本文原文发表在《经济学人》2017年10月26号特别报道上,原文地址是:https://www.economist.com/special-report/2017/10/26/e-commerce-takes-off。本文仅作翻译习作,所有版权归原文作者。如需转载,请联系博主。

The new bazaar
新市场

E-commerce takes off
电子商务展翅腾飞

 

E-commerce is transforming business and daily life, mostly for the better, says Charlotte Howard
电子商务改变着贸易和生活,主要是改善。——夏洛特·霍华德

Oct 26th 2017
2017年10月26日

IN WAREHOUSES AROUND the globe, they wait: toys, phones, dresses, televisions, blankets, trainers, laptops and much more.
全球各地的仓库里面,堆积着玩具、电话、衣物、电视、床单、健身器材、笔记本电脑等等,不一而足。

In China, online retailers are gearing up for “Singles Day”, November 11th, the world’s busiest shopping day.
在中国,各家网店摩拳擦掌,备战双十一“光棍节”——全球最大购物节。

Last year Alibaba, much the biggest of the country’s e-commerce giants, rang up sales of $18bn on that occasion, the most ever spent in one day anywhere on Earth.
中国电商巨擘阿里巴巴仅去年双十一当天,就斩获180亿美元销售额,创下全世界单日贸易额之最。

Much of the rest of the world is preparing for the Christmas rush.
别的地方此时都在准备圣诞购物季。

Present-hunters used to wear themselves out tramping around crowded shops.
以前,消费者要买礼物,需要在商场里跋山涉水、穿越人群、精疲力尽。

Now, increasingly, they order from the comfort of their homes or offices.
而今,越来越多的人足不出户上网下单,在家、在办公室等货送上门。

Over the past decade global e-commerce has been expanding at an average rate of 20% a year as bricks-and-mortar shops have languished.
这十年,电子商务蓬勃发展,每年平均增长20%,而实体店却日渐凋零。

Yet its share of total retail trade last year, at 8.5% worldwide, was still modest.
不过电子商务的市场份额还是不大,去年只占全球贸易额的8.5%。

Even in South Korea, the country with the highest percentage of retail sales online, it amounted to only 18%, according to Euromonitor, a research firm.
哪怕在韩国,虽然线上贸易份额全球最高,但也只占18%而已(欧睿国际提供数据)。

In America, the world’s biggest consumer market, it made up about 10% of the total.
在美国,全球最大的消费市场,线上销售只占全国销售额的10%。

And in many middle-income countries its share was much lower: less than 5% in India and Brazil, for instance.
在中等收入国家,这个比例就更低了:比如在印度、巴西,线上销售额还占不到5%。

But there is every reason to think it will get much bigger.
但是这个比例绝对会暴涨。

In rich countries millennials who grew up buying goods online are moving into their prime spending years.
发达国家的“九零后”从小到大都在网上购物,即将成为消费力中坚力量。

In poorer ones, rising incomes and the spread of mobile phones will bring more shoppers online.
在发展中国家,收入越来越高,手机越来越普及,网上购物也会越来越流行。

In China, although growth in e-commerce has slowed, Goldman Sachs, a bank, still expects online spending to more than double between 2016 and 2020, to make up nearly one-third of total retail sales.
在中国,虽然电子商务的增速已经放缓,但是高盛预计,从2016年到2020年,线上销售额还是会翻一番,达到全国总零售额的三分之一。

In America, Euromonitor predicts that its share will rise from about one-tenth last year to about one-sixth in 2021.
去年,网络销售额占美国零售额的十分之一,欧睿国际预测,这一比例到2021年会达到六分之一。

In Britain the figure may rise to one-fifth.
英国的网络销售额可能会增加到五分之一。

The relentless growth in e-commerce may eventually run up against natural limits.
电子商务的迅猛增长也许快要到头了。

In America, argues Frederick Smith, the founder and chief executive of FedEx, a logistics firm, rising shipping expenses will make e-commerce less attractive.
联邦快递(FedEx)创始人兼首席执行官,弗德里克·史密斯说,美国快递费高企,网络购物越来越不划算。

And different parts of the world will progress at different speeds.
不同国家地区的进展速度也会不同。

In India, for instance, growth has faltered.
比如在印度,电子商务就基本停滞不前。

Yet there is no doubt that e-commerce has much further to go.
但是,显而易见,电子商务还有很大的发展空间。

What is less clear is how far and how fast it will rise, where it will do best, and how great its impact will be.
只是不确定发展得多快多大,哪方面发展得最好,会带来多大的影响。

America and China, the world’s two biggest economies, have produced the two titans of the industry, Amazon and Alibaba.
全球最大的两个经济体,中美两国分别孕育了这个行业的巨擘,美国有亚马逊,中国有阿里巴巴。

Both are relative youngsters.
两个公司都还相对年轻。

Amazon, started by Jeff Bezos as an online bookshop, had its initial public offering in 1997.
杰夫·贝佐斯创办亚马逊时,还只是一家网络书店,已于1997年上市。

Alibaba was founded by Jack Ma in 1999.
马云在1999年创建阿里巴巴。

Since then both have been growing at breakneck pace, bringing large-scale disruption not only to retailing but to a range of industries spanning logistics, entertainment, advertising and manufacturing in their home countries.
自成立伊始,两家公司就飞速发展,不仅极大地冲击了本国传统零售业,还扰乱了其他行业,比如物流、娱乐、广告、制造业。

Both have also been expanding their empires abroad.
而且两家公司分别在海外开疆扩土。

Amazon already has e-commerce sites in 14 markets and is planning further growth.
亚马逊已经将市场扩展到14个国家,版图还在继续扩张。

Alibaba’s foreign ventures range from South-East Asia to Brazil and Russia.
阿里巴巴的海外业务则辐射东南亚乃至巴西、俄罗斯。

The two giants do not have the field all to themselves.
但是,他们并不是在唱独角戏。

In America, Walmart remains the biggest retailer and is spending heavily on trying to fend off Amazon.
在美国,沃尔玛依然稳据零售业龙头宝座,而且斥巨资与亚马逊抗衡。

It also has a stake in JD.com, an e-commerce firm based in Beijing that had 13% of the Chinese market last year.
同时,沃尔玛还是京东的股东,而京东去年占中国市场份额的13%。

In China, Alibaba faces not just JD but also Tencent, a messaging and payment company that is now JD’s biggest shareholder.
阿里巴巴在中国的劲敌不止京东一个,还有京东最大股东,腾讯。

Smaller e-commerce firms around the world have the backing of giant investors such as SoftBank, Naspers and Tiger Global.
规模小一点的电子商务公司背后都有大投资商撑腰,比如软银、Naspers(南非传媒巨头,腾讯大股东)、老虎环球(全球最大风头资本之一)。

In this business, size matters.
在这一行,大鱼吃小鱼。

Thanks to the power of data, technological expertise and large distribution networks, the biggest e-commerce firms will only get bigger.
手握大量数据、先进技术、庞大销售网络,电子商务巨头只会强者愈强。

Data day
数据时代

Since retailing touches the economy and society in so many ways, e-commerce is already having broad effects well beyond the industry itself.
零售业与社会经济有千丝万缕的联系,因此,电子商务带来的影响早就不再局限于零售行业。

In many countries retail is the biggest single private employer.
零售业在很多国家都是最大的就业市场。

In America it accounts for one in nine jobs.
每九个美国人就有一个从事零售业。

It is also affecting the way that other kinds of firms do business.
受电子商务影响的还有其他行业。

Logistics companies are trying out new ideas to meet ever-rising expectations of fast, free delivery.
比如物流公司,为了应对市场对平价快捷要求越来越高,不断改革创新。

Small new manufacturers are able to challenge big, established ones, thanks to the ease of selling goods online.
小厂商因为在网上卖产品更容易,有机会挑战大公司。

Mountains of consumer data, the most treasured commodity of 21st-century commerce, are helping manufacturers develop products and interact with shoppers, not just online but increasingly in physical shops as well.
海量消费者数据,是21世纪商业社会最宝贵的财富,帮制造商更好地开发产品,更好地接洽顾客,不只是网上消费者,还有线下的消费者。

The implications are all the broader because Amazon and Alibaba, the industry’s two most innovative companies, do not define themselves as retailers at all.
其实影响还远不止这些,这个产业创新力最强的两大巨头,亚马逊和阿里巴巴,已经不再把自己局限为零售商。

Amazon does not just sell goods: it leases cargo planes, produces films and offers a voice assistant, Alexa.
亚马逊不止卖货:它还出租货运飞机、拍电影、提供语音助理服务Alexa。

Its cloud-computing business, Amazon Web Services (AWS), powers its own operations along with those of many other firms and is a vital source of profits, keeping its investors patient.
亚马逊的云计算业务AWS不仅保障了自己日常运作,还租赁给其他公司,提供了充足的盈利,稳定了投资者的信心。

Alibaba’s business is even broader than Amazon’s, including not just shopping, entertainment and cloud computing but payments and social media as well.
阿里巴巴的业务范围比亚马逊有过之而无不及,除了购物、娱乐和云计算之外,还包括支付、社交媒体。

Both companies’ activities generate cash and rich streams of data which can be used to improve their existing services and add more.
两家公司的业务不仅能产生现金收入,还能收集海量数据,从而根据数据改善现有服务、推出全新服务。

Alibaba describes itself as providing the pipes and cables for all kinds of business.
阿里巴巴自居所有商业领域的渠道供应商。

“To some extent we are a utility company,” says Daniel Zhang, its chief executive.
阿里巴巴首席执行官张勇说:“可以说我们是一家基础设施公司,

“We are trying to provide an infrastructure for digital commerce.”
服务电子商务。”

Consumers have already gained much from all this, with more in prospect.
消费者目前已经受益匪浅了,以后还会变成更大的赢家。

They are enjoying a broader choice of goods and more price transparency than ever before.
现在,他们选择多了,价格也更透明。

Instead of spending time travelling to shops, picking up goods and waiting in queues, they can now do other things.
不用再花时间赶路、选购、排队付款,省下来的时间可以任意分配。

Companies no longer take them for granted but compete to offer them better products, greater convenience and improved service.
各商家也不再敢糊弄消费者,而是争相献上品质更优良的产品和更加便利的人性化服务。

For bricks-and-mortar shops these are difficult times.
实体店的日子就没那么好过了。

In some parts of the world shopping malls are being blighted as their customers move online and are served from vast warehouses instead.
因为顾客都跑到网上买东西、在家坐等各大仓库送货,有些地方的购物商场门可罗雀。

Many traditional retail jobs will vanish as shops close and the remaining ones use more automation.
越来越多的商铺关门停业,导致很多传统的零售工种绝迹,幸存的商铺也更愿意用自动化设备。

Some new jobs will be created, but they may not make up for those that have gone.
虽然电子商务会带来新的就业,但是相对流失的工作,应该无济于事。

And electronic tracking of consumers in order to sell them more stuff will become ever more intrusive.
针对买家消费记录进行定向推销也会越来越强势。

This special report will examine the effect of these changes on the retail industry and those linked to it, such as logistics, marketing and manufacturing, and assess their broader impact on society.
本期特别报告将会审视这些变化对零售产业以及相关产业的影响,诸如物流、营销、制造,然后进一步分析其对整个社会的影响。

It will begin by looking at the role played by America’s and China’s twin e-commerce giants, Amazon and Alibaba.
第一篇文章,我们先看一下中美两大巨擘——亚马逊和阿里巴巴——在这一系列变革中的角色。

电子商务展翅腾飞》有4个想法

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