• Alibaba's "See Now, Buy Now" Fashion Show on TMall

Alibaba's "See Now, Buy Now" Fashion Show on TMall (Photo : Getty Images)

China's e-commerce may provide some hints on how commerce would be like in the future, where mobile commerce meets social commerce and "entertainmerce," according to an article by Forbes.

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In the future, much of business activities will be done using mobile phones and new trends and future of commerce may succeed with the integration of the three sectors.

Last year, during Alibaba's Singles Day event, about 82 percent of Chinese shoppers bought items using their mobile phones.

While in the U.S., during Black Friday last year, only 36 percent of American purchases were done using mobile phones.

Unlike in China, where e-commerce is largely mobile commerce, the use of mobile phones in online shopping in the U.S. is not as popular because the mobile payment system has not been fully adopted and e-commerce is mostly PC-based.

As smartphone users are estimated to reach 2.1 billion worldwide by 2021, more people are expected to use mobile phones to shop, according to Statista.

In terms of mobile commerce, China is moving ahead with its more advanced and sophisticated services which include payment system, money transfers, loyalty cards, content purchasing, ticketing, vouchers, and coupons.

Integrated with mobile commerce, social media in China is used not only to reach out to people but also for commerce. Many Chinese companies take advantage of WeChat's built-in payment system to sell directly to more than 800 million users of the social media site.

More than a social media platform, WeChat has evolved to become a conduit for commerce, customer engagement, customer relationship management (CRM), online-to-offline (O2O), among others. Using WeChat, companies were able to "socialize" with their customers and interact with them, as well as close sales deals or conduct other business.

Compared to the West, consumers use social media and e-commerce separately. To connect with friends and family, people use Facebook; for e-commerce shopping, they use Amazon.

But Facebook is catching up with the trend, as last year, it announced that it will have new tools to enable people to make online purchases using Facebook and Messenger, a step closer to making them social commerce platforms.

However, these initiatives are mainly aimed at its South East Asia and Latin America markets. In the U.S., social media and e-commerce platforms are used by people in separate ways.

The merging of e-commerce and entertainment also pave the way for the birth of a new e-commerce form called "entertainmerce."

Last year, Alibaba live-streamed an 8-hour fashion show on TMall during its Singles Day event, where consumers can buy designer clothes displayed by models on the runway.

The practice has now become mainstream and there are now more than 300 live-stream platforms with 300 million users in the country. Many of these live-streaming shows are hosted by Internet celebrities and key opinion leaders (KOLs).

In the West, they also do live-streaming, but it is not linked to commerce and consumers cannot make purchases the same way as in China.