Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and China Mobile Group Fujian (Fujian Mobile) have teamed up to provide an eCommerce platform that is intended to "promise an important link between rural consumers and urban businesses which allows easy and affordable access to a wide range of consumer products to villagers in Fujian province, while opening up a vast market to urban retailers and product distributors."
The eCommerce solution is an integrated end-to-end service, which contains an online Catalogue Sales Platform (CSP) on which urban businesses can upload their products for marketing to rural customers. The service is delivered to villagers through local entrepreneurs, who provide shared Internet access to the online shopping platform tailored to the rural environment.
The online shopping model challenges traditional ways of conducting business and purchasing goods in remote locations - villagers gain access to a wider selection of reliable consumer products and urban suppliers are provided with a new sales channel reaching the mass market in villages.
Small and medium-sized retailers and distributors, in particular, can improve their business efficiency and offer a wider product range. In addition, the service gives the operator the opportunity to explore a potentially powerful new business model of Business-to-Business-to- Consumer (B2B2C) services that helps improve local presence in rural areas.
The business model has been successfully piloted over five months at two counties in South-East China's Fujian province; NSN has collaborated closely with Fujian Mobile and provided extensive consulting services in identifying this new opportunity.
"Nokia Siemens Networks believes that only commercially viable technology solutions, which include relevant applications, can drive sustainable growth in emerging economies. The eCommerce solution enables a win-situation for all players in the value chain - rural consumers can easily access a wider range of reliable and quality consumer products at better price, local shop owners can overcome the traditional entry barriers to expand their own business scope, and retail suppliers can expand their rural market channel at minimum costs", said Josef Lorenz, Head of Innovations, NSN.
"It is our aim to take the learnings and the business design from this partner project to other rural markets, and we continue to explore opportunities for insightful innovations that have a solid business proposition, not as a one-off exercise, but as part of a sustainable ecosystem," he added.