How the world of retail is evolving in China

REDAZIONE
23/03/2021
In brief
Although global retail is experiencing years of rapid radical changes due to the fast-emerging e-commerce, the new tariff wars and the coronavirus pandemic, China is emerging as the worldwide point of reference for the entire industry. Chinese retail has been successful in establishing itself as an innovative and winning choice, thanks to the rapid adoption of digital solutions by the sector companies.

Although global retail is experiencing years of rapid radical changes due to the fast-emerging e-commerce, the new tariff wars and the coronavirus pandemic, China is emerging as the worldwide point of reference for the entire industry, not only for the growing trends and the purchasing power of its domestic market, but also for the strong technological boost it has given to the sector, so much so as to give life to the New Chinese Retail model.

What do we mean when we speak about New Chinese Retail?

Chinese retail has been successful in establishing itself as an innovative and winning choice, thanks to the rapid adoption of digital solutions by the sector companies, the involvement of institutional and infrastructural players, the boom in electronic payments and the development of storytelling strategies capable of exploiting the full potential of the latest technologies.

This context has determined the development and success of the Chinese model of technological retail, in which the product is no longer at its centre, but the experience lived by the user, thanks to the multiple touchpoints offered by web ecosystems where big data analytics can be applied to the information collected from websites, e-commerce marketplaces, social networks and various platforms, determining more timely and effective marketing plans in which the customisation of services dictated by data and process analysis ensures attractiveness to both large companies and SMEs.

How can an Italian brand succeed in the New Chinese Retail?

Through the integration of digital technology!

In other words, by adopting highly flexible platforms designed for the local public and market, i.e. websites and social channels (in particular WeChat) with an appearance, content and engagement flows tailored to the needs of the Chinese public, where users can discover the brand but also easily buy its products, possibly through the integration of mini-programs.

Awareness activities pass definitely through local influences, key personalities for reaching the general public and position the brand.

Essential are also the partnerships with Chinese infrastructures capable of offering the technological, commercial and logistical support necessary to carve out a space in the market. Alibaba, JD.com and the other e-commerce platforms are just some of the most interesting providers worth evaluating and considering.

So, what does it take to sell in China?

A key aspect concerns the attitude of Italian companies, as what is needed is a constant and shared endeavour towards innovation, which must be fostered with internal training in order to keep up-to-date day after day and adopt new technologies with awareness and make the most of them within a defined strategy.

Without this change of vision and open mindset, no evolution will in fact be possible.

Having taken care of this aspect, in order to compete in the hyper-competitive Chinese retail it is necessary to channel cross-border logistics, digital automation, online marketing, e-commerce and social commerce, product and brand communication, analysis and monitoring infrastructures and online payments into a single strategy, and that is not an easy challenge.

What does the Retex organization offer?

The answer to many of the needs of Italian companies can only come from a partner specialized in the development of strategies dedicated to exports to the Chinese market.

Retex offers transversal and integrated skills ranging from consultancy support to the feasibility study for landing in China, from the definition of the go-to-market strategy to the optimization of the necessary technical and technological tools, and from the development of a local marketing plan to content creation.

Everything that is necessary to seize the enormous opportunity offered by Chinese retail, especially in the current weak European and North American markets in full pandemic.

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