According to the experts, more than half of luxury consumers are predicted to be from Asia by 2025. Research made in 2018 shows a large portion of many popular luxury brands are made in Asia/Asia-Pacific plus Japanese customers. Amplified by the travel restrictions, there has been a large gap in many industries that has taken a big hit from the current situation.
Experts say that the COVID-19 situation has permanently changed the way of commerce in total. So, what does the future of commerce look like? In this article, we will review 3 must-know insights about the future of the evolving commerce online with a few key case studies from Asia that can help us forecast the future of non-contact business.
Take China for instance. China is one of the first cultures to have successfully implemented non-contact financial exchange. From household named luxury brands to the marketplace fruit-stand, electronic payments are dominating methods of commerce. With nearly 1 billion registered users by 2019, WeChat Pay is the preferred method of payment accepted in most places in China. Due to the digitalization of goods and services, the convenience of electronic and online payment has already conveniently melted into the daily lifestyle in China.
“China’s annual luxury online penetration increased from 13% in 2019 to 23% in 2020.”
- Bain and Company, 2021
Evidently, China is more accepting of the convenience of e-commerce and its benefits, which boosted the domestic spending even more during last year.
Because of the systemized convenience, people have the same level of convenience in the online shopping experience. For the past years, online shopping platforms in China have developed at an exponential rate. On big shopping dates such as the November 11th (also known as the “Double 11 Day”) last year, online platforms in China offered over 15 million products on sale, over 140 thousands brands, 60 thousands of them are international brands. From this day alone, TMALL, one of the biggest online shopping platforms in China, generated 2.2 billion orders online, which is equivalent to the sum of the entire year of orders in 2010. On this occasion, the total amount of sales made from domestic spending from the online shopping platforms in China was over 120 billion USD.
“Live commerce is a service that combines live video streaming with the ability to interact with sellers and to buy immediately, whether that be from selling an actual product during a stream or receiving support from a social community.”
Live streaming is another popular method used in Asia where big companies of diverse industries will collaborate with celebrities or influencers to hold a home-shopping live-stream broadcast activity. In recent years, with a boom of social media traffic such as TikTok, live-commerce has become a large part of sales for big companies. Experts predict that by the end of 2021, the market cap for live-commerce in China will reach 320 billion USD.
Last year, an influencer from China in the beauty industry made 8 million product sales, which is equivalent to 500 million USD just in one live streaming session. Some live streams included sales of a variety of items from consumer goods to luxury items including a piece of jewellery worth 1.8 million USD. In 2020, the top 20 influencers sold over 16 billion USD through live stream service in China.
These are only a few examples of how non-contact commerce has merged naturally into the daily life of many, especially in the Asian countries. Many consumers nowadays prefer to have a trusted face to review the product on behalf rather than to go to the physical stores themselves. Even before the pandemic, many countries in Asia have been successfully exercising healthy sales through a non-tangible shopping experience by recreating the physical experience online.
With the convenience of online payment, shopping has never been so easy before. Perhaps the way of physically exchanging cash is no longer a necessity to many around the world.