China Digital Byte series

Retail in China’s digital age

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China Digital Byte series A new era in buying Retail in China's digital age Opportunities are ripe and plentiful China's retail economy is booming and is set to reach RMB 32 trillion (US$5 trillion) by the end of 2015. China has the most rapidly growing consumer market in the world with millions of people entering the middle class every year and has the most mobile-centric population in the world (75% of internet access is over mobile in China). At the end of June 2013, the Chinese online population swelled to 591 million and is expected to reach 800 million by 2015. All of these trends strongly indicate to retailers that their future success will be defined by their approach to e-commerce and digital in an omni-channel China market. projected to reach China's e-commerce industry is burgeoning thanks to third party digital marketplaces that have made it very easy for the Chinese online shopper to buy (e.g. Taobao, TMall, Jingdong). PwC's recent multi-channel retail report highlights that 80% of consumers surveyed shopped online at least once a week, tending to buy products directly from brands or manufacturers through these online platforms. Chinese online giant Alibaba Group leads the e-Commerce market with a market share of 88% for C2C and 48% of B2C, with its Taobao and TMall sites exceeding RMB 1 trillion (US$160 billion) in sales, making them the largest e-commerce marketplace operator in the world. The success of Taobao and TMall is partly attributed to its online payment platform – Alipay – which gives its customers a seamless, convenient, purchasing experience without the need to enter their credit card information. Another attribute to their success is AliWangWang - an instant messaging service that enables direct communication between online shoppers and sellers which creates a reliable platform for both parties to establish a trustworthy transaction. Retailers, on the other hand, find themselves out in the cold with only 10% of total transactions taking place between themselves and shoppers, through either online pure-pay portals or brick-and-mortar businesses on their own portals.

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