At the end of 2020, the five-year-old Chinese shopping app Pinduoduo had 788.4 million users and more than $9 billion in annual revenue. Pinduoduo’s incredible growth may provide some insights into the future of ecommerce.
“When Pinduoduo launched in 2015, there was little room for a new commerce platform in China. Two major ecommerce platforms, JD and Alibaba sub-brands Taobao-TMall, dominated online commerce in China, much like Amazon dominates in the U.S. During that same year, JD and Taobao generated a combined $433 billion of gross merchandise value. And yet, five years later, Pinduoduo is defying expectations,” wrote Anu Hariharan and Nic Dardenne for start-up accelerator Y Combinator.
Pinduoduo now has more active users than Alibaba’s brands, although less revenue.
Change with Customers
Rather than competing directly with what Pinduoduohas described as “search-based” ecommerce sites, the company took a more social approach focused on customer behavior and the trend in China toward a consumer-to-manufacturer …