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Retail innovation key in manufacturing upgrade amid virus

By ZHENG YIRAN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-06-24 14:09
People rehearse livestreaming for the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on June 12, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Ever since the outbreak of the epidemic, retail innovation has been playing an increasingly important role in promoting the high-quality development of China's manufacturing industry, and the role is especially prominent in the home appliance industry and the clothing industry, a recent report said.

The report, launched on Wednesday by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Academy (CCPIT Academy), said that during the epidemic period, online consumption is more favored, and the stability of contact-free shopping and distribution may make online retail one of the recommended solutions in the consumption field to deal with the crisis.

"Small home appliances are especially favored by consumers, due to their low price, free installation and high personalization. They have become the new darling of home appliance consumption during the epidemic period, catering to the domestic consumer demand," said Zhao Ping, director of the international trade research department at CCPIT Academy.

According to the report by CCPIT Academy, retail innovation plays an especially prominent role in boosting the home appliance manufacturing sector, in that the intelligent supply chain increases the operational efficiency of enterprises. Enterprises can adjust their management and storage in a timely manner according to online orders.

"The rapid development of online retail not only changes consumer habits, but also benefits greatly the research, production and sales of the home appliance sector. The integration of the real economy and e-commerce improves the whole ecology of the sector," said Zhang Hailong, director of the e-commerce sales operation department of Guangdong-based home appliance maker Midea Group.

In addition, the report said that e-commerce platforms drive the upgrading of the product standards of home appliances, by actively promoting product digitalization, traceability and standardization.

Meanwhile, according to the report, retail innovation boosts the high-quality development of the clothing manufacturing industry.

E-commerce platforms use virtual fitting rooms, which simulate the wearing effect using consumers’ measurements, to offset the inability to try clothes on in person, and improve consumer experience, Zhao said.

Retail innovation enables clothing manufacturers to realize flexible production based on consumer needs, which improves the dynamic perception of the manufacturing industry and effectively reduces the risk of product upgrades, she said.

The 2020 Government Work Report raised the requirement of promoting manufacturing upgrades and the development of emerging industries. Industry experts noted that the promotional role of retail innovation on the manufacturing industry should be fully utilized.

Ren Xingzhou, research fellow and former director-general of the Institute for Market Economy under the Development Research Center of the State Council, said that the online and offline retail channels should be constantly optimized. Manufacturing enterprises should put emphasis in expanding online retail channels, analyze the problems which have occurred and timely adjust strategies.

According to the report, currently, the requirement for epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development further highlighted the importance of online and offline integration, as well as the integration of retail and the manufacturing industry. Retail innovation empowers manufacturing to become smarter and more digital and also take full advantage of e-commerce platforms, and this role should be better employed, in order to promote the high-quality development of the industry.

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