Interview with Globalegrow: E-Commerce goes Global

19/10/2018

The e-commerce market has literally exploded in China in recent years. Among well known players such as JD or Alibaba, new names started appearing in the feeds of cross-border sellers around the world: one of them is Globalegrow. Cifnews spoke about the company and its success with Andy Liang – Director of Business Development – during Lengow Day 2018 in Paris.

 

Jack Ma said that “in 2030 99% of trade will occur online, and 80% of SMEs will benefit from e-commerce and free trade. The trade deficit should not be a problem because the trade deficit is the language of the last industrial century, and everyone should pay attention to the quality of trade”.

This environment continues to see high double-digit growth year on year. The Double 11 event on 11 November 2017, also known as Singles’ Day, was a clear example of how China’s consumption-led economy is evolving digitally. Online marketplaces saw sales growth in comparison with previous years, suggesting that Chinese consumers are confident in their spending and that consumption will continue to rise.

How to enter such a “golden market”? Among well known players such as JD or Alibaba, many companies are rising in the cross-border e-commerce field. Such as Globalegrow, a Shenzhen-based tech company whose core business is helping Chinese brands going global, and vice versa.

 

 

Globalegrow – formally Shenzhen Globalegrow Electronic Commerce 深圳市环球易购电子商务有限公司 – was founded in 2007. On September 2014, the company got listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and in 2017 the total revenue was around 2 billion USD. A long-time partner of Cifnews, Globalegrow has been also participating to Cifnews’ CCEE event in Hangzhou, in June 2018.

Globalegrow head office is located in the Nanshan district of Shenzhen, with a total headcount of over 3,000 professional staff across multiple office sites. Globalegrow owns several well-known global B2C websites that specialize in key market segments – apparel, branded consumer electronics, mobile devices, and more. Among the most popular examples we can mention the global success of GearBest, an online store for electronics.

 

©Cifnews雨果网, Globalegrow booth at CCEE Hangzhou 2018

 

The company’s geographic position in Shenzhen, located in the Pearl River Delta, gives them strategic access to major manufacturing and distribution hubs, allowing Globalegrow to develop key overseas markets and stay ahead of customer trends.

Which is Globalegrow core business? The Shenzhen based e-commerce company is “actually helping a lot of Chinese enterprises to sell globally”, said Andy Liang. The Company acquires customers primarily online, serving them from cost-effective locations in mainland China.

“We have also established a thriving worldwide sales network that incorporates eBay, affiliates, social media, mobile apps, and other key growth channels. Globalegrow continuous business success is reflected by an exponential annual growth rate exceeding 100% since its creation”, added Mr. Liang. Not only China: Globalegrow is working also on the other way around, helping Western companies to enter the Chinese market.

 

What are plans for the European market or generally for the Western market? “We are globalizing and doing local adaptations to offer in each country what those customers needs” stated Andy Liang.

 

“Actually we’re working with a lot of Western companies based in Italy, Germany, Spain or France, and we offer to consumers a range of different products from cosmetic to the skincare, from neonatal products to other different supplements, thus our strategy is to obtain quality brands with a very solid supply chain which, obviously, is very important to support our business in Chinese market” said Mr. Liang.

But Globalegrow is developing an open platform strategy to cooperate with high-quality Chinese brands to enable Chinese enterprises to enter the global market, and Western brands to access in China as well. This is also the key values of the company’s culture – a “win-win” partnership.

Globalegrow localizes branding, sales, warehousing, logistics, repairs, after sales services and other activities, to adapt to unique demand in every country and region. To understand this better, Mr. Liang brought the Turkish market as an example: “Actually we have there local warehouses, local staff, local customer service, even our local repair center. Imagine you need to repair your mobile device, well, you can do it on-site. Customers will experience a better and quicker service than the usual approach”.

What about branding? At the very early stage of the business, Globalegrow is more focused on sales and scale. Next, Globalegrow will invest more on branding. The London Fashion Week is one of the best practices they had in branding, and there are going to be more branding events in the coming years, such as the CES exhibition. Instead of hiding behind a website, Globalegrow will have more interaction with consumers in the future.

 

As China’s internet sector has an increasing influence on the outside world, all eyes are on the Dragon’s current and future role in cyberspace. What about next e-commerce and internet trends?

 

According to Andy Liang “there are going to be more and more companies learning from Chinese e-commerce to the Western world, so there will be more adaptation to each overseas market. There are a lot of of Chinese marketplaces, and a “Chinese way” to selling through e-commerce that slowly even Westerners markets are adapting”.

The main example is the so called “social e-commerce” trend. Little Red Book was a pioneer on this sector and recently WeChat has reached a strategic relationship with Pinduoduo and a third-party social e-commerce platform focused on C2B in the past year. WeChat users can now directly purchase products at Pinduoduo, Social commerce is just beginning in Western countries, but in China is already a reality.

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