New normal is a unique opportunity to rethink why and how we work
July 19, 2022
Ashley Dudarenok: China’s New Retail is super important. It’s about building a retail ecosystem that builds online and offline in a unified way that features the consumer. My co-author Michael Zakkour and I wrote it in 2019 – when New Retail was in the headlines and just starting to get international attention and recognition as something “beyond just omni channel”. It has positioned retail as a service where customers can buy whatever they want, whenever and wherever they want it. The shopping experience for consumers is seamless as information is transferred between offline and online channels.
Now in late 2020, it’s important like never before. E-commerce around the globe has boomed. Everybody is trying to figure out how to stay relevant and thrive in the new normal. China recovered fastest. The ecosystems are now truly a competitive advantage.
In 2020, businesses need to know about them. – If they are planning to enter China, do it now. It will only be more expensive and complicated later.- Even if they have no plans to enter China, it’s good to learn from China just to familiarize yourself with the concept of New Retail as you will .
A.D.: This is not so much an extract that represents myself, but rather one of my favourite quotes in my book that encapsulates the idea of New Retail very well. “If you want to see the future of retail, you don’t need a time machine or a multi-million dollar research initiative. You just need airfare to Shanghai and a week to explore.” Once you see it in action yourself, you would realize what you imagined as the “future of retail” is not that far from you. It’s becoming an integral part of the everyday lives of Chinese citizens nowadays. Overseas travel is not so possible at this stage, but I truly encourage people to travel to Shanghai and experience New Retail yourself.
A.D.: Brands need to start building their pools of private traffic. This can be traffic to a brand’s website, apps, and social media handles such as WeChat and Weibo. This way, brands have full control of a group of online audiences into their private pools without having to pay the costs of third-party platforms such as advertising, post boosting fees, etc. Private traffic is also great for businesses because it systematically reduces customer acquisition costs. You also get more control over how your brand is perceived. I believe lots of brands are already aware of the importance of private traffic, so I am expecting more businesses to hop on the trend in the near future.
A.D.: Explore with New Retail, take part in it and learn – the future is being built now. China will soon export this New Retail technology and ecosystem to other parts of the world. If you strive for a global presence and want to appeal to the remaining international consumers from Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, etc, you need to be a part of this New Retail world. China will soon export this New Retail technology and ecosystem to other parts of the world. If you strive for a global presence and want to appeal to the remaining international consumers from Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, etc, you need to be a part of this New Retail world. I know you only asked for one piece of advice, but I feel like the following one is also important, especially during times like these. So here it is, my second piece of advice. Stay agile – you need to be flexible, innovative, and actively listen to the changing needs in the market. In the post covid-19 times, the new normal in China has created new demands. For instance, more people started baking at home so there was a rise in demand of small baking ovens. The demand for massage machines also rose as people couldn’t go out. With people wearing masks out, make up products such as lipsticks became unnecessary. These are just a few quick examples, the lesson here is that some of these patterns will go, while some will stay forever. It’s important for you to observe these changes and act on them.
A.D.: For my next book, I would be interested in discussing about Chinese consumers, China’s social commerce and the premiumisation of everything in China. These are all topics that I have been very interested in and keeping a close eye on. On a personal level, women leadership and female entrepreneurship are also some of the areas that I am always interested in. I have always been very motivated in helping women find their inner road to empowerment and making their dream life a reality.
Many Thanks Bertrand
The book: New Retail Born in China Going Global, Ashley Dudarenok,, Michael Zakkour, 2019.
Ashley Dudarenok is a renowned China marketing expert, entrepreneur, bestselling author, professional speaker, and vlogger. She was recognized as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Marketing in 2019 and chosen as an Asia-Pacific Top 25 Innovator by the Holmes Report. She is the founder of a China-focused social media agency Alarice and China insights and training company ChoZan. Ashley runs the world’s #1 YouTube business vlog about the China market, consumers and social media at Ashley Talks. She is an author of 3 Amazon bestsellers on China. Ashley is an active supporter of women in leadership and is the creator of the self-development program FIRE🔥. She’s a regular contributor to the SCMP, Technode, the Next Web, China Daily and is often featured in other media such as Forbes, BBC, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, WIRED, etc.