Black Friday expected to spur online buying overseas
Jia Yi, a white-collar employee from Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province, is passionate about overseas brands and products. She is now considering buying a stylish Coach handbag during Black Friday, the start of the Christmas shopping season in the United States.
“The price of a Coach bag in the domestic market can reach over 2,000 yuan ($290), but it is just 848 yuan at an e-commerce platform during Black Friday. It is very cost-effective,” said Jia.
China’s cross-border e-commerce sector has been growing exponentially over the past few years.
The Shanghai-based crossborder e-commerce site Ymatou.com said it expected its volume of purchases during Black Friday this year will be more than 10 times last year’s level, using more than 30,000 Chinese and foreign buyers residing overseas. Ymatou hires people living abroad as local agents to buy foreign products for customers in China.
The company said Chinese customers can now buy more than 600,000 imported goods from 83 countries — including discounted clothes, shoes, bags, cosmetics, jewelry, healthcare products — without ever going out the front door of the house.
“The trend is that consumers from second- and third-tier cities are now more willing to buy overseas products,” said Zeng Bibo, chief executive officer of Ymatou.
He said Chinese consumers’ demands and expectations have soared as they have increasingly been able to access different international markets to satisfy needs for products and services.
Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving Day, is a manic shopping day featuring the highest discounts all year round and is a bonanza for bricks-and-mortar retailers, e-commerce players and consumers around the world.
Ymatou said it would ensure that Chinese online shoppers get the same deals as their Western counterparts during Black Friday. Buyers can engage in the shopping process through online shopping platforms.
The e-commerce site said it is continually monitoring the buying and selling process to ensure its integrity is maintained.
Ymatou has also established an independent logistics company — XLobo — to develop its overseas direct mail business.
XLobo collects and bundles individual parcels at overseas locations and ships them to China as a single consignment. It now owns 15 international logistics centers around the world to ensure direct mail within five days of purchase, on average.
“The number of logistics service professionals has doubled. We have expanded the warehouse space in New York, San Francisco and Osaka,” said Zeng.
Chinese e-commerce companies, such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and JD.com Inc, have also developed their cross-border businesses.