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E-Commerce Opportunities in China: A Discussion with Alibaba and Coresight Research

Executive Summary

On Tuesday, Coresight Research attended a Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) event cohosted by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. After a presentation by Alibaba France Managing Director Sébastien Badault, Coresight Research CEO and Founder Deborah Weinswig spoke with Badault and Andreas Schulmeyer, Founder and Principal, Faultline Solutions, about the unique nature of the Chinese market and consumer. The three also discussed opportunities and strategies for brands looking to enter the Chinese e-commerce market. Here, we share our takeaways from the event.

  • Chinese consumers rely heavily on e-commerce to purchase almost every kind of product, and with only half of the Chinese population connected to the Internet, there is ample room for growth.
  • E-commerce is the door to all Chinese retail, and establishing a store on Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace is crucial. Tmall stores reach consumers in all parts of China and are the most popular shopping destinations in the country.
  • Collaboration is key when entering the Chinese market. It’s vital for brands to work with Tmall and companies such as Coresight Research, which can help guide them through the process of entering the Chinese market. Replicating American strategies in China just doesn’t work.
  • While shopping in the US has become largely a chore, shopping in China is an enjoyable experience. Brands in China tend to use innovative marketing, including key opinion leaders/influencers, to build excitement around their products.

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