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E-commerce Report: China

China’s growth on many areas is getting the attention of every market and e-commerce market is no exception. In two years China’s e-commerce sales is projected to reach $1.6 trillion. Online sales are 11% of the retail sales but it is growing at a rate of 53% each year. This amazing growth makes us wonder what is going on at China. Let’s find out!

China is not only the home of an ancient civilization which built the Forbidden City or the Great Wall but it is also the center of the worldwide e-commerce. Every e-commerce giant is looking for a way to expand their business through this magnificent country. Amazon is one of the well known e-commerce giants which are in the market. But it is better to start with the numbers and main points.

  • The number of online shoppers has reached 413 million.
  • In 10 years 50% of shopping is expected to take place online.
  • According to Nielsen, 38% of shoppers in Tier 1 and 27% of shoppers in Tier 2 cities are currently making cross border purchases online.
  • Over 40% of the total global e-commerce spending was in China.
  • The highest spending in one day was $14.3 billion on “Singles Day” which an online shopping holiday.

Incomes have increased in China and this affected the shopping habits to change as well. Today the Chinese shoppers are not just looking for cheaper products. They are looking for good quality 1st. Their purchasing has been going towards cross border commerce. The 40% of the online shoppers are considered as “rational” shoppers. These people see the online retail market as a chance to get their hands on high quality products for a not necessarily cheap but reasonable price. The product descriptions are very important to them. They are researching the products very much and user reviews are an important aspect for them to decide. Overseas imports can be purchased through online channels however they are usually the double of the original prices at USA or Europe. So they definitely want to make sure they are buying the good stuff.

Some of China’s major e-commerce websites are: Alibaba.com and its website Tmall.com. Amazon.cn is also another giant which is making an entrance to this market. Amazon is placing product descriptions in Chinese to widen its reach to the potential customers of China. Tmall.com is an e-commerce website which hosts cross border e-commerce through Tmall Global.

The cross-border e-commerce is growing day by day and one of the reasons is as we mentioned before people with higher income are looking to buy foreign clothing and better quality products. But another reason of the growth of cross border e-commerce is that, it enables shoppers to buy products which are not available in China. The niche products which the brick-and-mortar or the online shopping websites don’t sell are very liked over there.

Mobile usage is very high in China and even people who shop from Omni channel platforms have no trouble switching from offline shopping to online shopping. Unlike the regular online shoppers who search for products on mobile and purchases on PC, the Chinese shoppers are doing most of their transactions on their mobile devices. Alipay and Wechat Wallet are some of the widely used payment systems that seem to be present in the market. Mobile implementations are a must and the benefits that can come out of that are satisfied customers, increased sales and an Omni channel presence.

The expanding trade is of course in need of a good logistic operation. Giants like Alibaba have a good system running but overseas merchants are in need of a good distribution channel to handle their deliveries. Express deliveries in China are responsible for the boom in the sector as well. The express delivery industry has grown 54.6% in 2015. Alibaba has created “Taobao Village” and “Spring Festival Shopping Fair” to enter the rural areas and village delivery service coverage has reached to 70% and 94% of rural regions are directly reached as well.

Here are a few e-commerce websites which are doing well in the market for you to take a peek at:

E-commerce trends in China are mainly based on O2O (offline-to-online commerce), video streaming, women categories and health. O2O services enables your business to spread to new areas, new categories and create a more specialized and personal service for your customers. Video streaming is important because the Chinese users are very into watching videos online. Live-streamed videos are satisfying their need for online interaction and, give them a chance to speak their mind online. The third trend is women categories. Women in China are more educated, financially independent and participate more in the workforce than ever. It is important to specialize for female preferences and tap into this evolving market. Our last trend for e-commerce in China is health orientation. With the increasing air pollution and health threats rising from food Chinese consumers are going towards healthy living. Almost two out of five people have a gym membership and one in ten consumers use wearable devices to track their sleeping quality, blood pressure and heart rate. Help them get healthy and gain a place in their heart.

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China is indeed full of potential when it comes to e-commerce. It offers a big market to dive in and a huge population of online customers who love spending time online. China’s e-commerce market looks like a million dollars but really we are talking about millions of millions 🙂


Chinese e-commerce is growing more and more each day thanks to its busy market, logistic improvements and integrated consumers.

Having a worldwide success requires a good business environment, quality and good prices which China seems to have.

Tracking competitive prices online can help your business fit into any market in the e-commerce and be successful. Prisync can help you out with monitoring competitive prices in all over the world, even China!

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