With around 632 million internet users, China is the fastest growing and largest e-commerce market in the world with an estimated e-commerce sales of 3.2% of the country’s overall GDP. This can bring Australian businesses opportunity in reaching potentially a huge number of Chinese customers.
“The number of online shoppers in China is expected to reach 350 million in 2015, and e-commerce sales are predicting to reach $840 billion by 2020. ” With trends for online shopping and mobile payments, e-commerce is a huge market in China. Some top leading e-commerce platforms in China are Tmall, JD and Yihaodian.
China’s leading online market places:
Tmall and Tmall Global
Tmall is owned by one of China’s leading e-commerce groups – Alibaba, Tmall is China’s largest online market places with Tmall global providing access for foreign businesses/individuals to sell to online Chinese consumers.
JD and JD Worldwide
JD is China’s largest online direct sales company, having launched JD Worldwide in Australia in 2015, Australian consumers are now able to sell directly to customers in China. This platform enables the merchant to have individual online shopfronts with a licence to import products to Australia.
China’s biggest online retailer for beverage and food, YHD is licensed to import from overseas markets, and in addition to YHD selling products as an entity, merchants can also set up online shop fronts with products such as apparel and shoes.
How’s E-commerce in China different from Australia
The Chinese use different search engines and payment methods, therefore Australian businesses need to adapt and tailor their offering in China. Some characteristics of Chinese e-commerce market are that Chinese shoppers begin their research for buying a product generally starts online, and a quarter of Chinese online customers’ demand is for products that customers can’t find in physical stores. For product review social networking sites are the main form for accessing products. When online shoppers are browsing through products online, shoppers are more concerned with finding unique products that are not available offline than price, as well as wanting for better service and convenience.
“Alibaba.com is the largest e-commerce company in China. It dominates the B2B market and its Tmall and Taobao website also enjoy the biggest market share of the B2C and C2C markets.”
Tmall global allows foreign businesses without a presence in China and a Chinese business licence to create an online store and sell online in China and furthermore, Australia post also signed an agreement with Tmall global and this is aimed at supporting SMEs selling in China.
Online sales Payments
Chinese consumers rarely use credit or debit cards, usually transactions are done over third party payments and is the most popular options. This is due to the concern that Chinese customers fear credit card fraud and being sent bogus goods. Third party payments are made through independent companies such as Alipay and wechat pay.