Chinese companies have found a new means of turning consumers on to online shopping.
Vinux.com, a Beijing-based e-commerce merchant, is one of several businesses setting up small shops in residential areas where customers can buy products online at kiosks and pick up their purchases the next day. Vinux.com recently unveiled its third neighborhood store in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing, which has a population of 29 million. The company plans to open thousands of such stores across the country over the next three years.
Though China now boasts about 300 million online shoppers, this is only a fraction of the country’s approximately 1.4 billion people. The new approach taken by Vinux.com and other companies aims to acquaint Chinese consumers unfamiliar with the Internet with e-commerce.
Vinux.com’s stores also come with incentives, including subsidized health insurance. The website says that each customer who makes a purchase at one of its stores receives a medicine rebate of 5 to 90 percent, depending on shopping frequency. After 15 days of not shopping, the rebate percentage decreases. The company also says that it asks its suppliers to pay a minimum of 0.8 percent of their sales to support the plan.
According to Cao Xueshu, Vinux.com’s Chongqing director, the business also offers goods at lower prices than traditional shopping outlets.
“We don’t keep inventory in our stores, so that our prices can be 10 percent less than that in other grocery stores,” Cao said in an interview with Internet Retailer.
Other Chinese business implementing bricks-and-mortar e-commerce strategies include Yhd.com, which built several “experience stores” in Shanghai last year where customers could pick up online orders. Sales from area residents doubled after the company opened the stores, and more are in the works for 2015.
image credit: yhd.com