In 2016, China's Internet users added up to 731 million, with 685 million mobile Internet users below the age of 25. Purchasing online via mobile devices remains the norm in China: a whopping 61.7% of the total online shopping market relies solely on mobile commerce. For the upcoming Singles' Day on 11/11, more than 90% of Chinese consumers are expected to shop on their mobile device. In the run-up to this major yearly shopping event, the Ecommerce Foundation and Dr2 Consultants publish the 2017 China Ecommerce Report, providing valuable insights into the Chinese ecommerce market.
Mobile payments are key
The preference for mobile has a significant effect on the online payments landscape in China: "Mobile payments are definitely the latest payment development globally. In all regions, ecommerce is developing rapidly, and the demand of more secure and more convenient ways of payment via mobile devices is surely the most desired trend at hand.’’ says Mr. Kino Kwok, General Manager, PayEase (Beijing) Technology Ltd.
Social commerce is booming
Chinese consumers use their mobile devices for a multitude of tasks, and social media is high on the list. In relation to ecommerce specifically, almost 50% of Chinese consumers have used social media not just for product research, but also for shopping & transactions.
Cross-border shopping increased
The amount of online purchasing of cross-border imports increased in 2016, reaching ¥1.50 trillion in 2017, and cross-border trade volume rose to 7.8 billion consumers. Guandong had the most cross-border online shoppers, followed by Shanghai and Beijing. Within 11 years, China’s global retail e-commerce share has risen from 1% in 2005 to 42% in 2016, while the U.S. experienced a decline from 35% to 24%. Additionally, the U.S. is the most popular cross-border shopping destination, followed by Japan and South Korea.
During popular foreign shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Chinese consumers often shop overseas for two main reasons: quality and brand assurance. In fact, average spending on Black Friday by Chinese consumers was $109 in 2016, and 90% shopped on their mobile device during Singles’ Day.
Cosmetics most popular products
The most purchased products among Chinese online shoppers are Cosmetics and Personal care, which is also the most popular product category among the aforementioned top cross-border countries. Consumers shop online because the convenience to shop anywhere is essential, adding to the list of reasons consumers shop via mobile devices. It is unsurprising, then, that eleven times more mobile payments occur in China than in the United States.