Plays By Its Own Rules

The Digital Landscape

Almost every online service from the Western world is either unavailable or displaced by a domestic alternative, therefore proven online strategies often cannot be directly adapted to China.

  • There are more than 632 million internet users in China; a 47% penetration rate at present meaning there is still room for growth.
  • The e-Commerce retail market is expected to reach US $ 1 trillion by 2019.
  • China’s e-commerce market is dominated by marketplaces (like Amazon in the US and Europe) rather than stand-alone websites; these marketplaces account for more than 90% of online retail transactions.
  • Taobao, the largest consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplace, and TMall, the largest business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplace, both under Alibaba Group, are facing disruption in their overall control of cross border and domestic e-Commerce trade.
  • Marketplaces are extremely competitive and volatile. 85% of brands selling there don’t make money.

The recent impact of cross-border e-Commerce makes Alibaba-centric strategies counterproductive. Foreign brands are often unprepared for the high operating cost and unique challenges facing them in TMall. We’ve found that outsourcing work to TPs (TMall Partners) is financially rewarding only under specific conditions.

For fiscal 2016, we have witnessed a monumental shift: fully 65 to 70% of e-Commerce transactions are now taking place outside Alibaba’s ecosystem (TMall and TaoBao).

A Free Insider’s Guide

The decision to engage in e-Commerce in China is extremely challenging and risky. Government policies regulating the marketplace are dense, complicated and prone to changes without notice. Concerns over the protection of IP (intellectual property) are well-founded and must be managed appropriately. Companies must recognize that the Chinese e-Commerce market is extremely volatile and competitive; merely getting listed on a Chinese marketplace is not enough.

Successful market entry requires a well thought-out business model and the ongoing commitment of resources, both financial and managerial, to ensure products are branded and marketed effectively for a Chinese audience, and sold at a price that can be profitable.

As an industry insider and expert, we’re also a frequent contributor to materials written about China’s digital marketplaces. Cooperating with Mark Ray of Sovereign Group and the Canadian Trade Commission, we’ve now released a comprehensive China e-Commerce guide.

Send this guide in PDF to Contact.

Sharing Knowledge

One of our founders, Josh, is relentless in sharing his insight and knowledge, helping companies and brands to increase their understanding and ability to operate in China’s treacherous digital marketplace. In all his years in China, he has become a highly-regarded e-Commerce expert, and he is a sought-after featured speaker at the likes of ChinaConnect, AdTech, NZTE, CCBC, ATO, SBR, IRCE, IRA and Luxury Society.

Josh’s Speech Highlights

> December, 2014, Shanghai - Bain & Company Conference - China Digital & eCommerce Report

> June, 2014, Montreal - Canada China Business Council - Unlocking the China Market Through e-Commerce

Josh’s Speech Highlights

> December, 2015, Shanghai - Luxury Society Keynote - Are you missing out on your own brand’s eCommerce sales in China?

> November, 2015, Shanghai – Magentocom - The Rise of Channel Conflict in Tmall

> October, 2015, Shanghai - Swedish Chamber of Commerce - Meet the Serial Entrepreneur Josh Gardner

> April, 2015, Shanghai - Shanghai Business Review Event - Using Data Effectively in Marketing

> April, 2015, Shanghai – AdTech - How To Control Your Flagship’s Share Of Brand Revenue In TMall

> March, 2015, Paris - China Connect

Josh’s Speech Highlights

> October, 2016, Shanghai - Global Retail Innovations Laboratory - Shanghai Leadership Lab: Understanding Tmall Data is the Key to Success in China

> April, 2016, Shanghai - IMA Asia China Management Forum

> March, 2016, Singapore - IRCE Conference at 2016 LMFAsia Keynote

Invite Josh to speak or attend a speaking engagement or for a private and confidential chat.

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