China’s leading cross-border e-commerce company, DHgate, which operates a centralized marketplace, has announced the repositioning of MyyShop as a one-stop social commerce software-as-a-service (SaaS platform) in June. The company bets that e-commerce is becoming more decentralized as Generation Z consumers increasingly shop directly on social media platforms.
“The global social commerce industry will grow three times as fast as traditional e-commerce to $1.2 trillion by 2025,” said Diane Wang, the founder, chairperson, and CEO of DHgate, citing a report published by consulting firm Accenture in January this year.
E-commerce has gone through PC, mobile and social stages, and the emergence of Generation Z boosts new business models catering to niche markets and unique demands. We see strong growth in this new model, including the growth of the creator economy and social e-commerce around the world, and Generation Z plays a vital role in the foreseeable social commerce boom in both consumption and trading, Wang added.
About 55.5% of Generation Z adult social network users buy from their social platforms in the US, eMarketer data shows.
“To do business, a Generation Z member may not even choose to open a store on traditional centralized marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon. They may choose new frontiers on social media platforms,” said Wang, the e-commerce veteran.
“Generation Z boasts many native content creators, who may have no idea on how traditional e-commerce works but have amassed a lot of followers, while MyyShop is just there, offering a wide variety of tools to help them turn their impact into a good business,” she explained.
Up-to-date SaaS tool designed for social commerce players
MyyShop, launched in 2020 with a primary online store creation function and a dropship service to help influencers monetize their private domain traffic, now features novel functions.
MyyShop has unveiled a short video analytics tool to help users identify trends and select suitable products. Within the system, sellers such as household product vendors can search influencers by product categories or countries where they are located. The system can match products with the right influencers by analyzing indicators such as the frequency they communicate with their followers and the historical viewer-buyer conversion rate, according to Wang.
MyyShop has also established an end-to-end livestream commerce & e-learning platform. “Our e-learning platform helps influencers learn how to convert their impact into cash, while in return helps us expand our reach to influencers worldwide,” said Wang. MyyShop is currently boosting more than 4 million products and working with more than 1.66 million registered online influencers globally.
In addition, inside MyyShop, there is a cross-border marketing platform that provides various solutions, ranging from influencer affiliate marketing to “One-Click” omnichannel ad placement.
DHLink, the smart logistics platform under DHgate Group since 2014, has also been integrated into MyyShop to provide efficient end-to-end supply chain solutions and warehousing services. Backed by its AI-powered system and global network of more than 200 partners worldwide, DHLink can tell its users whether to ship their products overseas directly or send them to DHgate’s overseas warehouses first, wait for buyers to make an order and later deliver them to the destination, based on data analysis, such as the weight and price of an item, according to Oliver Wan, who leads DHgate’s logistics business. DHLink also provides logistics statuses every five hours, allowing sellers to see where their cargo is. “To reduce logistics costs, we have rolled out a DHgate Parcel Combination project,” said Oliver Wan. In this project, by analyzing the order data in our platform, our system picks out different orders from the same buyer with the same address within a certain period, such as 24 hours, and combines other packages into one package for delivery, which can reduce the freight by 10% to 20%.
Social commerce serves as an opportunity for emerging markets
While the US, UK, Canada, France, and Australia are the top five markets for DHgate, the company has seen fast growth in emerging markets. For example, MyyShop has acquired over 100,000 registered users in Africa alone.
“You may have never imagined that the 2nd APEC Women Connect “Her Power” Entrepreneurship Competition champion is a woman from Nigeria, out of hundreds of contestants,” Wang shared. In this competition, organized by the APEC Business Advisory Council, APEC Women Connect, and DHgate in January this year, contestants needed to recommend products to their connections and followers across mainstream social networks, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and personal blogs, and the one with the largest sale would be the final winner.
“With new frontiers and new game rules, emerging markets, even with less mature infrastructure, have the chance to overtake developed economies since technology has tremendously lowered the barrier for everyone to participate in social commerce,” said Wang, who founded DHgate as early as 2004, a time in which there was no such phrase as “cross-border e-commerce.”
In addition to Africa, Wang expects that MyyShop will witness fast growth in Southeast Asia.
Amit Anand, the founding partner of Jungle Ventures, predicts there are huge growth opportunities in Southeast Asia as the e-commerce ecosystem there is still at a “very very nascent stage,” according to a CNBC report in May this year.
Like Wang, Anand believes social commerce has “much larger” potential than traditional e-commerce and that helpful digital tools can be a key element to turn this potential into a reality.
“And if you’re looking to get the power of the internet into every nook and corner of this region, partnering with those local influencers, those local agents, and bringing technology to them is the way to go,” he told CNBC.