Stay Home, Stay Online, Keep Shopping
On January 10, the air quality in 10 major Chinese cities—including the capital, Beijing—has been called hazardous to human beings. The PM2.5 index from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing was off the charts! Everyone who lives in China knows it's always polluted, but this time was a bit more serious. If it's on CCTV prime time news, and the government gives a warning to the public, you know it's bad.
The extreme PM2.5 index screen is all over Facebook within the expat community in China. While I’m grateful that I live in Shanghai and don't have to travel to those cities in the near future, some of my friends in Beijing are planning to relocate their children back to their home countries.
Maybe it’s just my nature, but I can’t help but see a window here—in a way, these two weeks are a natural eCommerce opportunity in the affected cities. With customers forced to stay indoors, the eCommerce sales in those cities could shoot to the sky. I am very eager to see the results a few months from now.
Domestic eCommerce brands and retailers like Vancl, Tmall, and 360Buy see the opportunity as well. They’re creating more incentives — similar to November 11 (AKA Single Day 11/11) and other national sales holidays — to drive customers to online business. I guess shopping and running smart business are indeed in our Chinese blood, regardless of unpleasant circumstances.