Welcome to the live blog of ChannelAdvisor’s Catalyst 2014. We’ll be live blogging the general sessions to make sure Catalyst attendees don’t miss anything. Also, make sure you’re following hashtag #Catalyst2014 and @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter for all the latest.
Marketplaces account for a third of online sales in the US, but in China marketplaces account for 90% of online sales. Tmall is the largest marketplace in China, with about 50% of the market share. China celebrates Singles Day, with 4X the sales of Cyber Monday. Let’s invite Ralph Zhao from Tmall Global to talk about this now. Today, ChannelAdvisor announced that we’re supporting Tmall Global.
Ralph Zhao: In China, e-commerce started around 2003, and in these ten years, Chinese consumers have been buying from marketplaces; it’s all they can see. They can find anything — even a military tank! That’s what we call selection. If you have good products, you can sell very well.
Marketplaces are a trend that will surely continue. More and more players are entering the market. Mobile is a big trend in China. Mobile purchases in China grew 3X in 2013 from 2012. In the second half of the year, we all focus our attention on Singles Day — this year, I’d expect 100% growth from last year.
What is Tmall Global and how does it help US retailers sell into China?
Chinese consumers have always been sensitive to price. That’s changing. Chinese people are buying high level products. In recent years, many Chinese people are looking to buy US products. And many US retailers want to sell into China, but there are many barriers, including rules and regulations. Not to mention customs and translation.
Clothes, baby products, cosmetics and housewares are popular categories sold by US retailers into China. Now with ChannelAdvisor, retailers can easily launch their products into Tmall, which is a great thing. There are 100 million buyers per day coming to Taobao, and there are more than 400 million active users.
Is China leading or lagging?
China skipped over big box era and moved right to online marketplaces. We think the US will follow in China’s steps. Why?
By the end of 2014, there will be as many mobile users as there are people in the world. This is benefiting marketplaces. Maybe only 10-20 apps stick around in your daily usage: You want one or two apps you go to that have your information.
Will marketplaces eat the e-commerce world?
Historically, eBay and Amazon have been the biggest players in this space. Now, there’s an explosion of new marketplaces. We believe in the future there will be social networks that will add marketplaces, and sites like Google.
Recent Cross-Border Trade Trends
The US has the most overseas buyers. Everyone’s excited, but it’s hard to figure out strategy. ChannelAdvisor has developed the Agile Cross-Border Trade Framework. Agile CBT subverts the tradtional new-market approach by testing, learning and iterating, which reduces the risk of starting all at once. example, during your test cycle you might discover you have demand for your products in Australia — then you can focus your attention there.
Take advantage by first selling on marketplaces (global, then local) when expanding overseas. There are some great international selling programs, such as eBay’s and Amazon’s.
Here to talk about Brazil marketplaces is Sean Summers, VP of Marketplaces, MercadoLibre.
MercadoLibre is leading e-commerce ecosystem in Latin America. Last year, 20 million consumers bought 83 million in products on MercadoLibre. We found that our sellers were interested in cross-border trade, but encountered many challenges. Almost 50% of e-commerce in Latin in America is non-credit card, for example.
Brazil makes up 50% of MercadoLibre’s market of 13 countries, and is the fastest-growing country in the region for e-commerce sales. MercadoLibre has its own form of payment system, and is also used by thousands of retailers in the region. Many payments are made in multiple instalments as well.
Mobile accounts for 15% percent of MercadoLibre’s sales, and we think this is a trend that will accelerate. MercadoLibre has its own app as well.
Reminder for the Catalyst America’s social presence:
• Follow @ChannelAdvisor on Twitter as we’ll be tweeting out updates, reminders about sessions, networking events and more.
• Tag your social posts, Instagram pics with our show hashtag: #Catalyst2014 tabs on discussions, networking opportunities and more on the Catalyst app.
• Keep an eye on the ChannelAdvisor blogs where we’ll be live blogging the keynotes and main sessions at Catalyst.