A few months ago, I was living in a country with fast, reliable public transport. I could spend the day without cards or cash and nothing more than my phone in my pocket. I’d order products online during lunch and they’d be delivered before I was back at my desk.
Then I moved from Shanghai to New York.
When I reflect on my five years as an ad strategist in China, I remember ubiquitous mobile payments, entertaining e-commerce websites, dynamic sharing economies and an insanely rich content ecosystem. I’m an Amazon admirer, but watching Prime Day, I was surprised how Alibaba’s Tmall beats Amazon.com on virtually every level, whether it’s brand page experience, delivery options, prices, range of products or payment systems. As an advertising ecosystem, Alibaba has more complete data sets, more diverse content options, much more ambitious consumer experiences and greater unity to connect it all.