Chi­nese on­line shop shapes Rus­sian e-com­merce mar­ket

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS -

MOSCOW — With im­prov­ing transna­tional lo­gis­tics, the cross-bor­der on­line shop­ping up­surge ris­ing in China over re­cent years has now spread to its north­ern neigh­bor — Rus­sia. Maria Chis­cakova, a 22-year-old liv­ing in Nizhny Nov­gorod in western Rus­sia who places at least one or­der via the in­ter­net per month, tells a con­vinc­ing story as an ex­pe­ri­enced on­line “shopa­holic.”

Chis­cakova be­gan to shop over­seas about three years ago at Ali Ex­press, the cross-bor­der on­line shop­ping unit of the Chi­nese e-com­merce gi­ant Alibaba Group. Af­ter sev­eral sat­is­fy­ing or­ders, she in­tro­duced it to her fam­ily and friends. Now they have all fallen in love with the on­line shop.

“I or­dered a mo­bile phone on­line, and it’s the best I have ever used. The head­set my hus­band Oleg bought is also amaz­ing. We are both sur­prised that it is of high qual­ity and in­ex­pen­sive at the same time,” she said.

The com­pet­i­tive qual­ity and price of Chi­nese goods, as well as the great con­ve­nience brought by on­line shop­ping, make Chis­cakova and her fam­ily and friends loyal cus­tomers of the por­tal.

“Frankly, I don’t like shop­ping malls. There are a lot of peo­ple and they are in a bad mood as the prices are high or shop as­sis­tants are rude. A lot of my friends share my views. That is why Ali Ex­press just saves us,” she said.

Chis­cakova is one of the 22 mil­lion Rus­sian cus­tomers of Ali Ex­press. On Nov 11, the oc­ca­sion of an on­line shop­ping fes­ti­val, Ali Ex­press re­ceived 20 mil­lion or­ders from Rus­sian cus­tomers, up 85 per­cent year-on-year, ac­count­ing for 60 per­cent of its to­tal over­seas or­ders on that day.

The com­pany had its ups and downs af­ter it en­tered the Rus­sian mar­ket in 2012. Af­ter suf­fer­ing a two-year fi­nan­cial loss in the be­gin­ning, it gradu- ally got on the right track and has be­come the largest on­line re­tailer in Rus­sia, fol­lowed by Ama­zon and eBay.

Apart from the de­val­u­a­tion of the ru­ble since 2014, Ali Ex­press’ suc­cess could be a re­sult of the com­pany’s tran­si­tion of its busi­ness model from busi­ness to busi­ness, or B2B, to busi­ness to cus­tomer or BTC. This sim­pli­fies the shop­ping process and en­ables goods to be de­liv­ered di­rectly to con­sumers, ac­cord­ing to me­dia an­a­lysts.



A woman in Moscow checks her goods bought via Alibaba plat­form.

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