China is changing the future of shopping, and here are five insights from Angela Wang’s presentation at CMDC’s 2018 conference Truth + Purpose.
1. Shopping is a different experience for younger generations. At the shake of a cell phone, treats, toys, or a brand new camera can be delivered to your doorstep within days. The ancient practice of driving to a store, walking around to locate your desired items, waiting in line at a cashier, paying cash, and then hauling the product home is inconvenient and time consuming. A hassle free and cashless transaction in a digital environment will always win customers.
2. Providing ultra-convenience will change customer behavior. Humans are becoming more and more impatient, and providing ultra-convenience is crucial to make sure your consumers actually follow through with a purchase. Studies have found that providing a high level of convenience will build brand loyalty with consumers.
3. Consumers that have new found wealth (or are new members of the middle-class) have a strong desire to buy everything new, including new products and services. Within an integrated ecosystem, it is easy for them to buy. A simple click can lead to electronics, groceries, or even a family vacation.
4. Social shopping will become the standard in a digital environment. A friend can text a product link of the snack they are eating in a group chat, and another friend could purchase it for delivery the next day, all within an app. Friends can be messaging about a particular movie star, and then be prompted to purchase tickets to their new movie by an A.I shop-assistant.
5. To succeed in a digital environment, you must give your consumers exactly what they want and when they want it. Fashion companies in China are leveraging consumer feedback, and social media trends to take a product from idea to completion within three to four days.
It is also important to note that, in China, there are two technology platforms that own 90% of e-commerce, 85% of social media, and 85% of internet payments. These companies, Alibaba and Tencent also own e-commerce and retail services, cloud computing and AI technology, online payment platforms, entertainment services, and many more.
Consumers that utilize any one of these companies’ free services will often find themselves encompassed in the company’s digital ecosystem. In this ecosystem, all it takes is a little influence or spontaneity and consumers will become shoppers