From where it started ten years ago to how far it has reached, there is no stopping to the Chinese retail industry. With over a mammoth of 800 million consumers, China is slowly becoming the world leader of e-commerce sales overtaking its rivals, the United States. By 2022, the country will not only have the largest contribution to the global economy but will also dominate over the biggest retail market of this era.
Despite the slow economic growth rate since 1990, China has managed to increase its purchasing power through record-breaking sales by Alibaba and JD.com. In addition to that, the digital transformation over the last few years has claimed 35% of the overall online retail sales – more than any market in the world.
Let’s take a look at some of the factors that are boosting the China B2B Marketplace:
DIGITAL PAYMENT SYSTEMS
One of the things that really gave the Chinese retail industry a push forward was the use of mobile payments. According to an estimate, 731 million people in China use the internet, out of which 90% own themselves a smartphone. Majority of the new start-ups and growing businesses in the country are founded on technologies like big data, AI and fintech. This had led to the growth of local digital payment systems like Alipay or online payments separately for each retail store.
DIGITIZATION IN INDUSTRIES
By 2030, almost all major industries in the China B2B platform will experience the digital transformation. Be it retail, automotive, healthcare or logistics, digitization will bring a massive boost in the profits and generated revenue. With this change and automation in industries, especially retail, companies are creating more value in products while benefitting the overall retail industry.
THE EMERGING NEW RETAIL
New Retail is a trend introduced by Chinese retail giants Alibaba in 2016. It is a type of retail that intends to merge offline and online retail channels in a way to make shopping more efficient for consumers. Whether they want to shop in-store, purchase online for pick-ups or shop something in a nearby store for home delivery. The main aspect of New Retail is having smartphone access. The fact that technology is so common and easily available makes it easier for Chinese retailers to give their consumers the retail experience they wish to have. For instance, Alibaba, who with their Retail apps lets customers shop how they want – in-store or online, depending on their needs.
AUTOMATED AND SELF-SERVICE STORES
Automated Stores will be the future of retail in China. These high-rise tech-enabled, automated and self-service stores are changing the way customers shop from physical stores. Right now, there is a long list of companies coming up with this trend and opening up retail spaces that lets customer use a store app or QR code to take access and shop. The stores have a camera and image recognition software to identify the customers and their purchases. They also facilitate them with digital payment options directly from Alipay or WeChat. Retail companies like Alibaba, Suning and Biu and most China B2B trade sites use this software to track their customers and provide them with a unique shopping experience.
Over the years, more robots have made their way into the retail stores for assisting customers, making deliveries through drones and quickly navigating customers through facial recognition to hand over their orders. In many retail industries, robots are also being deployed in warehouses for searching and tracking orders, packaging, wrapping, production work and design.
Vending machines lets you shop specific products in the form of automated retail without any human assistance. The concept has been prevalent for years and for stores with limited space, vending machines can be a great idea. With China’s move to have cash-free payments, vending machines are now been upgraded with palm scanners, sensors, mobile wallet integrations to get smarter and more easier to use. The best part of using a vending machine is that they are accessible 24 hours even if the stores are closed and retailers can theoretically get their vending machine installed anywhere where their customers are.