E-Business in China–A world apart
People talk a lot about China but very few of them will mention E-business in China. Nevertheless, China is seen as a superpower in electronic trade and in the last 10 years, e-business started its takeoff.
With 568 millions users who have access to the Internet, there are 242 millions buy online. Thus, the huge base of customers market for everybody who wants to develop their business in China.
To give you an idea, there are respectively in the US and in France, 176 millions and 45 millions of people who buy online.
Before China entered e-business,the size of global e-business market represented 75O millions dollars and after it was 760 billions dollars.
What makes China a country apart is that none of the multinational firms like Facebook, nor Google are in China.
Only their equivalents “made in China” are leading the market.
Quick outlook of Chinese e-shoppers
Chinese Internet users and mobile users are very different in their culture, habits and desires. Nearly a quarter of the products purchased online in China are products that consumers can not find in stores of brick and mortar, which is purely country-specific because of the vastness of the country and resellers coverage limits.
Young consumers in particular have, in fact, a first contact with a brand via the Internet, which explains the propensity to purchase online.
Social networks are of paramount importance in the decision to buy a lot in Europe, mainly because of the youth has already been mentioned above e-consumers. Another peculiarity of buyers is the total average basket certainly lower than the United States in terms of number, but also in comparison with average wages and local purchasing power.
Almost 23% of Internet users are still surfing with Internet Explorer 6, which is 10 years old, and thus demands an adaptation of shopping platforms to meet the specificity of this browser ….
For the rest, it is the vast majority of browsers made in China: 360 Security Explorer, Sogou Explorer and Maxthon are in the top 5 web browsers.
Concerning mobile “browsers” , we always find the local giants: QQ Browser (40% market share), UCWeb Browser (33%), Oupeng (8%) Baidu (6%), 360 (4%) and Haitung ( 2.6%). In addition, UCWeb installed by default on more than half of China’s smartphone plans to expand its leadership in the BRICS and announced in May the launch of its mobile browser “Rmb3bn” in India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Market Places dominate the world of e-commerce led by Taobao (C2C platform) and Tmall (B2C Taobao part) and Jingdong (formerly 360buy.com). The top 10 marketplaces have concentrated more than 65% of online sales in China. To integrate these marketplaces or to build an independent site, what is the best solution?
It all depends on your strategy.
The challenge is to provide the largest possible number of city with a high quality service. The logistics industry is still in its infancy: Chinese enterprises mainly cover the most populated cities.
Shipping in China
Again local actors are the masters, the three main actors are: Shunfeng (SF EXPRESS), EMS and STO Shentong Express.
We find some companies well-known like FedEx and TNT Western players, but whose networks are more limited compared to national actors and mainly focus on non-urban areas.
Paypal does not exist there, as Renminbi is not allowed outside the country. Again some giants are there for you! There are currently no e-commerce platform without Alipay (47% share) and Tencent (21%). Alipay has 700 million users and a recent study by Intel shows that in a minute, 73,000 payments are made via Alipay. In addition, a major advantage of Alipay over Paypal is that it is natively compatible mobile which facilitates deployment of red m-commerce.
Mobile : an incredible takeoff
More than a billion Chinese own a phone, more than 85% of the population and in 2012 there were more than 999.7 million Internet connections via smartphones and tablet sales grew by 62% . China becomes the first m-commerce in the world knowing that already 40% of e-consumers are m-consumers. In total, 7.6% of e-commerce transactions are conducted via a mobile or nearly $ 76 billion, far exceeding. Among these purchases, the biggest concern Taobao with 75% in the first quarter of 2013.
Chinese consumers have little confidence in advertising and the media, the recommendations of the “key opinion leaders” or their friends in their social networks have become an inexhaustible source of information.
The Chinese are more “social” than Westerners, it is just an extension of what is called here the “guanxi” (network of relationships a person rich in culture). 85% of urban using the Internet regularly are listed on at least one social network. They are particularly active: 91% of respondents visited a social network in six months and they spend an average of 46 minutes a day on these sites. In addition, over 40% of online shoppers in China post reviews of products online.
One more time, every Western social network has its Chinese equivalent.
The leading one is the miccroblogging, Sina Weibo (the equivalent of Twitter), followed by QQ (instant messaging), Renren (Facebook =) Weixin (English name Wechat) now sixth global social network with 50 million users in China. .. Another example is Kaixin Huaban (= Pinterest), Youku (=Youtube) and many more!
China Social media marketing: click here
10 key factors of success for E-Commerce in China: click here