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New Retail Redesigns the Consumer Journey in China

New Retail Redesigns the Consumer Journey in China

Coined in 2017 by Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, the concept of ‘new retail’ has proven to be revolutionary. With New Retail, the consumer’s shopping journey is no longer defined as either online or offline but is now simultaneously both.

In this article, we will take a look at what results when online merges with offline strategies. 

♦ The ultimate store – immediate and hyper-connected

In China, consumers use their phones for everything and scan dozens of QR Codes every week. In New Retail stores, you can try on clothes virtually, fill a virtual cart that will then be delivered to your home or pay via facial recognition without going to the checkout. 

New retail also enables immediate shopping, tapping to consumers’ need to “See Now Buy Now”. You see a product, you scan it, you leave, and it arrives at your home. Or even more agile, while watching a showcase of products, you can directly choose to have one on your plate or shopping cart.

♦ Quality Products that are traceable 

With New Retail, retailers are able to meet consumers’ increasing demand for quality products while improving their product range and optimizing space design.

For example, at a Hema supermarket, you can watch short reports on the origins of items just by scanning the QR code of a product. This report will show you the product’s circuit, its origins, and its transformations. The information includes audits such as pictures of the distributor’s operating permits and food safety certificates.

♦ In-store displays that generate a strong desire to buy

In China, stores are now lively: crustaceans wiggle in their tank, images on screens scroll, and staff assertively manoeuvre between customers. Your 5 senses are enhanced: taste, smell, touch, sight, and hearing. 

At a New Retail store, the clever use of sensory marketing aims at seducing the consumer by stimulating the senses in order to influence buying behaviour.

♦ Not a store anymore but an authentic living space

New Retail is based on the concept of “Retailtainment”. In Hema supermarket and Carrefour Le Marché in Shanghai, in addition to the grocery section, cooks work every day to prepare freshly purchased products for those who wish to consume on-site. 

With New Retail, the store is no longer just a place to buy products but a place to live where you like to spend time. Consumers need a reason to leave their homes and go shopping. New Retail is that reason.