Industry executives upbeat about online shopping in China

Ding Yining
China is taking a lead in data capabilities and technology solutions and local players are actively expanding in overseas markets, experts told the Baozun E-commerce Summit.
Ding Yining

Top industry executives remain upbeat about the online shopping sector and have called for new development formats to cater to the changing demands of shoppers.

China is already taking a lead in terms of data capabilities and technology solutions and many local players are also actively expanding operations in overseas markets, experts told the Baozun E-commerce Summit in Shanghai.

Joanna Lu, Bain & Company's expert partner and a member of its global consumer products practice, said that consumer goods companies need to find new a consumption scenario that helps to raise efficacy and overall profitability.

Shoppers do seek bargains but they also need to search for high value and trustworthy products, giving rise to discount chains as well as membership exclusive retailers, she added.

Faster changes

According to the latest joint report by Bain & Company and Kantar Worldpanel, in the first quarter of 2023, consumers accelerated their shift toward online channels, with sales value adding 9 percent from a year earlier, thanks to normalization of the supply chain.

Despite the overall slower growth of the e-commerce industry, a rebound since the beginning of this year has been fast and many opportunities in niche sectors are emerging, said Qiu Wenbin, founder and chief executive officer of Shanghai-based e-commerce service provider Baozun Inc.

Liu Peng, president of the brand development center at Taobao TMall Group, said that high-quality offerings and brand vibrancy remain upbeat.

Taobao and Tmall have offered hundreds of thousands of new products during the mid-year promotion period from late May to mid June, and more than 3,000 types of new products recorded over 1 million yuan (US$137,771) in sales.

Although it is hard to sum up a simple description for Chinese consumers' preferences, China is still a leading consumption market for the next decade with many niche segments boasting huge potential, Liu added.

Rebecca Zhu, vice president of E-commerce & Digital Intelligence at Moet Hennessy Diageo (China) Co Ltd, said that in addition to e-commerce promotional activities, the company had also been focusing on festive occasions to offer value-added service for customers.

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