The smart phone is a major factor in the changes that are happening in China's retail industry. And its not just in urban areas, it is also bring change to villages.
Automation is changing retail business in China.
And even rural villages have access to a much wider range of products through local village sales centres:
This 'networking' seems to work internationally also. In my suburb (Ashfield, an inner city suburb of Sydney) some twenty small street ront shops, known in Chinese as 'daigou' act as 'buyers' for Chinese based consumers.
The Chinese consumer checks out the products on web-based "stores," makes their choice of goods and places an order via their smart phone on their choice of the local (Ashfield) daigou. The goods are purchased from local or other supermarkets and packed for delivery to the Chinese customer. Payment is by one of the Chinese smart phone based payment systems. Products can be delivered to the Chinese customer in as little as 72 hours.
This Sydney Morning Herald report on the daigou phenomenon tells more: