As a brand, if you were doing e-commerce or any digital channel promotion, you would be more likely facing the courtship from those IT solution or data analytical companies now days. And if you were like me, a layman of computer science, you probably would have a hard time to decide which company to choose from simply because a plethora of them out there.

That was how I felt during one of the events in the end. All good companies, outstanding presentations, striking case studies from web performance to mobile ad analytics, thrilling charts, new jargons I just heard of, nevertheless perhaps they are just too perfect to leave any deep impression upon me.

Somehow during the networking part of this event I encountered a quite interesting man. He said to me “Do you know I am familiar with all tonight’s companies? In particularly I know all their strength and weakness?...”Well, such opening filled with haughtiness and complacency immediately invited my attentions.

“So how? Please enlighten me!” I smiled..after checking his name card, I said “Your company is a tiny e-commerce solution provider, so more or less a competitor for company like Arvato?”

“Not quite, Arvato is focusing on operation part, though we also can do that, our core capability is offering IT development and front-end e-commerce consulting & planning for brands; sometimes we even became partner for Arvato to pitch clients…”

“Sorry, I really do not get this frenemy relation between your company and Arvato. In this pond, companies like Arvato and Baozun are big fish, and they sure can provide end to end e-commerce solution to their clients, why do they need your company’s help?” I continued my inquiry.

“Well, because of our cutting edge IT technology for e-commerce”

“But how do you make sure that your e-commerce IT is superior?” I threw my bewilderment upon him again.

“Because my company is also an incubator for those IT startups whose technology might be very crucial for brands doing e-commerce in China. One advantage of my company is we are facing clients on a daily basis, so we know their desperate needs; then I try to scout those IT startups which are now developing those software to solve these problems. Once we obtain such more advanced IT technology, naturally big companies like Arvato might want to work together with us. Now can you see this logic here?...Why Innovation Works seems to fail to work as incubator for internet company (To me IW is more like a VC now) because it has paid too much attention to B2C kind of online startups while I would like to target at B2B, those pure IT developer whose technologies truly help to serve brands and companies doing online retailing in China. Period!”

So behind self-boasting speech from this business man (honestly I quite admire his self-confidence; believe or not a healthy dose of egotism sometimes can be convincing to sell your services to your clients), I think I see through some of his visions: China e-commerce has not fully unleashed its ultimate power yet. More and more brands and traditional retailers hope to digitalize their way of communicating and selling to consumers whilst in conjunction with “Big Data” era, this sector of business should have endless opportunities.

By Cécilia Wu
English & Chinese Editorial Manager