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Online and Offline in the Chinese Baby Retail Business

Since 2010, the O2O mode combined offline and online sales has boomed and provided an impetus for strong sales performance in various industries

  • Key4Communications

According to statistics, from 2010 to today, more than 70 companies using the O2O – offline and online combined - model have received funds from venture capital investors in China, according to what Jana Robles, CEO of BabyChina, writes in this article. Since 2011, the total amount of corporate investment for O2O mode companies has soared to nearly 8 billion RMB. China enjoys a huge market capacity for the O2O model, among which the market capacity covered by localized daily living services alone reaches hundreds of billions of yuan. This data proves the huge commercial vitality generated by the combination of online and offline channels. With strong IT support, the brand strength of companies is gradually extended to offline channels, especially in areas covered by the O2O business model.

Many maternity stores which began to build online shopping platforms in the past decade or so have basically achieved a successful B2C sales model. After years of experimentation and accumulation of knowledge, they have gradually settled on a unique system of e-business, and are also laying a solid foundation for the O2O model that follows. From B2C to O2O is a process that accompanies the rapid increase in the number of Internet users, the maturity of the Internet consumer culture, and the interlinkage of Internet commercial activities.

But behind the good prospects for development, the O2O model is also facing many development bottlenecks such as low credibility, qualification issues and inadequate innovation. For the baby business, the implementation of O2O is likely to cause conflict between physical store channels and Internet sales channel, especially for retailers with a huge number of franchised outlets.
In consequence, diversified marketing with the support of technology is an important means for baby franchisees to operate a successful O2O model.

The correct approach is: rely on strong IT and software management systems, use a network of franchisees, from dozens to thousands in number, realized networking and data real-time interaction, and achieve unified and standardized management for data information. Bundled online sales and offline physical stores operating in a partnership, form a community of interests, which can not only expand the sales of physical stores, revitalize idle resources and expand market space, but can also enlarge the user base through online platforms, realize the actual effectiveness of offline stores, thereby sharing value-added benefits and enhancing the brand’s overall value.

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