Business / Companies

Vipshop upgrades its international business sector strategy

By Hao Nan (China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-17 16:43

Vipshop Holdings Ltd, primarily known among its customers for its leading Chinese online flash sales site called, announced on Tuesday at a news conference in Chongqing that it plans to upgrade its international business sector.

The initiative will add more high-end and popular overseas products to its portfolio and is expected to expand its customer base, the company said.

Local government officials, the company's Chinese and foreign brand partners and representatives of foreign affairs from seven countries including Italy, South Korea and Australia attended the event.

Feng Jialu, vice-president of Vipshop, said the improvement of VIP International would mainly focus on five areas-authenticity, selection, price of products, after-sales service and scale of the business.

The Guangzhou-based e-commerce giant has insisted on purchasing products directly from the place of origin since the launch of VIP International in September 2014.

The sector has set up professional buyer groups in 11 countries and regions to guarantee product authenticity from the supply chain. It has also formed close relations with several consulates and long-term partnerships with well-known brands across the world.

Over the past year and a half, orders on VIP International increased more than 100-fold.

Vipshop established a research and development center in Silicon Valley in 2014. As today's customers increasingly pursue product quality, individuality and diversification, VIP International plans to combine the center's big data analyses with the experience of professional buyers to select the world's latest, hottest and best-priced goods for Chinese consumers.

Many of the products will be sold at almost the same price in the sector as in their countries of origin. Chinese buyers not only save the trouble of calculating the exchange rates, but also will continue to enjoy the company's free-delivery and duty-free policies.

Based on its 12 warehouses overseas and 11 bonded warehouses in China, VIP International has built a sophisticated and flexible logistics network, which enables it to start delivery within 12 hours after orders are received.

In terms of after-sales services, customers can return goods in seven days with no explanation necessary. The process will take place in China, which means fast refunds.

Vipshop has become China's third-largest business-to-customer shopping portal, according to Beijing-based internet consultancy Analysys International. In 2015, the company's net revenue exceeded 40 billion yuan ($6.14 billion).

VIP International is also the third-largest B2C cross-border sales platform of imports in China, accounting for over 15 percent of the total market share. A recent report from Analysys showed that China's trade volume of online cross-border imports retailing hit 206 billion yuan last year, an increase of nearly 60 percent year-on-year.

"With a larger scale and stronger strength, VIP International can make more trustworthy commitments to its customers," Feng said. "It can also provide them with complete one-stop shopping experiences."

The report said that over 70 percent of VIP International's customers are young women born in the 1980s and the 1990s, mostly living in coastal cities and second- and third-tier cities in central China.

The most popular commercial goods include skin care products and cosmetics, mothercare and child products, nutrition and health products and women's clothing.

At the conference, VIP International issued a list of 15 brands most loved by Chinese customers, such as Swisse, Blackmores, Heinz, Equilibra and Ocean Spray.

It also launched a "Shopping Month" activity for its 160 million members. It will host a series of promotional events this month and also an evening gala with China Central Television on May 20.

The activity began on May 1, when five offline experience venues opened their doors to the public in Chongqing. They were built to exhibit special products from Italy, South Korea, the United States, Japan and Australia.

In March, Vipshop appointed Taiwan music icon Jay Chou as its CJO, or chief jingxi (surprise) officer. Chou is expected to take part in the brand's promotion activities in the following year. The popular singer and actor is massively popular on the Chinese mainland.

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