Buy­ing air con­di­tion­ers on­line be­comes a fun task

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By MENGJING mengjing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

May on­wards, as sum­mer tem­per­a­tures soared in­China, so has the num­ber of searches for “air con­di­tioner” on on­line mar­ket­places such as Tmall.com, Taobao.com, Sun­ing.com and JD.com.

In­dus­try ob­servers fore­see a 40 per­cent year-on-year surge in on­line sales of air con­di­tion­ers in 2016. This is de­spite over­all sales shrink­ing since last year.

Sta­tis­tics from the Bei­jing­based mar­ket re­search firm Chi­naMar­ketMon­i­tor Co Ltd showedthat the on­line sales of air con­di­tion­ers in China are ex­pected to reach 18.9 bil­lion yuan ($2.87 bil­lion) this year, up 36 per­cent.

“The on­line sales of air con­di­tion­ers in­China will see rapid growth in com­ing years as more and more peo­ple are feel­ing com­fort­able buy­ing big-ticket items on­line. Also, there is im­prove­ment in af­ter­sales ser­vice,” said Liu Long, an an­a­lyst spe­cial­iz­ing in white goods re­search with Chi­naMar­ketMon­i­tor.

Liu projects that by 2019, about 29 per­cent of air con­di­tioner sales will likely be via on­line chan­nels, com­pared with 13.6 per­cent in 2015.

Com­pared­withother­ma­jor house­hold ap­pli­ances such as re­frig­er­a­tors and wash­ing ma­chines, air con­di­tion­ers have the low­est adop­tion rate on­line. This sig­nals strong growth po­ten­tial, he said.

Air con­di­tioner is the kind of prod­uct that re­quires good pre-sale pro­mo­tions and ex­cel­lent after-sales sup­port so that cus­tomers can en­joy a bet­ter shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence, said Xue Youwei, man­ager of air-con­di­tioner pro­cure­ment and sales unit with JD.com.

“For ex­am­ple, a re­frig­er­a­tor doesn’t need to be in­stalled. A cus­tomer will knowhowto do it him­self after the­home­de­liv­ery. But for air con­di­tion­ers, you need to send a pro­fes­sional team to con­sumers’ homes to make the ma­chines work,” he said.

This is the main rea­son­why on­line sales of air con­di­tion­ers took off later than other ap­pli­ances.

Ac­cord­ing to China Mar­ket Mon­i­tor, about 23 per­cent of the re­frig­er­a­tors in China were sold on­line in 2015. The cor­re­spond­ing fig­ure for wash­ing ma­chines was higher at 27. 3 per­cent.

E-com­merce giants such as Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd and JD.com are mak­ing sure on­line shop­pers re­ceive the same qual­ity of after-sales ser­vice as off­line shop­pers. They have also speeded up de­liv­ery times.

In 2013, Alibaba signed a deal with home ap­pli­ance maker Haier Group to form a joint ven­ture to build a lo­gis­tics and ser­vice net­work to de­liver house­hold ap­pli­ances and other large items across China.

The move gives pa­trons of Alibaba-backed Tmall fac­to­ry­l­o­gis­tics sup­port for large items as well as post­de­liv­ery assem­bly and in­stal­la­tion of ap­pli­ances.

Xue of JD.com said the Bei­jing-based e-com­merce ma­jor has 50 ware­houses across China that sup­port de­liv­ery of ma­jor home ap­pli­ances, some­times on the same day in cer­tain re­gions, if the on­line or­der is placed be­fore 11 am.

The Bei­jing-based com­pany has been work­ing with sev­eral air-con­di­tioner brands to make sure de­liv­ery and in­stal­la­tion of the de­vices are done promptly after the on­line sales.

The over­all sales of air con­di­tion­ers in China have been rather slug­gish for the past sev­eral years mostly due to cool­ing of the coun­try’s prop­erty mar­ket.

Chi­naMar­ketMon­i­tor said over­all sales of air-con­di­tion­ers are ex­pected to fall 5.4 per­cent to 130.1 bil­lion yuan this year.

AN XIN / FOR CHINA DAILY

A man re­ceives a phone call while hand-hold­ing a bill­board ad­ver­tis­ing air con­di­tion­ers made by TCL Group in Nan­jing,

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.