There is no doubt that China is a mobile-centric nation. It is supported by innovative social eCommerce models (like shopping festivals and digital integration), and innovative digital payment infrastructure.
People talk about this a lot…but who saw that from the first hand? So I decided to record a short video when I visited China 🙂
It clearly shows that sellers are focusing on mobile users. This also reveals differences in customers behavior. The majority of clients looks for fast and simple interactions. That’s why marketplaces are more lucrative than brand stores, selling platforms offer both products and services, and loyalty programs are replaced with discounts.
Easy mobile shopping
Chinese eCommerce happens mainly on mobile devices. The standard solution today is mobile apps that offer a vast variety of products in multiple categories, but Chinese eTailers are open to new solutions and adjust to their customers’ needs. Progressive web apps are seen as one of the future standards — offering a super-fast user experience and entering the offline environment. PWAs are already available on the major selling platforms like Alibaba.
Instead of building their own online shop, Chinese brands consolidate in marketplaces. These selling platforms present extensive offers of products and complete information about them. You can find offers from all imaginable sellers — starting from small local food shops that deliver fresh products quickly, and ending with the biggest brands sending products worldwide.
Services + marketplaces
Marketplaces are open for all products, but also services. Looking for tickets to the cinema or a concert, ordering food, travel services — that’s all in one place. What’s more, this includes chosen governmental services like applying for a visa.
Loyalty seems to be a long-term engagement for Chinese customers. Instead of building loyalty programs, brands offer discounts instantly after buying a product or service.
Key players on Chinese eCommerce
In China, brands entering the online markets are smart. They don’t waste energy on creating individual shops and inviting customers anew. In place of that, they’re using online marketplaces that are simple and user-friendly. Chinese eCommerce is focused on a few key players, like Taobao, JD, Tmall, and Aliexpress which, together, serve the majority of Chinese customers.
Such an approach allows marketplace owners to spend more time on learning user behaviors and building innovations. This includes building offline experiences for customers and widening the eCommerce world with super-fast progressive web apps or in-store mobile shopping in a New Retail concept.