Black Friday: Made in America, Blossoming in China

TMO Group TMO Group

Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States (the fourth Thursday of November). Since at least the 1930s, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the US. Traditionally, “Black Friday” is the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States. But this year, some major retailers received a boost from an unexpected source – China. What’s more, Chinese customers were not lining up in front of stores in the U.S as you thought. They are mostly in China, still, and they have all completed the purchases online.

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Cross boarder online shopping is surging in popularity. Total digital sales topped $11 billion over the five-day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, according to Adobe, and Chinese buyers accounted for roughly $55 million — or 0.5% — of that. Many U.S. retailers saw the great opportunity in the Far East, and they are establishing an online presence in the country, selling and shipping American goods directly to Chinese online shoppers. For example, Over the summer, Macy’s became the first U.S. department store to set up an online storefront on Tmall, Alibaba’s popular online shopping website.

A recent Nielsen study found that Chinese online shoppers are willing to spend significantly more on cross-border purchases than domestically, especially “affluent and well-educated young people.” The reasons are obvious: prices are tempting for well-known foreign brands, vendors starting to accept major Chines payment methods such as Unionpay and Alipay, and the participation of Chinese e-commerce companies have been contributing to this year’s robust sales, underscoring the purchasing power of Chinese consumers. This year, e-commerce sites in China like Ymatou have all launched latest smartphone applications to help the customers fasten the purchase processes through their cellphones. Mobile development has become one of the top necessities for cross boarder e-commerce businesses while facing Chinese customers.

The only problem for Chinese buyers now could be international shipping, but it is getting better. There are several logistics companies providing shipment services, and retailers like Amazon and Macy’s ship directly to China from the store. Amazon China delivered its very first “Black Friday” order in Beijing, China last week, and the Calvin Klein purse shipping from the U.S took only six weekdays to be delivered to customer’s door.