E-commerce on mobile in China
With the fast development of different kinds of smartphones, shoppers and consumers today use their mobile devices for a range of retail activities, from looking for special but cheep items to couponing to ordering a pizza for lunch.
By the other side, Consumers have come to expect to a quiet consistent shopping experience across any purchasing channel. It seems that the mobile devices provides a much more broader space for e-commerce, and there is no doubt that the further development of e-commerce demands the mobile devices to be more professional and user-friendly. There are many popular e-commerce apps in China, including Taobao, Jingdong, etc., which are classified as shopping app, while there are also some apps providing people with service that help them find popular restaurants, shopping malls, for example Dazhong Comments and Meituan. And also some other apps such as Eleme, are orientated as new O2O ordering platforms.
If you want to know more about the e-commerce market in China, we must not miss the case of Taobao, which belongs to Alibaba Group and is the largest e-commerce platform now in China. Alibaba Group is a Chinese e-commerce company, which provides C2C and B2C sales services via web portals. It also provides electronic payment services, a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services. Over the five years, double 11 has gradually transformed from the marketing day for electricity suppliers to Shopping Festival for the whole country. This year the turnover of TAOBAO and T-mall, two main platforms, topped 57.1 billion yuan in the 24-hour period, surpassing last year’s 35 billion yuan. It reached to one billion in three minutes. It is expected that the turnover will be at least 800 billion yuan this year. The scope of last year also benefited from domestic to global expansion. The most significant feature of last year was “Buy things from all over the world and the world can buy from us", domestic consumers can buy products from the entire world, and overseas consumers from more than 220 countries around the world can buy domestic goods.
It is necessary for us to pay attention to one fact: among all the turnovers, about 42.6% were finished on the mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. The Internet has created new ways to do business through the opportunity of universal information distributions. The 3rd generation wireless networks provide new business opportunities and new market segments to the existing and traditional telecommunication market."While mobile-commerce in China was almost non-existent just several years ago, shopping through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has quickly gained acceptance among Chinese digital consumers. The spread of mobile-commerce will make it the purchasing channel of choice going forward." David Wei, Former CEO of Alibaba said. A strong indication that e-commerce in China is rapidly transitioning towards mobile in 2015.
However, to make money through the small screen of mobile phone is, after all, much different from the traditional electronic business. Under double restrictions including the hard one of flow and soft one of user experience, can the mobile electronic business move forward smoothly in Chinese market?
First we could see there are several reasons for the rapid development of mobile e-commerce in China, or we could say it is these advantages of mobile e-commerce that attracts more people to use mobile devices other than PC. The first reason for choosing mobile devices is that it is much more convenient. Just one smartphone in hand, it is possible for us to choose products, pick up restaurants that offer coupons or even find a parking spot by the information provided by thousands of apps on the mobile phone. All of the information is integrated by the personal preference that is recorded by the backstage supporter. In such consuming pattern, the customers but not the sellers play the leading role. On the other hand, we also could find that the number of mobile users has achieved four hundred million and in the future there is no wonder that it will still rise. With the rapid development of technologies, the cost of producing smartphones is much cheaper while the ability of consumption is much stronger, which means more people in China can afford a smartphone or tablet. These kinds of mobile devices have achieved more people in more areas than PC. And among people who prefer mobile e-commerce, from a research, there are also considerable high-end consumers. As a conclusion, with strong ability of consumption and broad user scale, e-commerce on mobile has more potential in future market.
But there are also some other challenges that retailers need to face and solve. First comes the problem of the safety of personal privacy. In order to attract young people, most of mobile e-commerce platforms allow users to post their information among the friends, which leads to reveal of personal information. Second, people hope to have better user experience and it results in new expectation: the products and pricing they see online to be the same products and price they find in store; efficient product delivery and returns processing, regardless of whether they ordered the product online, at the store or over the phone. Because of this trend, mobile must be fully integrated, both technically and strategically, with the greater commerce ecosystem.
Today’s mobile infrastructure has leapfrogged mobile commerce strategy, and mobile platform capabilities are processing rapidly with the continuing proliferation of smartphones and tablets and faster cellular networks. For this reason, e-commerce on mobile in China must evolve beyond its current situation and make mobile to become a rich, multifunction commerce platform that drives sales and retails more efficient.