Thursday February 8, 2018
The red-hot growth of online retailing in China has cooled over the last couple of years as it has become an increasingly mature–if still growing–business. Online retailers recognise this and are focusing on the convergence of offline and online retail as the next big opportunity.
Known as New Retail, or sometimes O2O for online to offline, this model combines the advantages of big data-driven online marketing and payment systems, with networks of physical stores and delivery systems.
The great rivalry in Chinese online retail is between Alibaba, which accounts for about three-quarters of the market and second-placed JD with about a 14% share. Both have recently been purchasing and establishing offline retailers and integrating their online systems with them.
We’re supplying the Hema chain of grocery stores being opened in major cities by Alibaba. Customers can order online and have goods delivered, or they can visit a store and choose between either taking their purchases away with them, or having them delivered to their home for free within 30 minutes if they live within 3km, or having them cooked by in-store chefs and dining on the premises.
The merging of both online and offline retail purchasing and the bringing together of retail and restaurant experience affords new opportunities, ones we’re very excited to be exploring - stay tuned for updates.