Chinese retail sales surge, but will the Ukrainian war and COVID-19 bring down goals for next year?


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Chinese retail sales surge, but will the Ukrainian war and COVID-19 bring down goals for next year?.

Zaki Hassan, General Manager APAC at Aptos, comments on how chinese retail is considered more advanced than the UK or America, despite modern retail being young compared to the West. 

The fact is that China is a vast country, in terms of land mass and population, and as such, its consumers have very diverse retail expectations and behaviours. Given the population of 1.4B, retailing behaviour is not as homogenous as in Europe or North America. A consumer in the Tier 1 city of Shanghai could have vastly different tastes and options than a consumer in a Tier 3 city, even though the latter still has a population in the millions. Retailing needs to adapt to these local variations far more acutely than in other countries.  

E-commerce retailing is generally considered far more advanced and widely adopted in China than the rest of the world. As modern retail in China is very young compared to the west, starting only in the 90s, they don’t have the burden of legacy process, infrastructure, and perceptions. Covid, as in other markets, has accelerated e-commerce adoption further, and given the population size, China is able to still thrive without the dependency of foreign tourists, which the same cannot be said for many other countries.  

Retailers in China are quick to try and adopt new things to capture the hearts and minds of consumers. They are very aware that consumers in China are highly reactive to changes in trends and technology, so retailers continuously adapt to remain relevant to their consumer base. Retailers in the US and Europe, as mentioned, are burdened with more legacy factors, but they could learn to be more agile and willing to take risks and try new things more rapidly.

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