China’s mobile e-commerce sector heating up
BEIJING, October 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — 55.com (55tuan.com), a leading e-commerce platform providing life services in China, recently announced the official availability of mobile internet-based Wangdiantong for China’s life service merchants, as a means for them to set up proprietary online stores, including an independent mobile store client endpoint and brand outlets, as well as open up access to one-stop third party platforms such as BaiduZhidahao, Weidian and fuwu.alipay.com. The new set of services offered by Wangdiantong will allow merchants to directly reach users, drive online direct sales, manage their member base, launch dynamic promotions and promote their brands, all of which will, in turn, accelerate the creation of a holistic closed-loop for lifestyle e-commerce.
Thousands of retailers across China, including New Spicy Way, South Beauty, Jourdeness and MayorCar, have started to use Wangdiantong, covering a variety of life service sectors including supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, nightclubs and KTVs, photography studios, barbers and beauty salons, wedding planners as well as car maintenance and repair services.
China’s mobile user base reached 872 million as of July 2014, and the sector is still experiencing explosive growth, according to data released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Mobile has penetrated every aspect of the daily life of the average person in China. The leading online firms across China have rolled out mobile products for traditional service industries, in a move to accelerate their expansion in the mobile O2O sector. Baidu, for instance, launched Zhidahao as their vehicle to directly reach life service merchants. Subsequently, Tencent announced a new policy of no longer requiring deposits from Weidian merchants and replacing it with the ability to accept card payments, paving the way for its entry into mobile O2O. Alibaba’s Alipay Wallet also launched an interface to welcome recognized merchants. The convergence of mobile with traditional service industries is now a fully mainstream event.
55.com chairman and CEO Xu Maodong said that the vast migration from online to mobile among consumers provides a great opportunity for local life service providers, behooving to set up their own online stores with an independent pricing model as a way of expanding their marketing channels and user base and enhancing management of their repeat business. Based on this transformation of the marketplace, 55.com officially launched its upgraded service Wangdiantong in a move to provide merchants with proprietary online stores combining brand outlets with proprietary mobile store client endpoint and that supports the creation of third-party platform stores for merchants. The 55.com CEO added that, with Wangdiantong, merchants are able to engage in the management of their member base (including online direct sales, member subscriptions and the offering of dynamic promotions) through a unified management platform that does not require any sharing of the revenue.
With 55.com’s substantial database resources and extensive experience in collaborating with merchants, Wangdiantong offers App templates as well as personalized and customized services based on the needs of merchants in addition to online guides and agent operation services that help merchants save time, money and costs associated with online marketing while enhancing the efficiency of mobile marketing for them.
Xu further explained that, “With the support of 55.com’s Wangdiantong, life service providers which, to some extent, have been able to provide member services on their own can expect to improve the efficiency of their businesses through the combination of their existing ecommerce operation and a proprietary marketing platform. Wangdiantong will enable merchants to operate direct sales and membership businesses by communicating and interacting directly with users and by converting offline users into online members, creating a healthy e-commerce ecosystem for life service providers.”
55.com entered the life services sector by launching a group buying site in March of 2010 and then introducing the mall model in early 2012.With localized services teams in more than 140 cities, 55.com now provides services to more than 300,000 merchants. In monetary terms, 60 per cent of 55tuan.com’s business takes place over a mobile device. Industry analysts have indicated that the roll-out of Wangdiantong will speed up 55.com’s development as a life service e-commerce platform and double the number of its users and merchant partners by making information about merchants’ online stores available on its platform.