Amway China in online push

US direct selling retailer Amway is planning a major push in China where it sees potential with younger consumers.

Globally, Amway sold US$10.8 billion worth of household goods last year, down eight per cent on 2013.

In China it has spent a year testing online sales models, creating 10 WeChat accounts and 12 apps through which its sellers can interact with customers. Online already accounts for 30 per cent of its China sales – with mobile sales about one fifth of that and expected to grow to half within 10 years.

Last week Amway held a digital strategy launch in Guangzhou where it revealed plans to allow consumers to shop through its online platforms and apps with Amway taking responsibilities for delivering the goods to purchasers. That marks a significant variation from its traditional model of having its sellers deliver goods personally.

Chief marketing officer Frances Yu said the company knows its strength lies in a solid offline relationship it has with customers. “The same will be upgraded further when we move online.”

Mobile eCommerce will potentially cut costs for Amway’s direct selling staff as they won’t have to rent physical store space, have capital tied up in inventory or cover delivery charges. Amway will assume responsibility for storage and distribution.

“Our entrepreneurs will be able to spend more time with their clients,” said Yu.

Amway has opened 10 ‘experience’ stores in China to link online with offline, display products to prospective customers and build brand awareness. Eight more are planned.

Amway also wants to double its sales distributor network from 60,000 currently to 120,000 by 2025.

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