buying direct from china: is the new shopping trend threatening retail?

© stanislav_uvarov - stock.adobe.com

© stanislav_uvarov - stock.adobe.com

The multi-billion dollar shopping app Wish has taken e-commerce by storm by stripping down the traditional shopping experience. According to Forbes, Wish is worth upwards of $8 billion leveling it against the combined value of major retailers like Macy's and JC Penny's. 

Chinese e-commerce is trending upwards across the map. According to WWD, China has had a 40 percent annual growth rate in online sales. 

Retailers have long served as the middleman between the manufacturer and the consumer, buffering product quality and packaging. Wish allows customers to purchase direct from sellers in China at extremely discounted rates. As a result, one challenge with this shopping approach is that there's no quality control. Customers are taking a risk with each purchase they make. There's no guarantee that the product will live up to their expectations, that they'll be able to receive a refund or even receive their purchase. 

While the initial appeal of the Wish site comes from discounts as high as 97 percent off, the quality of the knockoff styles have proven to be unpredictable, which is evident in the reviews from customers. It may be compelling to order considering that you can buy a seemingly nice looking product for a dollar, but will it be worth it? 

 

Tatiana Toomer