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Amazon China President: China’s ecommerce niche

Peter Stojanovic

Douglas Gurr, president of Amazon China, explains what their new model entails and why it will help them emerge as one of the largest ecommerce platforms in China.

It was only last March that Amazon China opened an online store on the Tmall ecommerce website owned by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

It was one of the first times a foreign ecommerce firm was allowed to do business in the country, and the opportunity presented to the company was vast.

It’s a competitive market, however.

Alibab’s Tmall controls around 58% of the market for retail e-commerce sales in China, according to iResarch Consulting Group, whereas JD.com owns over 20%.

Amazon China comes eighth on the list – controlling a little over 1% to be specific – and so it falls to Douglas Gurr, president of Amazon China, to locate and secure their ecommerce niche in order to remain competitive.

“China is a great market to operate in and we love competition as it makes it better for customers so why wouldn’t we support that? And if you look at China as a country it has some great businesses…”

Many people would find the task of muscling in on these Asian heavyweights daunting, however Gurr and his team have recognised an opportunity for the ecommerce giant to carve out their ecommerce niche here.

“…to be successful in China we need to focus on fulfilling an unmet customer need: crossborder ecommerce; for the Chinese customer, it’s all about trying to find them that British or international product, and for businesses it’s about helping them sell around the world.”

Helped by its globally recognized brand name, international sourcing network and technological expertise, Amazon China have created Global Store to fulfil that unmet need.

In August, launched Global Store on their website allowing Chinese consumers to buy goods from around the world.

Their ecommerce niche has allowed the company to link rich, brand-conscious shoppers to sellers around the world whilst also creating a type of business model not seen in the area.

The bonus is it’s already profitable: consumer orders for overseas goods tripled in the second quarter 2015, compared to Q1, to 5 million, according to the company.