|Online Business in Yiwu|
On August 21 the lockdown was lifted in Yiwu. This means that express logistics and production work are back to normal and domestic and foreign purchases have resumed. Since the beginning of this year, nearly 60,000 stores have registered on Chinagoods, the official platform of Yiwu Commodities City. More than five million types of goods are sold online, which has attracted a total of 2.4 million registered buyers. Relying on the sufficient supply of goods in the International Trade City and the logistics network, Yiwu has become a national e-commerce highland.
Merchants are Accustomed to Making Online Orders
In the store of Paier Electric in the second district of Yiwu International Trade City, Zhou Jianfang received an order from an Egyptian businessman through an online platform. This is the third customer she got after the lockdown was lifted. Zhou said that at the beginning, customers were not used to checking samples and ordering goods through video calls, and many of her colleagues were also not used to it. In no time they all became accustomed to it. Now, 80% of orders come from online platforms.
According to the head of the store of Paier Electric, Zhang Honglin, to facilitate customers to purchase, she will number her products, list the size, price, and material of each product, and take pictures of them in groups. Finally, she will send the information to overseas buyers for confirmation.
In 2021, the cross-border e-commerce transaction volume of Yiwu reached 101.357 billion RMB, a year-on-year increase of 16.38%. The cross-border online retail export transaction volume reached 40.204 bn RMB, a year-on-year increase of 16.53% and ranked first in Zhejiang.
Merchants in the second district of the International Trade City negotiate with foreign buyers online
Live Broadcast Helps Not Only Selling but Also Inspecting
On August 29, the director of the store of Yingqu Technology in the International Trade City, know by his Chinese name A Zhi, was conducting a three-party video call to inspect the goods with the buyer and the factory. After a while, a batch of razors waiting to be exported abroad was inspected, packed and shipped to the port.
A Zhi said that because of the pandemic, the mode of inspecting goods through video calls has been going on for a long time. In addition, video calls and live broadcasts can also facilitate the sale of goods. During the period of lockdown in Yiwu, A Zhi’s employees began to sell goods on TikTok and got orders continuously. Many customers knew about the lockdown in Yiwu, but they still chose to place orders and wait.
Yiwu merchants introduce products to Malaysian buyers via video calls
Jiang Yuelan, another merchant in the Yiwu International Trade City, was making a video call with European customers in English through her mobile phone. She quickly finalized an order of more than 100,000 RMB. Jiang Yuelan said that now customers are more cautious in placing orders, and they prefer to order goods in small batches. New products are also required to be tested first, and some classic old models are more popular.
Under the sporadic outbreaks of the pandemic, more and more merchants in Yiwu choose to run their businesses on cross-border e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and TikTok. To date, all 32 e-commerce parks and 114 key e-commerce companies in Yiwu have resumed work. (Text and photos by Wu Fengyu, translated by Wei Han, edited by Daniel Haws)