What is “New Retail” in China? – Here is a useful overview

“New Retail” is a term that we have been hearing a lot lately in the business world. The term refers to the integration of online and offline retail operations to create a seamless shopping experience for consumers. In China, New Retail has been rapidly growing in popularity, driven by the country’s vast mobile phone user base and advanced digital technology.

In this article, we will explore the concept of New Retail in China and understand why it is becoming so popular.

What is New Retail?

New Retail is not just about technology, it’s a way of rethinking retail that combines consumers’ online and offline experiences into a single, seamless operation. It blends online and offline channels and creates an immersive shopping experience for customers. New Retail aims to bring the best of both worlds – the convenience of online shopping and the expertise of in-store retailers.

The rise of New Retail in China

New Retail has been growing rapidly in China, driven by the country’s advanced digital technology and its vast mobile phone user base. China has the world’s largest internet population, with around 904 million people online as of March 2021. According to a report by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the number of mobile internet users in China reached 1.159 billion by the end of September 2020.

China’s e-commerce market is also the largest in the world, accounting for around 44% of global e-commerce sales. The country’s online shopping market has grown rapidly in recent years and is expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2024. China’s online shoppers are increasingly using mobile devices to make purchases.

New Retail in action

The New Retail concept has been put into practice by several companies in China. Alibaba Group’s Hema supermarket chain is one example. Hema supermarkets offer customers the option to shop in-store or online, and orders can be delivered within 30 minutes. In-store customers can use the Hema app to scan barcodes to get detailed product information, to pay and to schedule home delivery. Products are sourced from local suppliers and stocked according to local demand.

JD.com, another major Chinese e-commerce company, has launched a chain of “7Fresh” supermarkets, which offers similar services to Hema. 7Fresh supermarkets are designed to provide a seamless experience for customers, both online and offline. Customers can scan their products using their smartphones while shopping, and pay using facial recognition or WeChat Pay. JD.com has also launched an unstaffed convenience store chain, called JD X, which operates using facial recognition technology.

Concluding thoughts

New Retail is a term that represents the future of retail in China. It combines online and offline channels and creates a truly immersive shopping experience. Consumers can easily shop whenever and wherever they want, through any device. Retailers can better manage their inventory and deliver products more efficiently to their customers.

The rapid growth of New Retail in China has demonstrated the power of blending online and offline channels in retail. As more companies adopt the New Retail strategy, they will have to be innovative and embrace technology to deliver a better shopping experience for customers.