Ser­vice ven­dor web­site no pig in a poke

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS -

The in­dus­try also re­quires au­to­ma­tion and stan­dard­iza­tion: This means that when buy­ers or­der or ven­dors bid, they have to deal with a stan­dard in­ter­face, in­stead of peo­ple.

Un­like users in the West, Chi­nese users are ter­ri­bly un­com­fort­able quite easy and straight­for­ward. If we hadn’t set up a call center, th­ese deals would surely have been lost,” Zhu said.

Zhu and his team also paid a lot of at­ten­tion to over­com­ing the “trust gap”. They de­vel­oped an online pay­ment sys­tem that en­sures buy­ers re­mit the money to Zhuba­jie be­fore it’s trans­ferred to suc­cess­ful bid­ders.

They es­tab­lished a rat­ing sys­tem for ven­dors: the more deals they get, the higher their scores. Those scores are now a crit­i­cal ref­er­ence when buy­ers make de­ci­sions.

Also, ini­tially, ven­dors had to com­pete against all other bid­ders for ev­ery deal. Now, they can have one-on-one project ar­range­ments with long­time cus­tomers.

Zhang Yong, a vet­eran ven­dor on Zhuba­jie, said he earns more un­der this new ar­range­ment. The web­site it­self gets less.

Work of­fers on the web­site have boomed. Zhang’s de­sign busi­ness has de­vel­oped to the point where he’s hired about 10 peo­ple. His monthly in­come now reaches 200,000 to 300,000 yuan.

Zhuba­jie’s per­se­ver­ance has at­tracted in­vestors. In 2011, it re­ceived a $10 mil­lion in­vest­ment from In­ter­na­tional Data Group Corp, a United States­based tech­nol­ogy, me­dia, re­search and events man­age­ment firm. IDG is also en­gaged in ven­ture cap­i­tal in­vest­ment.

Zhuba­jie plans to make an ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing within two or three years.

Look­ing to the fu­ture, Zhu said he be­lieved that online goods trade has nearly peaked, while ser­vice trade will surge and make up half of the e-com­merce mar­ket.

“For a plat­form web­site like Zhuba­jie, it must be a ‘slow busi­ness’ and seem­ingly stupid meth­ods should be ap­plied. You can’t as­sume your cus­tomers are too clever; nei­ther can you as­sume they’re too stupid.

“You should treat them with in­tegrity” and the busi­ness will grow, he said. “That brings economies of scale.”

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Chongqing Zhuba­jie Net­work Tech­nol­ogy Co Ltd has cre­ated the equiv­a­lent of more than 10,000 full-time jobs and many more part-time gigs.

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