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What’s Selling as China Comes Back Online?

As the world looks to China for hints about how economies will rebound as businesses re-open following COVID-19 lockdowns, we’ll be featuring interesting, data-rich articles like this one from Technode.

The data highlighted by author Jacob Cooke includes the most recent data (2.1.20) from WPIC Marketing + Technologies, a technology consulting company that helps global brands with their web presence in China and Japan.

Stay-at-Home Products Booming. Outdoors Not So Much

Sports shoes sales are down year-to-year, but nowhere near as much as hiking equipment. Both categories are way down Sept 2019 highs. On the other hand, sales on Tmall of hair clippers, pajamas and egg whisks have skyrocketed with volumes of egg whisks and hair clippers tripling in a one-month period.

The data does a deeper dive into purchasing behavior during the eight-week social distancing period and finds fresh produce purchases skyrocketed during Week Six before settling back into a normal data distribution.

“Industrial-sized orders of fresh food (representing cooking ingredients and specialty ingredients for restaurants) completely stopped on e-commerce platforms, but individual and family sized fresh food orders from the platform have surged,” explains the author. “This tells us that more and more consumers are turning to e-commerce as a means to stock their pantries and fridges.”

Boom in Online Predates COVID-19 Crisis

Although it seems likely that purchases of fresh food will return to brick-and-mortar locations as China’s re-opening accelerates, the trend where more consumers embrace ecommerce has been steadily rising for years. The article points to “the continued rise in the penetration of e-commerce in Chinese tier-3 and tier-4 cities” and asserts that ecommerce growth drivers include more middle-income shoppers spending more with China’s online retail community, greater mobile commerce adoption and more retailers deploying omnichannel/O2O shopping capacity like buy online with pick-up in store and delivery options.

The result? Well, PWC reports thats north of 25% of all retail shopping is done online in China; a reality predating the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The article concludes by looking to the future of ecommerce and exploring whether the financial hardships from COVID-19 will reduce the frequency of larger purchases.

Stay tuned as GELF partners with Sunride Cross-Border Services to learn more about how the re-opening of China will impact ecommerce and overal retail purchasing in China – and beyond.

Stay healthy! And check out GELF’s new podcast …

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