Catching the China Ecommerce Wave: A Global Ecommerce Leaders Forum Study
As the middle class in China continues its explosive growth, Chinese consumers seek a modern lifestyle, engaging experiences and genuine products from cherished global brands. For years, the Global Ecommerce Leaders Forum (GELF) community has witnessed how this “quest for authenticity” has translated into growing sales on Western e-commerce sites and on Tmall, JD.com and an increasing number of digital platforms based in China.
This research focused beyond the obvious “China opportunity.” Key findings delve into why and how leading retail brands are growing their businesses in China. This paper underscores the challenges and pitfalls to be wary of, regardless of a company’s tenure in the region. We offer insights into how U.S. retailers and brands selling direct-to-consumer (D2C) have responded to these challenges, as well as how they plan to grow their e-commerce businesses in China in the years ahead.
Key findings from the study include:
- Competition is growing quickly as the number of domestic Chinese sellers, global brands and innovative entrepreneurs explodes. Leaders are responding with better managed and more diversified e-commerce growth strategies.
- U.S. retail brands’ business models are at a key inflection point, and are poised to evolve. Although marketplaces remain the dominant digital commerce channel in China today, brands are pursuing balanced growth portfolios. Business models are evolving to include more Chinese e-commerce partners and increased investment in their own D2C e-commerce operations. In turn, leaders are preparing for the challenges of managing a broader portfolio of revenue sources and partners.