Building brand reputation is critical in e-commerce success as we’ve learned from big names like Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, Kroger, and the likes.
But Amazon China did little to disrepute its name. And now, they must meet the transmuting demands of an experience-oriented consumer base if at all they want to stand a chance against Eastern-based Bigwigs.
And though the East is a rapidly flourishing economy with a potential for profitable opportunities and audiences. It is quite peculiar that international brands are struggling to make a name in the Eastern Market. They’re still haven’t tapped into the full capabilities of the Eastern retail sector.
In particular, controlling China’s e-commerce market has been long a dream for Amazon China. Its Chinese competitor, Alibaba, still dominates, grabbing over 70 percent of China’s marketplace, leaving Amazon with only 1%.
What’s more, Alibaba rakes in profits larger than the sum of what Amazon and eBay make; which is why it will take longer than expected for Western retailers to take over the East.
Meanwhile, Alibaba’s Co-founder Jack Ma has managed to build a brand that boasts of unmatched customer loyalty and CX (customer experience); a puzzle that Amazon China never solved over its 14-year span in the East.
Well, it’s too bad we couldn’t beat East! But what can our retailers learn from them?
A customer-driven approach
Alibaba’s prosperity comes from the retailer’s flexibility to focus on the shopper’s practical needs.
When Jack Ma was thinking a hassle-free and less risky remedy for buyers; shoppers don’t pay until they receive and are contented with products, Amazon insisted on dependable returns policy.
Moreover, though both retailers traded in marketplace and entertainment offers, China’s Alibaba developed a more integrated payment platform compared to its rivals. The latter made work easier for customers by implementing a tap-and-go process that we’ve seen work for banks and merchant services- it offered its payment service- Alipay.
Though Amazon’s has its e-wallet, Amazon Pay, the platform has only attracted 30 million users compared to Alipay’s 900 million users worldwide.
Integrating the digital and the physical
Retail markets of the west haven’t really drawn the line between high street customers and online buyers. When brands are realizing the significance of an omnichannel experience, e-commerce bigwigs like JD.com and Alibaba are already using in-store retailers to ensure all their customers are served.
Alibaba knew that as we pace the shift towards a friction-free customer experience online, buyers also need the same convenience in other platforms.
For instance, More Mall features multiple techs including AR, VR, and facial recognition. What’s more, it has its Tmall Genie voice assistant, which together engages customers to offer a modern shopper experience.
Ma has built Alibaba’s Hema- a premier grocery branch- to occupy the physical-digital gap. Not even Amazon Go’s tech-fast in-store platform matches the customer experience its Eastern rivals are providing.
Hema stores are strategically erected in city centers to attract young, affluent consumers. They are partly a convenience store for fresh produce, a food and beverage center, and sometimes a wholesale — these stores foster physical-digital collaboration building the brand name while also ensuring the best customer experience.
AI has also smoothened processes in Hema stores; customers (3 miles away) can receive groceries with 30 minutes, conveyor belts move groceries (making up 50% of sales), and buyers can buy products using facial recognition.
The bottom line is; Western brands must pay attention to the many different factors that can ensure seamless customer engagement and embed the necessary tools to achieve these goals. Perhaps Amazon may have a chance in Indian markets as Ma suggested.
Author Bio:Payment industry expert Taylor Cole is a passionate merchant account expert who understands the complicated world of accepting credit and debit cards at your business. His understanding of retail merchant services complaints has helped thousands of business owners save money and time.