were some missing brands in home security. We approached them about considering an internet-connected video baby monitor under their brand name, to be built by Victoria-based companies.”
Smith says one of their most successful ventures has been identifying a Smart Watch for Motorola, which didn’t have one in their arsenal. eBuyNow’s Sean Croft then created the Moto 360 Smart Watch for the company.
“Sean has been spectacular,” notes Smith. “His watch is now on eye-level with Apple, Samsung and FitBit. And that’s his first watch. He now deals with Google, Qualcomm, and other factories, brands and tech companies.
“From day one of our launch, Amazon’s professional reviewers said it was the best overall Smart Watch,” he recalls. “They wanted a product that felt like a luxury watch, in that it was big and heavy, and we went to the factory in China that manufactured the Apple watch, and got the factory to partner with us.”
eBuyNow now sells products in 32 countries throughout the world with their global platform, and engineering and e-commerce capabilities.
One of their latest products is an Air Purifier for Kodak that is internet connected, and certified to eliminate air viruses like COVID-19. They identified the number one customer complaint regarding such units – costly filters – so they developed a product that can re-use its filters since they can be cleaned in standard dishwashers.
“We identified that people hated buying purifier filters and replacing them, so we developed a product that they can throw in the dish washer and re-use it multiple times. It’s totally unique,” says Smith.
eBuyNow is also building battery powered home security products, including Smart lighting, and smart ear buds with fitness tracking.
eBuyNow was jump-started with funding and support from the federal government’s SR&ED (Scientific Research and Economic Development) program, and Tobin expects the next decade to be “phenomenal”.
“We’re a small company out of Victoria, and we’re able to meet the expectation of brands that are 1,000 times larger than us,” he states.
Smith concurs: “We see really deep inside other companies and how they’re doing and how we can grow their business internationally. We can see what companies are doing on-line even before we have a conversation with them, and it gives us a great future as we show them how we can help them.”