When 26-year-old Bai Yunwen decided to buy an iPod last year, she turned to popular online Chinese retail site Taobao.com to hire an agent who could purchase the iPod abroad — where it wasn't subject to China's luxury taxes — and ship it to her directly. The price: about $100, where it would have cost her more than $115 if she'd gone to a local retailer in Beijing. "It was easy and it saved money," she said. "Why wouldn't I do it?"
For savvy young buyers like Bai, online shopping has emerged as a major outlet for their spending. A recent report by the China Internet Network Information Center revealed that last year, Chinese Internet users have increased 73 million from 2006 to more than 210 million, nearly 50 percent of which were between the ages of 18 and 30. And, about 22 percent of online users — or around 46 million — reported having made an online purchase in the last six months, according to the report.
"People are still clinging to the notion that online shopping is not taking off in China, due to things like low credit card penetration and lack of security for shoppers," said Kaiser Kuo, director of digital strategy for Ogilvy China. "In reality, it's booming."
China's large pool of low-cost labor has meant that the cash-on-delivery system is still very much utilized for online shopping in China. This gives customers increased comfort knowing they can have their purchases hand-delivered and check them out in person before handing over payment, according to Kuo. In addition, Internet shopping has surged in second- and third-tier cities where brand selection is still very limited.
"Online retail channels for items like cosmetics and fashion are huge in these markets because they just don't have the selection to choose from in local stores," Kuo notes. "In addition, many shoppers are using online shopping to buy brands not yet available in China or to save money on items that are available for much less in foreign markets."
The undisputed leader in Chinese online shopping sites is Taobao.com — often referred to as "the eBay of China." It reported a whopping 156 percent growth in the amount of its retail transactions in 2007 to $5.9 billion and an increase to 53 million users. The site offers traditional auction options, like eBay, but also has flourished with virtual storefronts that offer set prices as well as shopping services such as agents, who can take requests for specific items, purchase them overseas and have them delivered to shoppers.So far, many foreign brands have largely ignored China's online retail options, but that might need to change, especially in order to connect with youth consumers. "This generation is really wired," noted Allison Luong of Pearl Research. "Online activity is a significant portion of their lives."
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)