Now, you will find that there are more and more Chinese sellers on Amazon’s online shopping site, and most of their products are very low in price, because they are sold directly from China to end customers. Local Amazon sellers are beginning to worry that these people will take away their business.
In fact, if foreign customers want to import pillows from China, they have to go a long way in the past. The factory-produced pillows are passed to Chinese trading companies, then to local pillow wholesalers abroad, and finally to customers. Every transaction is profitable, which makes the final pillow very expensive for the customer.
1. What is B2C online pillow business?
First of all, we need to understand what is cross-border e-commerce to understand the online pillow business? This is a business that affects all of the above-mentioned transactions. For example, Chinese suppliers buy pillows from local pillow factories and sell them on e-commerce website platforms. Pillows ordered by foreign customers are sent directly by international express (FedEx, DHL, UPS) or postal parcels. This process helps to eliminate the profits earned by trading companies; pillow wholesalers, especially foreign pillow retailers in traditional trade. This method greatly reduces the price of buying pillows. For example, you can buy a travel pillow for only $10 and ship it to the United States for free.
At present, most pillow suppliers from China gather on the three major website platforms of eBay, Amazon and AliExpress. In addition, some new website platforms like Wish are becoming more and more popular with Chinese pillow suppliers. In addition to these websites, many online pillow companies also have their own B2C websites for B2C pillow business. Regarding language barriers, Chinese trading companies have developed online shopping websites that specifically target specific languages.
The companies owned by these Chinese pillow suppliers vary in size. Large companies have more than 300 employees and have warehouses in different countries. Small companies may be very small, with only 3-5 people working from home and stacking pillows in the bedroom or living room.
Previously, only a few Chinese sellers registered on Amazon to start pillow business. The main reason behind this is that the fees charged by international small parcel express delivery are quite high. However, since 2010, more and more Chinese sellers began to sell household products and digital products on Amazon. Now most of the suppliers of these products on Amazon are Chinese, and they have been competing with suppliers in other parts of the world.
In 2014, Amazon opened the “Global Store” project to Chinese sellers who wish to develop an online pillow business. The criteria for selecting these sellers depends on their website brand and logistics network. This will surely help consumers all over the world easily buy pillows directly from China and deliver them safely to their desired destinations.
2. Growth of China’s online pillow business
Thanks to the growth of China’s cross-border e-commerce, China’s online pillow business has also grown. Especially the continued growth of AliExpress. AliExpress is Alibaba’s cross-border B2C platform with strong development momentum and currently has the most pillow suppliers in China. The search volume of AliExpress is 6.7 times that of Alibaba, and Alibaba itself is one of the most popular B2B platforms in the world.
Currently, China has about 20,000 small trading companies and about 60,000 people engaged in cross-border e-commerce. For example, Guangdong has become the largest province that engages in international trade in products through cross-border e-commerce. This region alone accounts for about 70% of China’s total trade.
As more and more people join this business, China’s online pillow business is still growing. In Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangdong, Yiwu and other cities, you can even find cross-border e-commerce training schools. These schools provide training in product sales and marketing through cross-border e-commerce. Many online forums can also be used to share your experience and learn from the knowledge and experience of others.
Cross-border e-commerce forum A training school teaches people how to sell on eBay
It is very easy to develop cross-border e-commerce business and make profits. If you are still a college student and want to have free knee pads, you only need to register an account on AliExpress. Buy a pillow from a local pillow supplier for only US$3, pay US$3 for postage to the United States, and then sell the product to your customers for US$8. In this way, each pillow you sell to these customers will make a profit of $2. If you can only sell 100 orders a week, you can make about $200 a week, which is enough for your pocket money.
3. Will China’s online pillow business affect the retail pillow business in other countries?
The increasing growth of cross-border e-commerce in China seems to pose a threat to people engaged in selling Chinese pillows to different countries in the world. However, bulky commodity retailers and wholesalers do not have to worry about the existence and success of their businesses for the following reasons.
1. The online pillow business is suitable for pillows with small size or weight and high value. These include products with very low international transportation costs such as household goods and electronic products. For most large and heavy products, such as large mattresses, the international express delivery costs are quite high, so the products are very expensive.
2. For example, sending a 2.5kg gymnastic ball from China to the United States requires an international courier fee of US$30-40. If you buy the same product yourself from the United States, it will cost $40, which is quite reasonable compared to previous purchases.
3. For Chinese cross-border e-commerce websites, it is not easy to return and refund the products that have been sold, because buyers need to pay expensive international express fees. Amazon is the only website that can easily accept returns and refunds of returned products. This is because Amazon manages its own product storage and delivery facilities and has very strict regulations on sellers.
4. It takes about 7-15 days to deliver pillows from China to any other country, which is a long time. Most customers prefer to buy products at higher prices from local stores, and they don’t need to wait there for a long time.
5. The market share of cross-border e-commerce business is still low. Logistics, payment processes and product returns are all in a very early and immature stage. It takes a long time to develop the processes and systems required to effectively operate cross-border transactions.
This question is similar to another traditional question, that is, “Will e-commerce replace traditional stores?” In fact, e-commerce has not completely replaced retail stores. A few products such as electronics and books can occupy a large share of the traditional retail market. Although online shopping is becoming more and more popular, the behavior of consumers buying clothes in particular shows that people still prefer local markets and streets to buy clothes.