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New Retailing in China: Shaping Modern Shopping Lifestyle in China

January 2019

Shopping Reinvented reflects how economic and technological shifts have rewritten the shopper journey, holistically. Today, shopping is a journey, the purpose of which is not just buying, but relationship-building. This report examines how new retailing in China redefines three core elements of retailing – consumer, merchandise and store, and how companies successfully implement the new retailing strategy in China.

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Key Findings

New retailing is more than omnichannel

As stores have extended from online-only or offline-only into seamless experience, it is easy to think that new retailing is equal to omnichannel. However, new retailing is an in-depth reform which utilizes big data to enhance consumers’ shopping experience. Consumers can participate the process of product-making. Also they can shop while enjoying contents or spending time on social networks. Smart retailers integrate products into overall shopping experience.

E-commerce leads the major innovation and implementation

With development of internet, e-commerce expands quickly in the past few years. The cost of acquiring customers online has risen leading them to expand to offline. With the advantages of technology infrastructure, e-commerce retailers initiate new retailing strategy. Companies in new retailing can be categorized into three types—internet, in-store and logistics.

New retailing redefines three core elements of retailing

Traditionally, brands identify consumers and determine their needs with limited consumer insights. Transactions are limited by products availability in the retail place. Using big data and other technologies, new retailing redefines traditional core elements of retailing and their relationship to build a consumer-centric model with efficient operation.

Retailers embrace new formats

The cutting edge technologies and consumer analytics will benefit retailers to improve operational efficacy and gain insights. Inspired by leading players, more companies enter into new retailing. As the competition unfolds, retailers must keep an eye on emerging formats and prepare their strategies appropriately.


Key findings

How to Define

Innovative technology and supportive policy contribute the evolution
Leading retailers introduce different terms with similar strategies
New retailing is more than omnichannel
New retailing redefines relationship between consumer, product and place
Technology and O2O are fundamental for new retailing
Three major types of players in new retailing

Forging a Difference, Making an Impact

Three major types of players launch new retailing formats

Forging a Difference, Making an Impact: E-commerce Retailers

E-commerce retailers
Case study: Hema – the pathfinder of Alibaba’s new retail strategy
Hema: brand-new retailing experience and business model
Hema: refine grocery retail experience with high quality + digital

Forging a Difference, Making an Impact: In-store Retailers

In-store retailers
Case study: Super Species – fully embraces new retailing
Super Species: brand-new retailing experience and business model
Super Species: re-imagine shopping and social experience
Logistics retailers
Case study: Sfbest.com – enters by leveraging express advantages
Sfbest.com: new retailing experience and business model
Sfbest.com: retailing + logistics empowered by big data


Invest in technology advancement and be mindful of new format


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