One-to-three day delivery is not necessarily a critical factor in converting a Chinese online consumer, thank goodness. The multi-week wait that overseas purchases entail is acceptable, as evidenced by the fast growing cross-border sector, worth $33 billion in China in 2013. However, that wait is acceptable if the product in question is not available domestically in China, or if that product available is of questionable authenticity, or if the cross-border option delivers substantial savings.
No matter the case, cross-border ecommerce with China has long been hampered by payents, as so few Chinese have international credit cards, and incorporating a Chinese payment gateway entailed China establishment. Now, however, Alibaba has launched ePass, which allows relatively easy integration of Alipay, China's preferred payment gateway, into a western site, as well as remittance of payments in 14 international currencies. What's more, Alibaba takes care of the logistics by giving you a warehouse address to ship to, and taking care of the rest, including labeling. A major step forward in logistics and fullfillment for non-China-established companies. Amazon and JD will soon be coming forward with comparable services, heralding a more competitive environment for cross-border services that will prove beneficial to the western vendor.Read More »