As Wanda, Baidu and Tencent announced to cooperate and build the O2O e-commerce, the word ‘O2O’ become popular in a new round. Definitely, it means to link the online and offline service to provide better consumer experience, but how to use it, and what’s the benefit from it?

It is written by Hanna Chen, Analyst Consultant in L'Atelier Asia Shanghai Office


O2O can link the marketing, trading and consumer experience mainly by 4 ways:

Online to Offline: doing the payment online and get the service offline (eg: group buying)

Offline to Online: marketing offline and purchase online (eg: Yihaodian once put the QR code on the wall of rail way stations, people scan them and buy the products online)

Offline to Online to Offline (eg. Mobile operators open doing the promotion ‘Pre-pay amount of money and get some gifts’, offline promotion – online payment – offline gifts redeem)

Online to Offline to Online (eg. EFK furniture company opens a online mall which will recommend consumers with nearby E-store, consumers could experience the products and scan the QR code to do the payment).

O2O, however, is far beyond promotion. For customers, it’s easier to find the nearby service when is in need, it’s also more interesting to experience the purchase process on different channels. For merchants, O2O could help them provides precisely to meet the consumer needs and avoid the waste. More important, O2O could record the costumer & purchase information and turn to the data. Since using credit card to purchasing is still not that popular in China, O2O provides another way to gain the consumers’ information. Using these data, merchants and malls could push the personalized recommendations to customers at the right time in the right place.   Even thouth, O2O is still a tool waiting for more develop and give more surprise to customers and help to merchants.