Yiwugou.com: A Look into the rise of O2O in China

BEIJING, Sept. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — In the past few years, O2O businesses have shown impressive growth in China. Small O2O services like taxis, restaurants and salons have rapidly spread in China as apps and online transactions become popular. Industry analysts believe that "O2O" is going to be the next gold mine after JD.com & Alibaba’s amazing debuts. More and more big companies are implementing O2O strategy on a large scale now. This can help companies attract more customers, improve their brand images and maximize profit, creating great synergy for their offline business. We can easily have a long list of examples: Suning Group — a collaboration between hundreds of shopping outlets and its e-commerce website suning.com; Wanda Group — a recently launched B2C platform supported by its RMB 5 billion investment, huge shopping centers around the country and cooperation with Baidu and Tencent; China Commodity City Group — Yiwugou.com, a rising e-commerce giant born out of the huge wholesale shopping center – Yiwu International Trade Market.

Launched in Oct. 2012, Yiwugou.com is the web counterpart of the offline market, which is recognized by the UN and the World Bank as the "largest small commodity wholesale market in the world." The Market has 5.5-million square-meters of shopping area, and more than 75,000 offline stores, attracting more than 210,000 purchasers to the market every day. Strategically yiwugou.com enlarges its brand recognition and daily traffic by adapting a 3-step process.

  • Build a virtual store for every shop offline. The 3D view on the website is an exact representation of offline stores. Business owners can easily login to the website and complete operations like editing virtual stores, managing orders and inventory, accounting and acquiring information about potential suppliers and buyers.
  • Establish a strong credit system. It includes periodic credit evaluation of buyers and sellers, complaints management, a secured transactions platform and more. This assures both sides of the safety of online trading.
  • Launch the "Partnership Plan" — Still in progress, this long-term strategic project will create a closely-knit e-commerce community with two parts: global and domestic partnerships.

The global plan helps international purchasers and sellers to enter the Chinese merchandise market more easily and efficiently. Yiwugou.com adopted yiwubuy.com as its international domain, and now offers more than 10 languages, including English, Russian, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian, Arabic, and Japanese.

The domestic plan helps offline markets in China to build their own online platforms by providing technical service, operational training and Yiwugou branding cooperation. All of these online platforms will be integrated under the main portal — yiwugou.com, with a consolidated database and standardized customer service.

By the end of July, Yiwugou.com had signed more than 16 regional companies to its global Partnership Plan, hailing from countries such as Hungary, Poland, Spain, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United States, and Saudi Arabia. In addition, they have added more than 23 domestic offline markets in China. The Partnership Plan will attain global coverage and generate great trading volume in the coming years.

Currently, the total number of commodities on Yiwugou.com has reached 2.2 million, resulting in up to 2 million daily page views and more than RMB 3 million in daily turnover.  With an average transaction size of RMB 3,000, online turnover totaled RMB 350 million by the end of August 2014. Industry analysts predict that the online turnover of Yiwugou.com will run up to RMB 1 billion in 2014. Many believe that the trading volume of the whole Yiwu market is around RMB 350 billion in 2013, which is far more than the official figure of RMB 68.3 billion, and Yiwugou.com will enjoy rocket-like growth in the coming years.

It is more than necessary for e-commerce leaders like Alibaba and JD.com to take bigger steps in the O2O market and to seek partnerships with existing O2O companies. By looking ahead at new business models and Yiwugou.com emerging as B2B-O2O leading player, investors can get a head start and share remarkable profit from the world’s biggest e-commerce market.