China e-commerce key facts and trends

Hi there,

When we talk about digital landscape or marketing in China, we have to talk about e-commerce since it is so pervasive. While, I am trying my best to find reliable source of information to highlight key facts and upcoming trends, I can’t read Chinese and not an expert on this subject so feel free to drop your comments/corrections below.

1. China is going to overtake the US in total retail sales in 2019

total retail sales in china and the us 2017 - 2022

Overall, China economy is expected to continue to grow much faster than the US and China GDP may overtake the US in 2030.

china economy vs the us in 2030
china per capita gdp as percentage of the us in PPP

2. Retail e-commerce in china is more than the rest of the world combined

Retail Ecommerce Sales in china us uk japan worldwide 2018

and it has no sign of slowing down. China retail e-commerce growth rate is expected to be 10% more than worldwide rate and double that of the US in 2018

Retail Ecommerce Sales Growth china us and world wide

With more than 600 millions digital buyers, China obviously has more digital buyers than any country in the world by a wide margin

digital buyer penetration in china 2017 - 2022

3. The majority of China retail e-commerce happens on mobile devices

Retail Ecommerce Sales Growth china us and world wide

4. Retail Mobile commerce in China is hugely encouraged by ubiquitous proximity mobile payment in the market (60% user base of the whole world)

Proximity Mobile Payment Users in china us japan south korea india worldwide 2019

5. Together, Alibaba (Tmall, Taobao, AliExpress) and JD have about 75% of the total retail e-commerce sales in China in 2018

top 10 retailer in china ranked by retail e-commerce sales volume 2018

6. Omnichannel retail is expected by the majority of consumers in China

omnichannel in china consumer like online and offline retail

7. Chinese consumers are happy to embrace new retail technologies

attitudes of china digital buyers towards new retail technologies 2018

8. Single day e-commerce sales in China is more than Black Friday, Cyber Monday e-commerce sales in the US combined

E-Commerce Sales for key shopping seasons in the US and China 2018 (in Billions dollar)

9. Retailers in China embrace new technologies powered by data and artificial intelligence

When we talk about Freshippo (formerly Hema) – Alibaba super store concept which opened in late 2015, now has more than 100 stores in tier 1, 2 cities. Hema Fresh adopt mobile app, robot, biometrics payment amongst many other things to raise the bar of retail in China. Take a look at this video “inside Hema” from CNBC. You can also take a look into Alibaba Q4 2018 quarterly earning report.

Chinese consumers are familiar with mobile coupons, AR and other new retail technologies

emerging retail technologies used by chinese consumer feb 2019

This post is part of a series about China that I have been writing in 2019. You can find more of them below:

China luxury product marketing: key facts and trends

China OTT subscription landscape: 8 key facts and trend

China influencer marketing – 8 key facts you need to know

China mobile games : 8 key facts and trends

8 Key facts about china advertising landscape

9 key facts about China digital landscape

That’s it from me.


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