In 2019, it’s no secret that e-commerce is the future. The infinite advantages for customers and businesses make online retail and internet shopping fast, easy and fun. But have you heard of Pinduoduo?
The latest studies project the worldwide retail e-commerce sales to skyrocket to a new high by 2021. E-commerce businesses should anticipate a 265% growth rate, from 1.3 trillion USD in 2014 to 4.9 trillion USD in 2021.
It may not surprise you to read that by the end of 2019, the Chinese market will have 55.8% of all online retail sales globally.
Are you wondering, if Amazon is as relevant a player in China as it is in the rest of the world? And if there are important Chinese e-commerce platforms? Find out in this week’s Tenba Group blog article!
The e-commerce landscape in China
The 5 largest e-commerce companies in the world are Amazon, Jingdong (JD), Alibaba, eBay, and Rakuten.
Buying online is the easiest and cheapest way to get anything in China. But you may be surprised to read that Amazon.cn is not the market leader in this country. In fact, Amazon is shutting down its Chinese website – the domestic e-commerce business – by the end of July 2019.
The two most popular e-commerce sites in China now are JD (Jingdong) and Taobao. Well, they used to be. While JD.com and Alibaba’s Taobao were battling for Chinese e-commerce space, a third platform emerged in 2015: Pinduoduo.
The startup business Pinduoduo managed to shake up the duopoly significantly. Today, the daily order volume of Pinduoduo ranks second in mainland China after Taobao. Pinduoduo is the fastest growing app in the history of the Chinese internet to date, with Tik Tok ranking second.
What is Pinduoduo?
拼多多 or Pinduoduo in English is a Chinese e-commerce platform. It was created by Colin Huang as Shanghai Dream Information Technology Co., Ltd. in 2015. Users can download the Pinduoduo app on their smartphone or access the platform via its website. Pinduoduo can be translated to 拼 Piece Together 多 A lot 多 A lot.
Tencent, the tech giant behind We Chat, and other investors funded more than 110 million USD in 2016. In 2018, Pinduoduo went public on the NASDAQ stock market in the United States, raising 1.6 billion USD through a US IPO (Initial Public Offering). This made it one of the largest IPOs in 2018. The Pinduodo IPO price was 19 USD per share. Since then, the Pinduoduo stock price went down to 17 USD and up to 30 USD, averaging at 19 USD by mid-2019.
By 2018, Pinduoduo had more than 200 million users worldwide and the total sales value exceeded 14 billion USD. However, financially, the company is still in the red with 1.5 billion USD net loss in 2018. This is mainly attributed to investments in branding and ads.
How Pinduoduo works
The e-commerce platform offers a wide range of products from daily groceries to home appliances. Highly attractive prices with discounts up to 90% are the trademark of Pinduoduo. The platform focus on fewer bestsellers which attract more buyers.
Compared to other e-commerce players, the Pinduoduo business model offers one attractive additional and free service called “team purchase”. Users can share Pinduoduo’s product information on social networks such as WeChat China and QQ messenger apps, both belonging to Tencent.
The users can then invite their contacts to form a shopping team to get a group buying deal and a lower price for their purchase. This service made Pinduoduo a viral sensation in China.
Taobao has since answered to Pinduoduo’s team purchase service with the launch of a dedicated discount app called Tejia in 2018.
Pinduoduo uses WeChat’s online payment system in the form of “automatic WeChat payments”. Once you complete your purchase, it is automatically billed to your WeChat Pay account without the need for further validation.
The first time you pay for something on Pinduoduo, it enables “password-less payments” by default. After your first transaction, you won’t have to enter your password anymore and will be able to use “one-click payments”.
The Power of WeChat and QQ
With over 1 billion users on WeChat and over 800 million on QQ, these messenger apps are the driving power behind Pinduoduo’s success.
The typical Pinduoduo users are price sensitive women residing in low tier cities. In addition, the platform also serves a target group, which only recently entered the digital world, namely senior citizens.
WeChat is the biggest social media platform in China with over 1 billion monthly users. Even though the majority of its users are based in China, WeChat is available worldwide. Advertising on this popular Chinese messenger app offers access to these users.
For example, stickers are a popular and engaging marketing and income generation tool. And ads on the messenger app enable brands to grow their WeChat Business Accounts. Besides, they drive traffic to their website and generate downloads for their own apps.
The issues of Pinduoduo
Pinduoduo’s C2B (consumer to business) model allows it to ship directly from the manufacturers. This eliminates layers of distributors and reduces the price for buyers while raising the profit of manufacturers.
At the same time, disadvantages related to product quality, counterfeit, and slow delivery are a challenge for this platform. As stated in the 2017 National User Satisfaction Study of Major E-commerce Platforms, the number of complaints on Pinduoduo is 17.87%, and user satisfaction is 1 star.
This demonstrates that a high quality of your product and service, as well as a reliable and fast performance, is crucial to customer satisfaction. This encourages customer and brand loyalty as well as repurchases.
How can You benefit from the E-Commerce Hype
Being at the pulse of time and having a state-of-the-art online presence will allow you to join the digital playground in China and around the world.
- Shine with a Professional Website
- Show the authenticity of your business with a state-of-the-art responsive website. It allows your audience to find your company on search engines. A professionally developed website with a fresh design makes it easy for you to tackle new digital avenues. Tenba Group is happy to assist you with this task as well as set up your own online shop with WooCommerce.
- Apply an Integrated Online Strategy
- Social Media Marketing: Almost 3.5 billion people worldwide use social media websites. These platforms help you to connect with your specific audience. It increases awareness of your brand and boosts your leads and sales. With less cost per person reached, popular social media is a low-cost and smart marketing tool.
- SEO: Get your business noticed online with intelligent search engine optimization strategies. Users trust search engines. And having a presence in the top positions will increase your website’s relevance and visits. Accurately target and engage your audience, and lower your marketing cost at the same time, whether on Google or China’s own search engine Baidu.
- Go International
- With society connected through the world wide web, customers are no longer bound to local markets. As a business owner, this provides an exciting chance to explore new markets and audiences worldwide. A professional multilingual digital presence combined with the right digital marketing and branding strategy is the best way to unlock this global potential. Tenba Group offers translation and proofreading services in three languages – English, Chinese (Simplified) and German.
- Create a WeChat Business Account
- Access thousands of millions of potential customers by setting up a WeChat Business Account for your company and promoting your brand through influencer marketing. As this can be a challenging task for a foreign business, digitalization and Chinese marketing experts like Tenba Group can help you with this.
Unlock the potential of the multi-trillion USD e-commerce world. Not sure where to start? Or do you simply want to focus on other aspects of your business? A digital marketing agency like Tenba Group can help your company to implement an integrated digital marketing strategy professionally, quickly and at an affordable price.
Unlock the Potential of E-Commerce and Social Media
Tenba Group is the digital marketing agency of your choice. We offer digital solutions to skyrocket your business – from web development to digital marketing. Reach Chinese customers and an international audience with our professional services.
Are you interested in growing your business online or do you have any questions? Test our online marketing agency services with our FREE audit of your website. It’s a unique manual screening of your online presence. We check everything from your website’s security to user experience, SEO and compliance with the GDPR law. Contact us today! Tenba Group is Your Digital Link to China and the World.