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Class Editori News

The 11/11 phenomenon, a lesson for those who focus on e-commerce

November 20, 2019

Abstract : To take advantage of the flood of 639 million Chinese - more numerous than the inhabitants of the entire European Union - who buy via the Internet, it is good to understand some basic concepts, behavioral dynamics, and the use of some sophisticated tools such as KOL and shopper-tainment.

MILAN, Nov. 18 (Class Editori) – The November 11 day was established in 2009 as a comforting day for singles' purchases. Ten years later, it has become the largest mass phenomenon represented by consumers, first of all Chinese, followed by those of the rest of the world, which by total exceeds Thanksgiving day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Amazon Prime Day.

More than numbers, however, the most significant aspect is that of communication, understood as an extreme innovation, more or less acceptable, and the spread in the areas and cities of the second and third tier.

During a dinner, in the presence also of Christine Lagarde, during the 2018 edition of the Asia Forum of Boao in 2018, Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, said: "Digital (DT) is the solution to solve problems. In the future there will be no e-commerce but e-business. There will be no Made in China or Made in the USA but Made in the Internet. People are afraid of the future because they have not confidence in it. If you are afraid of the future and cannot find solutions, someone else has already found the solution."

The process and success of November 11 is contained in those concepts. At last June in China there were 854 million Internet users, 639 million of which buy online through Alipay or Wechat payment: the formula is "click and buy wherever the shoppers might be".

This formula has been enriched with sophisticated tools to captivate consumers' curiosity and stimulate purchases. For example, considering that half of the users use the livestreams, a solution has been devised that adopts the KOL system - key opinions leaders. We have come to the "shopper-tainment", a crux between purchase and entertainment where the influencer plays a strategic role in product advertising.

The result was that provided by Jiang Fan, president of Taobao and Timall: 500 million users, 100 million which at the first experience; 200 thousand participating brands and a million products available for a total of 38 billion dollars of transactions.

On another occasion, Jack Ma hoped for penetration into the peripheral areas, also offering the opportunity for small, mainly family-based businesses to showcase their products on Taobao and Tmall. And this year, the second and third tier cities have increased their purchases by 25.7% compared to last year and more than 60% for the cosmetics and furniture sector.

There is not only Alibaba and other groups like JD com, Li & Fung, Sunning, to mention the biggest, benefitting thanks to November 11.

It should not be forgotten that, at the base of this great commercial revolution, logistics and transport are not only an indispensable prerequisite but are creating the imprinting for normal daily activities.

In fact, the cross-border guidelines move within the Chinese domestic market as well as for deliveries to international destinations.

The platform created at the beginning of 2019 in Hangzhou, the historical headquarters of Alibaba, allows Cainiao to deliver to China and the world within 72 hours with the support of YTD express, a local courier acquired by Alibaba.

Robotics and the blockchain are side activities that give strength.

Following the boom in orders, almost all airlines prefer to embark on parcel or historic day packages, creating inconvenience for normal air shipments - the price makes the difference.

The conclusion should be completely positive: the sales trend, consumer happiness, new communication technologies.

Personally, I do not share this excessive optimism: e-commerce not only in China but also in Italy and in the rest of the world implies the closure of shops and distribution chains and creates an addiction to the excessive use of the smartphone.

Douglas Rushkoff warn us in his book "Present Shock" he wrote: "In the digital age, time is no longer linear, but ethereal and associative. Instead of gaining awareness, we change our value system to be consistent with the premises according to which we operate further away from the mainland. The desperate attempt to be in more than one place at the same time brings us to the next form of present shock" (pages 70 and 86).

*edited by Marco Leporati, Managing Director at Savino Del Bene – transport and logistics company. He lives and works in China since over 25 years.

(Source:Class Editori)

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