On the eve of Black Friday, Bianca, a Spanish housewife, received a Christmas tree she had ordered from AliExpress, China’s cross-border e-commerce platform. The man-made Christmas tree, which is nearly 2 meters high, flew more than 10000 kilometers by plane from the factory in Dongguan, China. It took only nine days to get to Bianca’s home.
Bianca was born in Romania. Ten years ago, her mother gave her a Christmas tree as a gift. Ten years on, the tree that accompanied her to Spain is very old and she hopes to buy a new one this year. But the COVID-19 has disrupted her plans: supermarkets are closed, Christmas markets are cancelled, and Christmas trees in offline stores are either dull or expensive.
Bianca turned to AliExpress. She saw a Christmas tree worth more than 300 dollars at a glance, but was embarrassed by the price. “My husband is the only one who supports our family, earning 1100 euros per month. We have to pay off the loan and raise our daughter. We haven’t even spent our honeymoon since we were married for eight years.” Bianca summoned the courage to communicate with the Chinese business. To her surprise, after listening to her story, the business director Wang Quan not only gave her a 50% discount, but also delivered to her by air parcel with free shipping.
The sweeping COVID-19 epidemic makes 2020 particularly special. Many retailers in the United States, including Walmart, Target and Best Buy, announced that they would not open stores on Thanksgiving; Sweden will introduce traffic restrictions during Christmas; most cities in Germany have cancelled Christmas markets.
Overseas, the coronavirus pandemic took a serious blow to the industry, from the manufacturing industry to the retail industry. People have changed their consumption habits, “online shopping” becoming a trend. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the online retailer has become a bigger player in the traditional shopping season such as Black Friday. China’s cross-border e-commerce platforms, represented by AliExpress, have also become the choice of overseas consumers in the year-end shopping season.
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