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12 Import eCommerce Models In China

It is quite difficult to categorize the import eCommerce models in China since I did not learn how to be a good librarian.

Some of the following 12 models might be overlapping due to the different rules.

Another reason might be that the market is way too dynamic and some companies have also changed their strategies.

Let me know how to improve this.

 

1. Big Cross-border B2C Platform 

For companies without local legal entity in China, the most common solutions to reach Chinese consumers directly is through self-developed e-commerce website or getting listed on Tmall Global.

import ecommerce model-tmall : Big Cross-border B2C Platform
Big Cross-border B2C Platform : Tmall Global

2. Proprietary + Platform 

JD worldwide is a typical example.

The proprietary model is independent procurement by JD and supported by service agencies in the bonded area.

The platform model is through the cross-border e-commerce model, in which oversea brands can join and sell to Chinese consumers directly.

 

Proprietary + Platform : JD Worldwide
Proprietary + Platform : JD Worldwide

3. Cross-border B2C Platforms 

HaiTao Platforms connects two ends, one is overseas brands, retailers, or purchasing agents, the other is Chinese consumers.

The critical challenge for these B2C platforms is to recruit overseas brands and retailers.

Most overseas brands are not quite interested to open stores on these B2C platforms.

At the same time, many Daigou (purchasing agents) are quite active and it leads to the big risk of fake products.

 

4. Proprietary  

In the very beginning, It is quite difficult to control the supplier chain and recruit sufficient good merchants to be on board.

Some start-ups choose to purchase directly from overseas suppliers in advance.

This requires sufficient fund and take the inventory risk.

China import ecommerce model: Proprietary
China import ecommerce model: Proprietary

 

5. C2C buyer Platform 

Websites like Taobao Global Purchase is the first generation marketplace of purchasing agents.

The risk of fake products casts a big doubt for the future of such model.

Pros

– Rich non-standard SKUs

Cons

– Risk of fake products

China import ecommerce model: C2C buyer Platform, Taobao Global
China import ecommerce model: C2C buyer Platform, Taobao Global

6. Information & Shopping Guide

Websites of shopping guide provide consumers with plenty of HaiTao strategies, promotion news.

Their income mainly comes from traffic ads like Google Adsense, or affiliate programs offered by the cross-border platforms like Amazon.

Subscribers of the websites normally are quite loyal, but they still need to go through the complicated process, which is still difficult for many average consumers.

Pros

  • Light business
  • No fake products
  • Sticky Customers

Cons

  • Self-service, complicated process

 

China import ecommerce model: Information & Shopping Guide - 55Haitao
China import ecommerce model: Information & Shopping Guide – 55Haitao
China import ecommerce model: Information & Shopping Guide - SMZDM
China import ecommerce model: Information & Shopping Guide – SMZDM

 

 

7. Community

An upgrade of the shopping guide, make sharing much easier.

Popular with new generation and the customers are quite loyal.

Little Red Book is a typical successful community with a lot of UGC content. It purchased selected items by analyzing the big data and sell them quickly to their users.

The challenge is mainly about its supply chain.

 

China import ecommerce model: Community - Little Red Book
China import ecommerce model: Community – Little Red Book

 

8. One-Stop Daigou 

Some start-ups simplified the traditional HaiTao process by making all the standard work flow in the back end, and provide the Chinese online shoppers with the same front-end interface as other domestic eCommerce sites in China.

This model needs to crawl overseas product information, translate them into Chinese and edit the descriptions, integrate with payment and logistic service providers.

Pros

  • Easy to Use

Cons

  • Unstable product source
  • Unstable price

Typical businesses

  • Haimaoji
  • Jingubang
  • KuHaiTao

 

China import ecommerce model: One-Stop Daigou - Haimao
China import ecommerce model: One-Stop Daigou – Haimao
China import ecommerce model: One-Stop Daigou - JGB
China import ecommerce model: One-Stop Daigou – JinGuBang

 

9. Cross-border O2O

Carrot Mall is setting up numbers of experience chain stores around China. You can check the product in the experience store near your home and order online, and it will arrive at your home within about 7 days.

China import ecommerce model: Cross-border O2O - Carrot Mall
China import ecommerce model: Cross-border O2O – Carrot Mall

I am not quite sure how this really works and would love to check when there is any store opened up within my reach.

 

10. Live Broadcasting

This model is really crazy at the first sight.

 

China import ecommerce model: Live Broadcasting - Bolome
China import ecommerce model: Live Broadcasting – Bolome
China import ecommerce model: Live Broadcasting - Yangmatou
China import ecommerce model: Live Broadcasting – Yangmatou

Bolome shares live videos of the real scenes that the overseas buyer purchasing in the store. Users can communicate directly in the realtime.

YMatou share live images and texts for the same process.

Customers are quite interactive with such model and tend to repeat purchases.

 

China import ecommerce model: Live Broadcasting - Bolome App
China import ecommerce model: Live Broadcasting – Bolome App
China import ecommerce model: Live Broadcasting - Yangmatou App
China import ecommerce model: Live Broadcasting – Yangmatou App

But it is quite challenging to expand the cooperation with hundreds of brands.

 

 

11. Celebrity Investment

Online celebrity economy got its position in China Cross-border eCommerce.

In the latest year, it’s interesting to have similar news again and again, that a familiar name became the shareholder of some Cross-border eCommerce company.

 

China import ecommerce model: Celebrity Investment
China import ecommerce model: Celebrity Investment
  • Fengqu Haitao:  Wallace Chung
  • Yangmatou/Meilishuo: Angela Baby
  • Oumeng: Ge You
  • Daling: Lu Han
  • BiShe: Huang Xiaoming
  • JuMei: Ren Quan

We will see their faces more often.

 

12. Haitao Plugin 

For most Chinese consumers, Haitao is quite difficult.

With the help of browser plugins designed for Haitao, online shoppers can

  • Read the foreign eCommerce site
  • Know the cost structure
  • Estimate the shipping cost and tariff
  • Estimate the final RMB price
  • Track the logistic information

This model is quite light and easy.

Let’s see how Haitao Shenqi (developed by eTao, under Alibaba Group) works.

China import ecommerce model: Haitao Plugin
China import ecommerce model: Haitao Plugin

Do you know my favorite way to buy overseas products?

Actually i like buying on overseas sites directly, it will be even better if they support direct shipping at a reasonable price.

  • Good article Chao! Do these platforms provide order fulfillment service and warehousing? If not, who to handle?