Market research company Euromonitor International discusses the rise in chained fast food delivery among emerging markets.
Mina Hsiao's insight:
Trends in emerging markets have been seen as either "leapfrogging" or simply several stages behind, on the same development curve as Western countries. It would be more accurate to say that emerging markets are developing on their own curve, according to their unique market conditions, and now perhaps even driving trends that go global. This is an article about a service that has saved me many a late night at the office since I don't have a car in Shanghai. I'm not sure if fast food delivery will take off in the US where most people own cars, labor costs are high, and the need is often while en route somewhere, but another trend I do see starting in the US is website authentication via mobile phone. Five years ago I thought China was behind when I had to type in an SMS code when paying online, but perhaps it was the US that was behind!
One common misunderstanding of emerging markets is that people do not have money to spend. In actuality, although wages are lower than in Western countries, Chinese WILL spend on things that are important to them, such as iPhones and real Coach purses. Some of the wealthy in Tier 1 cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou) are just starting to be less showy, but conspicuous consumption is alive and well in Tier 2 cities and beyond. For many types of products, Tier 1 is already saturated and the sweet spot is in Tier 2, 3, or even 4, depending on the industry.
The rapid path from retailing to e-tailing is encouraging consumption and reshaping the industry. A McKinsey Global Institute article.
Mina Hsiao's insight:
Great article describing the market context where Best Buy, Media Markt, and even Chinese big box retailers have either left or felt pain. Even in Shanghai, product access (just getting to a store), selection, and availability can be difficult; thus explaining the popularity of online buying in lower tier cities. Furthermore, courier delivery services are abundant, cheap, and local, rather being dominated by big players like UPS or FedEx. The Chinese government's investment in road and air infrastructure has indirectly hastened this trend - a difference with other EM like India.
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