The Future of E-commerce in China
A recent study on Global Retail E-Business Index by AT Kearney in 2013 has revealed that e-business websites are not just a marketing department of any reputed brand, rather, these websites play a significant role to increase sales and brand exposure. Among the thirty developing countries indexed, China has the first position in terms of online sales initiatives with 84.0 %, following by Japan with 83.3% and the United States came in third with 82.8 %. According to the report, online initiatives adopted in this countries has encouraged the process of retail maturity, thus making the physical market even more organized.
Scenario of online Retailing in China
Although the rate of internet penetration is comparatively lower (38%) than any other countries , the e-business initiatives adopted in the country is quite amazing. In fact, online retailing in China has reached a new height with the adoption of several streamlined methods, such as third-party services, credit cards, online payment transfer and cash on delivery. No wonder, the process makes the scenario changed totally and a large volume of people are resorting to internet for shopping.
Social media and retailing
Following the footsteps of the West, China has also resorted to social media for attracting online consumers. The best part is that the incentives like loyalty points and coupons to encourage consumers. The ability to post product reviews in the social media increases interactivity, which in turn helps retailers to grow their sales . Studies reveal that today about 80% of consumers are using social media to know more about a product before purchasing.
Platforms like WeChat and Sina Weibo have more than 300 million users, while Meilishuo, a popular social shopping website grabs about 30 million users per month. Experts say that within next 5 years, China is expected to reach $271 billion from online shopping.
However, due to the limited internet user to come the profits from retailing are hard to find. But with the introduction of online market place models, such as Taobao and Tmall, e-business in China is making significant progress with partners like : Uniqlo, Gap, Esprit, and Levi’s.
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