One of my favorite quotes is by William Gibson: “The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” In recent years, this was on display in China for anyone to see. The country is a hotbed of innovation in retail, eCommerce and rapid product development/manufacturing. Even better, the innovations that brands from Ningbo, Shenzhen and nearly every other major Chinese city are using are portable for Western brands, a topic I wrote about after a 2018 conference.
Up until a little more than a week ago, I was still planning to head to China later this month with a group of 50+ clients and fellow WPP leaders for a tour of some the most innovative brands in Chinese retail/eCommerce. When it was postponed due to disruptions from the Coronavirus, I was certainly disappointed but I also couldn’t stop thinking how this would affect Amazon’s global business.
As a close watcher of Amazon’s growth, digital natives brands out of China like Anker and SunValley offer amazing opportunities for us to understand the potential of the platform. They are also the engine behind a huge amount of Amazon’s new product innovation, which Amazon presented on when I was at one of their events. Some stunning stats:
- Every .02 seconds Chinese sellers create a new product on Amazon
- 60% of Chinese seller’s Ordered Product Sales came from new products
- 47% of Chinese seller’s hot products w/in prior 12 months come from new products
These stats are just incredible and lead to the question, what if the biggest sourcing show in the in the world, Canton Fair, was disrupted by the virus? At first, it seemed unlikely. The fair doesn’t start until mid-April and is in Guangzhou, far from Wuhan. That said, Delta isn’t even restarting flights to mainland China until at least end of April now. By last week though, we had an answer: