The development of eCommerce in China is taking a very different path to the one emerging in North America and Europe. In its infancy, China’s Internet commerce was dominated by Jack Ma’s visionary Alibaba company, winning many plaudits for its creativity, reliability and technical functionality.
Alibaba remains a key player today, but its stranglehold on the country’s eCommerce is slowly eroding as new entrants join the burgeoning online shopping phenomenon, which is taking place in China. The pace of growth far outstrips the West, partly due to China’s relatively poor traditional retail landscape.
The Chinese approach differs from the West in having all elements of the online transaction coordinated under one roof by the eCommerce platform itself, notably TaoBao, TMall and JD, whereas Western eCommerce has developed through a host of key technology giants with their particular area of expertise – Amazon’s eCommerce ubiquity, Google’s search engine, Facebook’s historic social media dominance, and online payments evolving from the large credit card companies.
Today’s online shopping experience in China is deep and wide; a dynamic combination of social media, instant messaging, short-form videos, live streaming as well as fast, secure online payment mechanisms understood and accepted by the vast majority of Chinese citizens.
It will be interesting to see which eCommerce approach starts to dominate over the next few years, but already it is clear that North America and Europe have much to learn from China’s experience.
SoDa has acquired considerable experience helping overseas companies understand, penetrate and benefit from China’s rapidly evolving online model and we believe the Chinese approach will become an increasing factor in western markets in the near future.
We are happy to share our insight with any companies wishing to develop its business in China.