Jia Yi, a white-collar employee from Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province is passionate about overseas brands and products. She is now considering buying a Coach handbag on the upcoming Black Friday shopping event.
"The price in the domestic market could reach more than 2,000 yuan (0), but it is just 848 yuan on the e-commerce platform during Black Friday. It is very cost-effective and I am prepared to buy one," said Jia.
China's cross-border e-commerce has been growing over the past few years. The Shanghai-based cross-border e-commerce site ymatou.com expects the scale of the Black Friday event this year to be 10 times over last year by hiring more than 30,000 overseas buyers.
The company, which has participated in the biggest retail sales day of the year since 2014, said customers could buy more than 600,000 imported goods from 83 countries, including discounted clothes, shoes, bags, cosmetics, fine jewelry and health care products without leaving the house.
"There is a trend that consumers from second- and third-tier cities are more willing to buy overseas products. Chinese consumers' demands have been upgraded as they have diversified and personalized requirements for products and services," said Zeng Bibo, chief executive officer of Ymatou.
Zeng added they prefer to buy niche brands from European designers than the mass-market brands in America.
Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, is a busy shopping day with the highest discounts of the year and a major impact on brick-and-mortar retailers, e-commerce players and consumers around the world.
Ymatou said it is set to ensure that Chinese online shoppers can get the same deals that their Western counterparts enjoy during Black Friday. Buyers can broadcast their shopping process at the online shopping platforms.
It continues to increase investment in the access threshold of buyers to ensure the authenticity of the goods' sources. Zeng said they will check the credit status of buyers from time to time, requiring them to offer credentials for long-term living overseas and identifications.
Furthermore, Ymatou has established an independent logistics company, XLobo, to develop overseas direct mail business.
XLobo collects and bundles individual parcels at overseas locations and ships them to China as a single consignment. It now owns 15 international logistics centers around the world to ensure the period of direct mail within five days, on average.
"The number of professional logistics service staff has been doubled. We have expanded the space of warehouses in New York, San Francisco and Osaka, and the investment in equipment and logistics this year has surpassed the total input of last year," said Zeng.
It arranges over 90 chartered airplanes each week to transport the goods and other airlines that have cooperative relations with Ymatou will reserve shipping space for XLobo in advance.
Chinese e-commerce companies, such as Alibaba Group Holdings and JD.com Inc have developed their own cross-border e-commerce businesses.
Statistics from the China E-Commerce Research Center show that China's cross-border e-commerce transactions totaled 5.4 trillion yuan (3 billion) last year, a year-on-year increase of 28.6 percent.
The generation aged between 20 and 35 old is the major force of cross-border shopping, experts said.
Cao Lei, director of the China E-Commerce Research Center, said customers need to choose an excellent cross-border e-commerce platform, pay attention to sellers' reputations or ranking level and customers' comments, adding they should choose a platform that owns and operates its logistics system.