On August 6th, the Chinese largest shopping website taobao.com’s unit g.taobao.com published a report on its website, revealing the history of Chinese online shopping and preference of Chinese online shoppers through analyzing big data.
According to the Report, online shoppers in China have expanded their foothold to more than 100 countries and regions in the past decade while, in the meantime, the total number of online items has exceeded two million.
In the early years of online shopping overseas, Chinese buyers preferred shopping websites in Hong Kong and Macau. And now they have switched their attention to a wider range of areas, including Japan, South Korea, North America, Europe as well as South Africa.
To find out the shoppers favorite shopping areas, Taobao ranked these countries by the total number of transactions. The result shows that among all the regions, Japan, the United States and South Korea are the favorites, followed by Hong Kong, Germany, France, Taiwan, Australia, U.K. and Denmark.
Cross-border online shopping experienced a rapid growth in the year 2015, with new buyers taking up 28% of the overall buyers, which is much higher than the previous years.
The report also shows different preferences among new and experienced buyers. Newcomers prefer cosmetics while experienced shoppers are more of foodies. Among all the buyers, mothers are the most active ones, with baby formulas and baby products accounting for nearly half of the top 10 spots of the hottest items bought overseas online.
Another characteristic of these online shoppers is that they follow popular trends. For instance, the Russia-made cellphone Yota sold well after visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin gave it as a present to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during the APEC meeting in Beijing in 2014.
The report also discovered regional differences among buyers.The data showed that shoppers from Shanghai and Beijing are the most active ones with total number of transactions accounting for 12% and 11% respectively; this followed by Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Nanjing, Wuhan, Tianjin and Suzhou.
Interestingly, their preferences vary significantly. For example, those from Beijing prefer air purifiers primarily due to the severe pollution, while people in Shenzhen like to buy cookies.