E-commerce in China has seen such rapid growth in 2017 that even something as mundane as selling vegetables is starting to sound sexy. During the first six months of 2017, China’s online retail sales of goods and services recorded a 33.4% year-on-year growth amounting to RMB 3.1 trillion ($470 billion).

The success has drawn China’s largest e-commerce companies to new frontiers: Alibaba, JD, Tencent and even Meituan have been heavily investing in fresh food e-commerce, offline stores, as well as tapping into rural areas with drones. The expansion into offline is part of China’s “new retail” trend which aims to erase the distinction between online and offline shopping.

Alibaba and Boston Consulting Group have published a series of articles titled “The New Retail: Lessons from China for the West” which explores how differently China’s digital marketplace has evolved from western ones and what is driving their success. Here are some of their key insights.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Masha Borak

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.