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Problems of Online Shopping During Spring Festival

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Chinese Spring Festival

During Chinese Spring Festival, known as the “Chinese New Year” (Pinyin: Chūn Jié, Chinese: 春节), people celebrate the turn of each turn of lunar calendar. They in China like to purchase goods for their families, it is a tradition to bring special local products from places where they work and live. Those special local products can be souvenirs and local food. Nowadays, Chinese have progressively starting buy gifts (Pinyin: nián huò, Chinese:年货), which are special local products and presents for families through the Internet, because markets are too crowed to find what people wants. Also, there will be not safe enough with crowded people. Online shopping can provide opportunities for people selecting products on the Internet. According to the statistical data shown by Chinese commercial information network, 9715.8 trillion RMB (Renminbi) has been traded through Chinese online shopping in the first quarter of 2016, rase 27.9 percentage from a year earlier. [1]In addition, increasingly merchants on online store implement discount event for attracting more attention than others. There are several famous online shopping websites to choose, for instance Tianmao (belongs to Alibaba), Jingdong, Suning, and Jumei are increasing their market value significantly. Customers can order products in anytime and anywhere. Nonetheless, there still remain some problems of online shopping should be addressed.

Package Problem

Missing, damaging, and unfitting packages usually happen every day. It can be “surprised” to customers while they received their packages. Some of package problems cannot be solved by express delivery companies, such as the damage of products in package are not duties of express companies, and also products missing and broken of packaging are not their duties while receivers have signed after receiving. Especially during Spring Festival, with growing orders, merchants are difficult to be sure each package belongs to each order. Therefore, there are more problems occur than other times.

Credit Problem

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假貨一哥淘寶網 逾6成貨都賣假

Fake information can also cause problems and hurt buyers. Fake goods and wrong store information are usually published by online store owners to attract people’s attention with lower price and/or inaccurate introductions. In China monitor of online stores are not strict enough, laws and regulations cannot provide much constraining forces and there probably exist escaped criminals, so merchants can easily run an online store without caring about too much rules and regulations. In addition, some consumers would like to buy fake good while they even know it is imitation, because they cannot offer expensive products with lower payment. Fake makeups and skin care products are common in some stores, they cannot be told apart by customers, because some products made with regular packaging but fake inside. According to the research that there are over 40% of Chinese online sales either counterfeit or bad quality in 2014. The complaint reports reached to 77800 and rose 356.6% from last year. People entertained it quite like “Taobao” (means search salable product in Chinese) to purchase goods online [2][3]. Quality of products cannot be guaranteed: Generally, goods’ information is shown with pictures epically cloth. Those pictures usually show nice look on models and marvelous design of cloths, and attract people for buying. The products are totally different with what shown on pictures, while the time customers received. There are some videos show how to identify bad quantity clothes.   

Problem of Express Delivery

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Package in China

Products usually take longer to arrive than specified. Most customers still report wrong product being delivered and sometimes the product may not be delivered at all. This is a huge problem especially when it comes to holiday time or big sales season such as Chinese New Year when people try to bring those products back home. Delayed packages are also bringing lots of problems, for instance post office or somewhere for deposit cannot offer such a long period of time during Spring Festival. Those delayed packages may be sent back to merchant or missing during Spring Festival. Besides, in China consumer pay for a product, the payment cannot be received by sellers until consumers confirm or systematically confirm after a long time. Therefore, few of dishonest sellers will delay to send goods until the time for confirming orders. It is really existing, but seldom encounter those merchant online. While most of these products are labeled express delivery, research shows that many online retailers lack personalized user experiences hence the delivery problems. In addition, China merchants seldom send confirm email to customers, but record on Alipay (like Paypal) of each consumer’ account. Therefore, it can avoid some of problems, such as payment confirmation missing [4]

Contradiction between Customers and Merchants 

It is very difficult for online retailers to differentiate between merchants and customers. Normally, there is a merchant agreement contract or terms and conditions that apply to merchants. However, many merchants simply make a buy decision and start processing immediately without approval from the retailer. While online retailers assume customers do not read agreements, anyone without agreement is considered to be a direct customer and this leads to conflict. While many merchants fail to sign the contract, the only option they have to get their money back is to claim for a refund which may result to loss of sales and dissatisfaction from merchants.[5]

Impact to Physical Stores

The year 2013 saw online sales outpace physical store revenue gains. However, despite this incredible growth, brick-and-mortar locations still accounted for more than three quarters of the retail transactions. The little engagement between the seller and the buyer continues to hurt online shoppers and the businesses that rely on it. There are still many shoppers who believe shopping needs to be an experience and not just a point of sale. Therefore, brick-and-mortar retailers spend their time building a connection with consumers, something online retailers can’t. When a customer is looking for a pure transaction, it is more efficient to do it online, but most retail customers want more than just a pure transaction.[6]

Works Cited

  1. [http://www.askci.com/news/hlw/20160613/16104528430.shtml “Statistic and analyze the data in Chinese market transactions. Chinese commercial information website.”](2016), Retrieved 21 Apr. 2017.
  2. [http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-counterfeits-idUSKCN0SS02820151103. “Over 40 percent of China’s online sales counterfeit, shoddy: Xinhua.”] (2 Nov. 2015), Reuters, retrieved 21 Apr. 2017.
  3. Yufei, QI. “Over 40 percent of Chinese online sales are fake, including statistical data.” Epoch Times, 4 Nov. 2015, Accessed 21 Apr.  2017.
  4. Krystina, Gustafson. “Five problems retailers must fix in 2014.” CNBC News. 2014, Accessed 16 Apr.  2017.
  5. Kaisa, Kiviluoto. “Five typical problems consumers have when shopping online.” Paytrail by nets. 2016, Accessed 16 Apr. 2017.    
  6. Mark, Hayes. “4 serious mistakes business owners make with their credit card processor.” Shopify blogs. 2011, Accessed 16 Apr. 2017.