How China is changing the future of shopping
TED简介：今日推荐的TED演讲时来自波士顿咨询公司的中国人Angela Wang（研究生：MA, finance and accounting, Peking University；本科：BA, English literature, Nanjing University），给我们带来的演讲，她的演讲的英语并不难听懂。个人以为其演讲的精彩部分是结尾部分面对主持人刁钻的提问，wang机智的回答。
This is my nephew,Yuan Yuan.He’s five years old,super adorable.I asked him the other day,What would you like for your birthday this year?He said, "I want to have a one-way mirror Spider-Man mask."I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about,so I said, "Wow, that’s really cool,but how are you going to get it?"He told me, without a blink of his eyes,I’m going to tell my mom and make a wish before I go to bed.
这是我的侄子。圆圆。五岁的他非常可爱。有一天我问他：「今年想要什么生日礼物？」他说：「我想要个眼罩是单面镜的蜘蛛侠面具。 」我根本不知道他说的是什么，所以问他：「哇，听起来很酷，要怎么才能得到呢？ 」他不假思索地回答：「我会告诉妈妈，并且在睡前许个愿。
My mom will go to shake her mobile phone.The next morning, the delivery uncle will give it to me when I wake up."I was about to tease him,but suddenly I realizedhe was simply telling me the truth.
If you think of it,for a child like Yuan Yuan,shopping is a very different ideacompared to what my generation had in mind.Shopping is always done on mobile,and payment is all virtual.
A huge shopping revolution is happening in China right now.Shopping behaviors,and also technology platforms,have evolved differently than elsewhere in the world.For instance, e-commerce in China is soaring.It’s been growing at twice the speed of the United Statesand a lot of the growth is coming from mobile.Every month, 500 million consumersare buying on mobile phones,and to put that into context,that is a total population of the United States,UK and Germany combined.
But it is not just about the scale of the e-commerce,it is the speed of adoption and the aggregation of the ecosystems.It took China less than five years to become a country of mobile commerce,and that is largely because of the two technology platforms,Alibaba and Tencent.They own 90 percent of the e-commerce --pretty much the whole market --85 percent of social media,85 percent of internet payment.
不仅牵涉到电商的规模，采用的速度和生态系统聚集的程度也是。不到五年，中国已成为行动商务的巨头，这主要归功于两大技术平台：阿里巴巴和腾讯。二者掌握著 90% 的电商业务，几乎是整个市场，还掌握 85% 的社群媒体，和 85% 的网路支付。
And they also own large volumes of digital content, video, online movie,literature, travel information, gaming.When this huge base of mobile shoppersmeets with aggregated ecosystems,chemical reactions happen.Today, China is like a huge laboratorygenerating all sorts of experiments.You should come to China,because here you will get a glimpse into the future.
One of the trends I have seen concerns the spontaneity of shopping.Five years ago, in a fashion study,we found that on average,a Chinese consumer would be buying five to eight pairs of shoes.This number tripled to reach about 25 pairs of shoes a year.Who would need so many pairs of shoes?So I asked them, "What are the reasons you buy?"They told me a list of inspirations:blogs, celebrity news, fashion information.
我观察到自发性的购物趋势。五年前在研究流行趋势时，我们发现中国消费者平均买五到八双鞋子。如今这数字已经成长三倍，成为每年约买 25 双。谁会需要这么多鞋子呢？所以我询问他们：「为什么购买？」他们告诉我刺激他们消费的清单：部落格、名人的新闻、时尚的消息。
But really, for many of them, there was no particular reason to buy.They were just browsing on their mobile siteand then buying whatever they saw.We have observed the same level of spontaneity in everything,from grocery shopping to buying insurance products.But it is not very difficult to understand if you think about it.A lot of the Chinese consumers are still very newin their middle-class or upper-middle-class lifestyles,with a strong desire to buy everything new,new products, new services.
And with this integrated ecosystem,it is so easy for them to buy,one click after another.However, this new shopping behavior is creating a lot of challengesfor those once-dominant businesses.The owner of a fashion company told me that he’s so frustratedbecause his customers keep complaining that his products are not new enough.Well, for a fashion company,really bad comment.
And he already increased the number of products in each collection.It doesn’t seem to work.So I told him there’s something more important than that.You’ve got to give your consumer exactly what they wantwhen they still want it.
And he can learn something from the online apparel players in China.These companies, they collect real consumer feedbackfrom mobile sites, from social media,and then their designers will translate this informationinto product ideas,and then send them to microstudios for production.These microstudios are really key in this overall ecosystem,because they take small orders,30 garments at a time,and they can also make partially customized pieces.
他可以向中国的网路服装供应商学习。这些公司收集真正的顾客反馈，从行动装置和社群媒体上收集，然后他们设计的团队把这些资讯转化成产品的构想，再送去小型工作室生产。这些小型工作室是整个生态系统的关键，因为他们接受小量订单，一次 30 件，还能小部分客制化。
The fact that all these production designsare done locally,the whole process, from transporting to product on shelf or onlinesometimes takes only three to four days.That is super fast,and that is highly responsive to what is in and hot on the market.And that is giving enormous headaches to traditional retailers
Then there’s a consumer’s need for ultraconvenience.A couple of months ago,I was shopping with a friend in Tokyo.We were in the store,and there were three to four people standing in front of usat the checkout counter.Pretty normal, right?But both of us dropped our selectionand walked away.This is how impatient we have become.
Delivering ultraconvenience is not just something nice to have.It is crucial to make sure your consumer actually buys.And in China, we have learnedthat convenience is really the glue that will make online shoppinga behavior and a habit that sticks.It is sometimes more effective than a loyalty program alone.
Take Hema.It’s a retail grocery concept developed by Alibaba.They deliver a full basket of productsfrom 4,000 SKUs to your doorstepwithin 30 minutes.What is amazing is that they deliver literally everything:fruits, vegetables, of course.They also deliver live fishand also live Alaska king crab.Like my friend once told me,It’s really my dream coming true. Finally, I can impress my mother-in-law
举「盒马」为例，这是一个阿里巴巴推广的零售概念他们把满满一篮货品从四千个最小存货单位送到你家门口不超过三十分钟。不可思议的是几乎每样东西都递送：当然包括水果、蔬菜，还递送活鱼和活生生的阿拉斯加帝王蟹。如同朋友有次对我说的：「简直是梦想成真。 我终于可以在婆婆不打招呼就过来吃晚饭时使她服气了。 」
Well, companies like Amazon and FreshDirectare also experimenting in the same field.The fact that Hema is part of the Alibaba ecosystemmakes it faster and also a bit easier to implement.For an online grocery player,it is very difficult, very costly,to deliver a full basket quickly,but for Hema, it’s got a mobile app,it’s got mobile payment,and also it’s built 20 physical stores in high-density areas in Shanghai.
These stores are built to ensure the freshness of the product --they actually have fish tanks in the store --and also to give locations that will enable high-speed delivery.I know the question you have on your mind.Are they making money?Yes, they are making money.
They are breaking even,and what is also amazing is that the sales revenue per storeis three to four times higher than the traditional grocery store,and half of the revenue orders are coming from mobile.This is really proof that a consumer,if you give them ultraconvenience that really works in grocery shopping,they’re going to switch their shopping behaviors online,
So ultraconvenience and spontaneity,that’s not the full story.The other trend I have seen in Chinais social shopping.If you think of social shopping elsewhere in the world,it is a linear process.You pick up something on Facebook,watch it, and you switch to Amazonor brand.com to complete the shopping journey.Clean and simple.
But in China it is a very different thing.On average, a consumer would spend one hour on their mobile phone shopping.That’s three times higher than the United States.Where does the stickiness come from?What are they actually doing on this tiny little screen?So let me take you on a mobile shopping journeythat I usually would be experiencing.
11pm, yes, that’s usually when I shop.I was having a chat in a WeChat chatroom with my friends.One of them took out a pack of snackand posted the product link in that chatroom.I hate it, because usually I would just click that linkand then land on the product page.Lots of information, very colorful,mind-blowing.Watched it and then a shop assistant came onlineand asked me, "How can I help you tonight?"Of course I bought that pack of snack.What is more beautiful is I know that the next day, around noontime,that pack of snack will be delivered to my office.I can eat it and share it with my colleaguesand the cost of delivery,maximum one dollar.
晚上 11 点，没错，我通常在这个时间购物。我本来在微信聊天室跟朋友聊天。有人拿出一包零食，还在聊天室里张贴产品的连结网站。我讨厌那行为，因为通常那会使我本能地点选那连结而登入网站。网页的内容很丰富，色彩绚丽，让人眼前一亮。看了一会儿，一个购物助理上线，问我：「今晚有什么我帮得上忙？」当然我买了那包零食。更妙的是我很清楚在第二天的中午时分，那包零食就会被送到我的办公室，供我食用以及和同事们分享，而快递的费用不超过一美元。
Just when I was about to leave that shopping site,another screen popped up.This time it is the livestreaming of a grassroots celebrityteaching me how to wear a new color of lipstick.I watched for 30 seconds -- very easy to understand --and also there is a shopping link right next to it,clicked it, bought it in a few seconds.
正当我要离开那网页时，又跳出一个视窗，内容是一个草根网红的直播，教我如何用新款色彩的唇膏打扮自己。我看了 30 秒，简单易懂，旁边还有一个购买的连结，点一下，几秒钟就买好了。
Back to the chatroom.The gossiping is still going on.Another friend of mine posted the QR codeof another pack of snack.Clicked it, bought it.So the whole experienceis like you’re exploring in an amusement park.It is chaotic, it is funand it’s even a little bit addictive.This is what’s happening when you have this integrated ecosystem.Shopping is embedded in social,and social is evolving into a multidimensional experience.The integration of ecosystems reaches a whole new level.So does its dominance in all aspects of our life.
And of course, there are huge commercial opportunities behind it.A Chinese snack company, Three Squirrels,built a half-a-billion-dollar business in just three yearsby investing in 300 to 500 shop assistantswho are going to be online to provide services 24/7.In the social media environment,they are like your neighborhood friends.Even when you are not buying stuff,they will be happy to just tell you a few jokes and make you happy.In this integrated ecosystem,social media can really redefine the relationship between brand,retailer and consumer.
当然背后有庞大的商机。「三只松鼠」这家中国零嘴公司在三年内建起五亿美元的商业规模，靠的是投资三到五百名购物助理，全年全天 24 小时无休地提供线上服务。在社群媒体里，他们就像是你的邻居。即时你不购物，他们也会愉快地讲些笑话让你开心。在这个整合的生态系统里，社群媒体真的能重新定义品牌、零售商以及消费者之间的关系。
These are only fragments of the massive changesI have seen in China.In this huge laboratory,a lot of experiments are generated every single day.The ecosystems are reforming,supply chain distribution,marketing, product innovation,everything.Consumers are getting the power to decide what they want to buy,when they want to buy it,how they want to buy it, how they want to social.It is now back to business leaders of the worldto really open their eyes, see what’s happening in China,think about it and take actions.
Massimo Portincaso: Angela, what you shared with usis truly impressive and almost incredible,but I think many in the audience had the same question that I had,which is:Is this kind of impulsive consumptionboth economically and environmentally sustainable over the longer term?And what is the total price to be paidfor such an automized and ultraconvenient retail experience?
Angela Wang: Yeah.One thing we have to keep in mindis really, we are at the very beginning of a huge transformation.So with this trading up needs of the consumer,together with the evolution of the ecosystem,there are a lot of opportunities and also challenges.So I’ve seen some early signsthat the ecosystems are shifting their focusto pay attention to solve these challenges.For example, paying more consideration to sustainability alongside just about speed,and also quality over quantity.But there are really no simple answers to these questions.That is exactly why I’m here to tell everyonethat we need to watch it, study it, and play a part in this evolution.
MP: Thank you very much.
AW: Thank you.(Applause)