The E-Commerce Explosion in China

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The E-Commerce Explosion in China

 

No one would have imagined China to become an e-commerce leader in the world in B2C and C2C channel a decade ago when tech boom had hid US and other developed markets. By 2000, China had not even developed two e-commerce applications with just a 2.1 million internet users out of its more than billion citizens. There were no physical delivery systems or payment systems that could facilitate e-commerce in China. However, by the end of year 2013, Chinese internet users had reached 600 million, the e-commerce revenue was growing at 70% compounded annually and China was on its way to becoming the biggest e-commerce market in the world. By the year 2015, the online business transactions are expected to reach US $540 billion, and by the year 2020 this figure would become larger than the sum of e-commerce market of France, Japan, Britain and Germany.

 

China’s Digital Marketing Landscape and Opportunities for Business Development

The social media landscape in China is dominated by two players, IM service WeChat and micro-blogging service Weibo. Both of these players are still evolving, and similarly, so are the enterprises methods to use them to brand their products. Weibo can be considered as viral media, whose strength can be understood from the fact that a Chanel ad that featured Brad Pitt had reached 128 million people on Weibo. On the other hand, WeChat is a social media app which is not a traditional marketing channel, but actually a tool to converse with friends in a closed circle. Brands have been using it as a tool to deliver a personal message instead of a broad message. This results in WeChat being used for precision marketing. According to Jonathon Smith, who is the director at Hot Pot Digital, email marketing has never been successful in China and WeChat can replace email and become the channel for CRM. An example of this is the use of WeChat by internal fashion firm Louis Vuitton. The company allows consumers to send the message through the app and then the company assigns a person to contact the consumer and resolve the issue. Burberry also used WeChat to create personalised conversations with its consumers in 2014 during the London Fashion Week. The functionalities have increased a lot, and people can use WeChat to connect to their brand and make mobile payments, Airlines are using to let customers check-in and choose their seats. This is considered just a start as it is believed that there is a lot more functionalities coming our way in future that can help business in their business development methods.

According to Jonathon Smith, who is the director at Hot Pot Digital, email marketing has never been successful in China and WeChat can replace email and become the channel for CRM. An example of this is the use of WeChat by internal fashion firm Louis Vuitton. The company allows consumers to send the message through the app and then the company assigns a person to contact the consumer and resolve the issue. Burberry also used WeChat to create personalised conversations with its consumers in 2014 during the London Fashion Week. The functionalities have increased a lot, and people can use WeChat to connect to their brand and make mobile payments, Airlines are using to let customers check-in and choose their seats. This is considered just a start as it is believed that there is a lot more functionalities coming our way in future that can help business in their business development methods.

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