Virtual is China’s new retail reality

Businesses as well as customers are celebrating the new e-tail era.

Not only have payment modes changed in China, the entire consumer experience has been turned on its head. But, surprisingly, brick-and-mortar retail hasn’t become obsolete. Instead, a few savvy companies have used technology to enhance the brick-and-mortar retail experience for consumers.

In China’s southern city of Guangzhou, a leading car manufacturer has introduced an unmanned car vending machine1. Prospective buyers can browse different models on a smartphone app and have the option of choosing a car to test drive for up to three days — picked on-the-spot from the vending machine. No more spending hours in mega auto lots while resisting pressure from pushy salespersons!

Shopping with a child in tow? China’s second-largest online retailer JD.com recently opened the first of a chain of supermarkets that features robotic carts which follow you around as you browse the aisles2. This frees your hands for other tasks, such as picking out items and keeping your child’s hands away from sweets.

Across a whole range of products and services, China’s tech-driven “new retail” era is proving a win-win for both businesses and consumers alike, and a Chinese-led global renaissance for the brick-and-mortar retail economy looks to be well under way.

Technology has the ability to disrupt industries or give them a new lease of life. Benefit from Eastspring Investments’ expertise to identify the winners from the losers in China.

Sources:
1 https://www.scmp.com/business/article/2139000/alibaba-and-ford-unveil-car-vending-machine-guangzhou
2 https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/consumer/online-retailer-jd-follows-alibaba-into-the-supermarket-game

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