Lessons from China after COVID-19: 4 factors of change for retail

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Lessons from China after COVID-19: 4 factors of change for retail

The unstoppable digitization of society expands online audiences
The South China Morning Post has just published the China Internet Report 2020 , a study that highlights the evolution that is taking place in sectors related to technology and internet use in the Asian country. One of the conclusions that it shows is the enormous impulse that the digitization of Chinese society has experienced . The Internet has reached those audiences that had not yet made the leap : the number of users aged 41 and over who are already online has grown by 14%. This is a notable increase if we compare it with the more moderate increases of 3.1% registered by users between 25-40 years of age and 1% by those under 24 years of age. But, above all, its background is important, since this type of audience, which traditionally showed more reluctance to use technology, now constitutes a new audience to take into account in any online uk phone number strategy. Sales channels are transformed and diversifiedThe lockdown in China fueled innovation in connecting brands and audiences . According to the previous report, 2020 is the year that social commerce and live-streaming e-commerce have established themselves as mainstream industries in China. According to the report The Future Shooper by Wunderman Thompson , 84% of consumers in China already recommend products to their acquaintances through social networks, compared to the average of 42% in other countries. For this reason, Chinese companies have focused part of their commercial efforts on the WeChat Shop mini-stores , thus boosting this new sales channel.

On the other hand, the popularization of live-streaming e-commerce is striking at the level of users and the volume of business that it moves, as we see in the graphLive-streaming e-commerce users in ChinaSource: China Internet Report 2020 Why the spectacular take-off of this formula that combines live video broadcasting with online sales? One of the most cited reasons is its proximity to the offline shopping experience , since the product is presented almost as if the user were seeing it and interacting with it in the store. Of course, this innovation would not be possible if it were not supported by key technological advances: The penetration of smartphones in China is enormous : 99% of users who use the Internet do so through mobile phones.
Thanks to WeChat Pay , social commerce is a very palpable reality : users literally need a single click to get the products.
The development and implementation of the 5G network in China does not stop and it is already present in the main cities, something very positive for the consumption of audiovisual content .
Cities with 5G connection in China
Source: China Internet Report 2020
3. Marketplaces are a safe bet for online shopping
According to the study A cross industry view on the impact of COVID in China by Kantar Media, during the lockdown, 55% of respondents made purchases through the main Chinese marketplaces, including giants such as Taobao, Tmall or JD.com. After this period, 42% say they intend to continue using these platforms , compared to only 8% who plan to buy less frequently on them.

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To understand this success of marketplaces in the post-COVID-19 stage, one must look  gulf email list  at two main factors: their ability to, based on data, orchestrate an effective strategy of personalized offers based on each buyer’s journey; and its excellent level of logistical competence , which makes wide delivery options available to the client. Logistics is a key element in the success of marketplaces in China
4. New consumption patterns emerge to take into account
In addition to the transfer of offline sales to the online arena , the coronavirus crisis has profoundly affected consumption patterns , because customers respond to a new scale of values . Adapting to it effectively will determine the ability of brands to deal with the new normal. According to Bain & Company’s China Shopper Report 2020 , the brands that have generated more trust among their customer pool are suffering less compared to those that did not have such a loyal base. In the same way, the commitment to the local contained the losses of the autochthonous brands. The behavior of the post-COVID-19 consumer is heavily influenced by uncertainty , so it has put aside premium brands to some extent, while those with tighter prices are better enduring the effect of the crisis.Growth by market segment in China
Source: China Shopper Report 2020 from Bain & Company
China was the first country to suffer the onslaught of the global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and, months after its own de-escalation, the metamorphosis in the way of acting of its brands, consumers, technology and digital ecosystems is more established in the face of that of the Western world, still immersed in the transition to the new normal.

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