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Future of retail lies in clicks, not bricks

By Tiffany Tan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-10-21 07:07:46

Future of retail lies in clicks, not bricks

The Outnet: Run by the same group behind the online fashion retailers Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter, it unveiled its Chinese website last year - its first non-English site. Photo provided to China Daily

Price is currently the battleground in Chinese e-commerce - the most important factor taken into account by consumers when deciding on their purchases, says the Nielsen online-shopping survey.

For fashion-forward consumers, the quest for exclusivity is becoming a growing motivation for seeking out foreign retailers.

"We have also seen our customers' interests in China echo that of our customers globally," Darcy Penick, Shopbop's chief merchandising officer, says in an email. "She is coming to us for what's new and what's next in fashion, and not only shopping large, globally recognized brands."

Logistics, which includes product delivery, remains one of the major challenges for online retailers in China. But entrepreneurs are focused on the bigger promise in Chinese e-commerce.

One of the people about to wade in is Lu Yiqing, who is launching her own fashion shopping site this month. The marketing management graduate says she wants to make it easier, less expensive and more enjoyable for Chinese consumers to get their hands on foreign brands.

The business will give Lu even less time to visit shopping malls.

Lin Shutong contributed to this story.  

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