Since Amazon.com started operations in 1994, U.S. and other western companies have steadily embraced digital retailing. But China has now leapfrogged the West in terms of the extent and sophistication of its digital retailing. China has distinctive features of its environment, markets, companies, and customers that are driving its innovation in digital retailing, but some approaches of Chinese companies can be transferred to effective use by Western companies.

In this talk, George Yip, Emeritus Professor at Imperial College London, and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, will explain how China’s large and fast-growing market is not only highly digitized but also takes advantage of the massive ecosystems of Alibaba, Tencent, and others. To catch up, Western retailers can take five lessons from the Chinese experience: Create single entry points, embed digital evaluation in the customer journey, don’t think of sales as isolated events, rethink the logistical fundamentals, and always stay close to the customer.