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China's online shoppers to spend over $1 trillion in 2018
May '18
China’s over 500 million online shoppers are set to spend over US$ one trillion in 2018. Of this, cross-border eCommerce (Haitao) purchases, from a retailer located outside China, are set to reach US$125 billion, according to a new report, released by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, in partnership with China retail strategy expert Azoya Consulting.

The study, the Cross-border eCommerce (Haitao) Opportunity in China, is based on research amongst over 1,000 online shoppers in China and interviews with over 100 international retailers and brand owners.

"The research revealed the strong interest and expenditure amongst Chinese consumers in buying online from overseas retailers, with the average online shopper in China spending almost US$850 per year on purchases from overseas retailers," said Mark Dougan, consulting director, Asia-Pacific, Frost & Sullivan. "Our research indicated that Chinese consumers are significantly motivated by the perceived higher quality and lower risk of buying fake goods that overseas retailers offer."

The research also revealed that cross-border online shopping is growing strongly, with 63 per cent of Chinese shoppers planning to increase their spending in 2018 compared to 2017. Fashion is the top category bought from overseas retailers, bought by 22 per cent of online shoppers in the past month - beauty and cosmetics (20 per cent) and mom and baby (15 per cent)

Japan is the overseas origin country that Chinese online shoppers have most confidence in – 72 per cent having confidence in Japanese vendors, followed by South Korea, 60 per cent, the US, 55 per cent, Australia, 37 per cent, France and Germany, both 26 per cent and the UK, 23 per cent.

Women are higher cross-border online shoppers than men, spending US$976 on average per year, which is 20 per cent more than men. Men seek fast delivery, whilst women seek Chinese language customer support, and relevant content on the supplier's website.

Whilst Chinese consumers are significantly increasing their cross-border online shopping, international retailers often report challenges in successfully exploiting the market opportunity in China. Over recent years, China has opened up its domestic eCommerce market to international vendors through initiatives such as free trade zones, and over 80 per cent of global retailers now see China as an attractive market opportunity. However, only 30 per cent of online retailers are satisfied with their current level of sales in China.

The research confirmed the attractiveness of the Chinese market to global retailers, but also identified that many retailers are struggling to convert that promise into reality. As the Chinese cross-border eCommerce market grows, global retailers need to carefully consider the most appropriate market entry strategy. Successful implementation will then rely on offering the right products through the right channels and with appropriate brand communications to the half-a-billion online shoppers in China. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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