China’s e-commerce market is worth 1.3 trillion RMB and is being driven by mobile

on Wednesday April 17, 2013 @ 9:40

China’s e-commerce market racked up 1.3 trillion RMB ($190 billion USD) worth of transactions in 2012, according to a report by the China Internet Network Information Centre (CINIC) a massive increase of 66.5% over 2011's total.


Last year, 242 million Internet users purchased goods online, and e-commerce transactions accounted for 6.1% of total retail sales of consumer goods.

Back in November we reported that the CINIC had revealed that mobile web usage in China has now overtaken PC web usage, so it’s not surprising that this growth in e-commerce was driven in large part by mobile users.

Mobile users are becoming powerful consumers who are willing to spend on their mobiles. However retailers and advertisers must understand these mobile consumers if they are to succeed in this competitive Chinese marketplace.

During the last half of 2012:

  • 40.7% of online shoppers used a mobile device to browse e-commerce merchandise.

  • More than half 53.6% browsed a merchandiser’s mobile app instead of accessing its main web site through their device’s Internet browser. 
  • 53.3% of the respondents who used their mobile devices to shop said they did so while at home, and many stated that their smartphones had begun to replace their home PCs.
  • 26.2% said they browsed items on their smartphones while at work or school, and 10.6% said they spent their commutes or time waiting in queues to shop.
  • Social media platforms also drove e-commerce sales. 41.8% of shoppers said they had first seen information or promotions for a product on a social media site before deciding to purchase it.
  • Each shopper spent an average of 5,203 RMB (or about $843 USD), an increase of 25% from the year before.
  • The most frequently purchased items were clothing and shoes, which 81.8% of online shoppers bought during the last six months of 2012.
  • General merchandise accounted for 31.6% of sales, while consumer electronics made up 29.6% of the total.

What is even more impressive is that there is still room for China’s economy to grow.  The Chinese e-commerce market is currently dominated by Alibaba, which last year handled 1.1 trillion yuan ($170 billion USD) in sales through two of its portals, Taobao and Tmall, and is on its way to becoming the first online retail company in the world to handle $1 trillion a year in transactions.

Taobao is a C2C marketplace with more than 800 million product listings and 500 million registered users, according to Alibaba. B2C platform Tmall counts major international brands like Microsoft, Nike and Unilever among its 50,000 merchants.

For the full article visit TechCrunch 

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