China Cross Border Ecommerce – A New Hope
- February 2nd, 2015
- in Ecommerce
We Have Answers, Chinese Cross Border Changes the Question
Like business plans, China Internet reporting can become obsolete right after publishing. Venturebeat published our article about China cross border ecommerce options a few weeks ago.
We went on at length about the problems of those options – that Chinese cross border platforms were understandably interested in promoting global brands for easy sales. That branding and advertising control was largely unavailable to western organizations.
And while big ecommerce platforms such as Alibaba and Amazon are working on their cross border verticals, they have similar limitations, and a lot of other fish to fry.
Meanwhile, there is a third option we were unaware of. Thankfully, a key stakeholder behind this option got in touch. Wang Fang is the VP of WGWG.com, a new breed of China cross border ecommerce platform.
A Brand New Brand Platform
Visit any other such platform, and the home page will be crowded with iconic luxury good brands – and foreign infant formula, of course (our babies’ health is in your hands, Enfamil.)
A visit to WGWG’s home page presents quite a different tableau:
Yes, there’s a Michael Kors bag on offer – and of course, infant formula. Hands up if you’ve heard of Eliza Vecca pig collagen or Hipp fruit spread, though. Anyone…anyone?
What’s WGWG’s angle?
A Home for Non Global Brands
Like China Digital Review, Wang Fang shares the view that Chinese consumers are increasingly global consumers, or “Guo Ming Dai Yu”, as he puts it. As such, the more diversity in western goods, the better. That’s why WGWG is committed to diversity, rather than iconic name recognition, a tactic the company is convinced will pay off as Chinese tastes trend increasingly to niche.
That’s good news for western companies that want a piece of China without enjoying global recognition first. But wait, there’s more (Note – this is not an ad for WGWG.com, but good news is good news.)
Recognizing that the majority of niche western brands who will supply evolving Chinese consumers are far from “China-ready”, WGWG has a top-down approach to working with such companies. This approach extends all the way to customs clearance, handling fulfillment, and facilitating off-site advertising, even offline distribution channels.
Responsibility is Freedom
WGWG’s mandate for western partners is flexibility. You can do as much or as little of the heavy lifting as you’re comfortable with, negotiable not just for initial contract but ongoing.
There’s only one caveat that Wang Fang asks a potential western partner to keep in mind – ultimately, you are responsible for the success of your brand on the platform.
That caveat is better than an assurance from most Chinese platforms, who are either going to take title to your goods or leave you paddling hard against strong currents, with a fee for use of oar. For a paddling example, consider Tmall Global, which uses its anecdotal fallacy of Costco to make success on the platform look seamless, and leaves it to you to discover the downside (you’re on your own for fulfillment and most advertising, for starters.)
True, WGWG.com is no ecommerce giant, granting streamlined exposure to half of China’s B2C traffic. Instead, it is the first of a new breed of Chinese cross border ecommerce platform, one that knows western brands of all size and stripe have a potential customer base in China, and will do its damnedest to help you reach it.
How do we know WGWG is part of a breed, and not an anomaly? Because China wants western goods faster and wider than western companies are supplying them, and western companies need alternatives to wholesaling or else being given a canoe and paddle in the stormy high seas of the world’s largest online market.
Say what you will about China’s economy, but where there’s a need, there’s a lot more than one smart and gutsy entrepreneur looking to fill it.