Welcome! Wednesday - May 24, 2017

China’s Next Big E-Commerce Trend: Online-to-Offline


China mobile commerce-O2O

In the past post we introduced how businesses are leveraging Social Commerce to engage Chinese consumers. However, Social Commerce is only one aspect of a broader trend that we are currently tracking: Online-to-Offline (O2O).

What exactly is “O2O”? O2O allows real-world stores to connect with and attract online consumers. The fact is, the majority of consumption in China still occurs offline – whether that be hotels, restaurants, movies, beauty salons or other services that can only be consumed offline. What this means, is there is a tremendous opportunity to marry online payment and marketing tools with offline services to improve the overall experience for consumers, and streamline customer acquisition for businesses.

For example, restaurants in  China are now using Tencent’s WeChat application to let customers reserve tables, order food and complete payment before they even enter the restaurant and eat their meal.

Offline businesses would be wise to think beyond simply cloning the “deal of the day” concept on mobile apps—and instead think about how the discovery, payment, and performance measurement of offline commerce can move online.

Importantly, for businesses who operate both online and offline, this means that you should be thinking much more carefully about how to integrate your e-commerce strategy with your real-world experience.

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