China is a central player in online retail, not only as the home of major providers and e-commerce platforms but thanks to its size, the country is a vast target market for global players in international e-commerce online retail. The latest studies1 show that Chinese shoppers order products from all over the world. The young generation is the main driving force behind this trend.
- Online shopping for goods from outside China grew 33.4% in 2021 and is expected to grow by 27.9% in 2022 and a further 24% in 2023.
- Over 1.38 million Chinese shoppers buy products from other countries online.
- More than 50% of online shoppers ordering from foreign countries were born in 1990-2000.
Well-known international brands are shopper’s preferred choice. For example, L’Oréal generates around 60% of its total revenues from the APAC region in China. Recently, retail sectors have also become increasingly diverse. The main focus was initially on beauty products and baby items, but now clothing, household items, electronics, sports goods and even food products are being ordered increasingly and delivered to China.
In order to be able to reach out to Chinese shoppers on a large scale, in addition to language barriers, particular attention needs to be paid to the habits and needs of Chinese customers. This includes the ubiquitous social super-app Weixin, an ecosystem used by more than 1 billion Chinese people for practically everything, from chatting, journaling to researching their leisure activities, and, of course, for shopping and payments. Under the name WeChat, Weixin is also popular with Chinese people living abroad.
1 China's New B2B Cross-Border E-Commerce Export Industry Research Report_Views_Insights_iResearch