Accelerating e-commerce growth

  • Asia
  • |
  • China
  • Direct-to-consumer

Impact

Potential increase in e-commerce market share from 19% to 30% and a jump in e-commerce top-line revenue from 200M RMB to 800M RMB in 5 years.

Issue

China’s e-commerce market is one of the most sophisticated and fastest-growing marketplaces in the world. The company’s e-commerce sales team had been created less than two years prior to our intervention, to serve and leverage the channel. The team then found itself struggling to keep up with the constant evolution in online platforms, models, and customers. Furthermore, intense competition from local brands presented a significant challenge, particularly outside tier-1 cities, as their e-commerce teams were better equipped to rapidly respond to client and market changes.

Approach

We performed detailed fieldwork to understand the players in the market, their business models, and their specific service requirements. As the market was dominated by three major online retailers, we sought to understand how manufacturers could become joint business partners – a key account for each online retailer. Additionally, a survey was conducted with 600 online shoppers to understand their preferences and habits. Detailed analysis provided insight into what type of company organization was best suited to not only grow e-commerce volume but also strengthen relationships with key accounts.

Outcome

For the first time, a detailed e-commerce market forecast model was built, showing a complete picture of growth potential across all product segments. Service requirements specific to online retailers were mapped, outlining current service gaps. A new sales team organization structure was created to transform the team from a horizontal structure to a transversal, multi-functional team that supported each key account’s specific service needs, greatly increasing reactivity and capability. As part of the new route-to-market model, this new structure was tested and adjusted in a pilot test, led and monitored by a joint client-Globalpraxis team.