No one will question about Alibaba Group is the number one Ecommerce giant which owns two big shopping website of the world Taobao(C2C) and Tmall( B2C). This E-commerce empire has reached a record $9.3 billion during one day in Chinese online shopping festival which is named as ‘singles day’ festival. According Forbes, Alibaba captures 80% of Chinese E-commerce.


When we look back the trend that Chinese spending on E- commerce, the number of customers spending on the online shops has dramatically increase over past 5 years and it has overtakes U.S. and become the No.1 country that customer purchasing goods online

  • Customer trust information social media and WOM beyond other channels

The question is that where customers find information about the product and decide to buy the product?

According to KPMG, social media and world of mouth (WOM) are the majority channels that Chinese customer finding the product information, which accounts 39% and 38% respectively. These two channels hold 77% of product information searching platform. The third information searching platform is Taobao own sites search engine which is 36%.


What is the information behind those statistics? It means Chinese customer trust social media that information sharing by everyone and true product information that provided by reliable resource and channels rather than search engine advertisement!

Although Taobao holds 36% of traffic about searching product information at moment, in the long term concerned, however, it might lose its customers in terms of the information providing from the site is all about advertisement.

  • Social –E-commerce is becoming popular trend in China

Despite Alibaba being an E-commerce giant in China, Many small businesses also find a way to attract customer to visit their site. It gains benefit from the power of social media. Social-E-commerce means that E-commerce involves using social media, online media that supports social interaction and user contributions to assist online buying and selling of products and services (Wikipedia)

Social media is currently shaping E-commerce in China. There are more and more online businesses cleverly use social media to link its E-commerce and why? Here are 3 reasons.


  1. Special interest. Normally, a social media platform builds around specific interests for a group of people. People will share everything about their experience of purchasing that specific product, or suggestions of buying that product. This will be easy for a business to capture their target customers easily and build a loyalty community of the brand on the social media platform.
  2. Word of mouth. Right now, about 66% of Chinese customers trusted on recommendations and opinions from social media. They believe in people’s using experience of a product rather than advertisement. And Key opinion leader’s advice makes a difference toward the product. Their opinion can make your brand success or destroy your reputation.
  3. Chinese customers like to discover brand online from many resource. Advertising is no longer to persuade customers to buy a product, instead, customers more like to find information from some trusted forums, or social media platform before they decide to buy a product. And this decision is ongoing purchasing decision, they will keep to buy your brand as long as they believe you are a trustful brand or Ecommerce site

We can see there few social- commerce sites that have been doing well in China within a short period of time.

Meilishuo is a social –commerce site which provide fashion garments and accessories for young women. It allow customer to express their fashion idea and fashion apparel purchasing experience on the site. They don’t have just only product information but also the value of shopping experience from loyalty customer. It makes products on its Ecommerce site more trustful and what they manage on the Sina Weibo has really increase the brand popularity and good reputation.


  • Chinese future online business is about shopping experience ,not massive product displaying

What’s the most searched and buying product product online in China right now? They are cosmetics, shoes and apparel products and with increasing number of people interested in buying organic and fresh food online

Fistly , the Top 3 buying products is mainly perchased by female customer. they will share all the information about the product through their shopping experience on different social media plaforms. How could not think carefully thoese powerful Chinese female customer before you lauch a E- commerce site in China ?

Seconly, massive product displaying without insight of the brand will be iliminated in the future. Take a exampe, will you believe a iterm of best selling pants displaying on the Ads which sells 5000 pieces in one shop ? the answer is absolutely not . Normaly those products are poor quality from many ofcustomers shopping experience and why ? You should have known that the marginal cost equation. If a seller wants to show the huge number of clothes sold online,with a little busniess investment online, the seller has to take the production cost form the clothes. This is usually how best selling appears on big Ecommerce. Same reason as fresh and organic product , will you believe 5 millon cans of organic honey sold in short time in just one E-shop ?ec

In general, Chinese social- E-commerce is on the trend. For the online business that knows how to manage their target groups on the social media and really cares about the brand value from the customer will have sustainably online business in China. E-commerce or social E-commerce, only time will tell.

To get more insight of Chinese E-commerce, Market to China has specialized marketing experts to answer your question and help you to develop your online business.


Further reading:

London is the number one  market  for Chinese students

Wechat: Micro innovation, Mag success