By the end of June 2009, 26% (87.88 million) of China Internet users shopped online during the first half of 2009, with an increase of 38.9% compared with the same period of last year. “26%” is not a fantastic number; but, guess what? Over 85.7% China netizens had searched for product information during the first half (53.5% on B2C, 32.5% on C2C); online shopping is going to be huge!
Online shopping is the most popular in tier one cities:
- Beijing: 51.3%
- Shanghai: 52.6%
- Guangzhou: 35.2% (lower than I expected)
The online shopping spend during the first half of 2009 totaled 119.52 billion yuan (about USD $17.5 billion):
- C2C: 106.37 billion yuan ($15.58b; 89%)
- B2C: 13.15 billion yuan ($1.93b)
The total online shopping spend in year 2009 is estimated to reach 250 billion yuan ($36.62b).
32.3% online shoppers made no more than twice online transactions during the first half of 2009; 30.5% between 5 to 10 times; 10.9% over ten times.
Apparel and Home Acccessories are the most popular product category purchased online (over 50% online shopped made purchase), followed by cosmetics and jewelry.
C2C websites are the first choice among 85% online shoppers:
- Taobao: 76.5%
- Paipai (under Tencent): 6.1%
- Dangdang (B2C): 5.8%
- Amazon China (or Joyo Amazon; B2C): 2.2%
- 360buy.com: 2.2%
RedBaby, Amazon China, and Baidu Youa are the fast growing online shopping sites in the first half of 2009 with increased new users of 61.9%, 44.9%, and 42.3% respectively.
Characteristics of China Online Shopping Users
Female Internet users become more active online shopping crowd than male netizens and gradually increase. In addition, most online shoppers are in the age of 18 to 30 years old white collar workers and students, with monthly income between 1000 ~ 3000 yuan.
The higher income Internet users tend to spend more money in online shopping and buy online more frequently. 30 to 40 year old internet users made largest purchases online and buy online the most frequently. Among large amount online purchases, there were more male internet users than female.
Word of mouth marketing and search engine marketing are the most effective online shopping marketing tactics. 48.7% became aware of online shopping websites through relatives and friends; 43.3% online shoppers are mostly influenced by comments made by other online shoppers. 27.1% found their products through search engine; 20.6% by on-site searches.
Mobile payment starts to show its potential. 10.3% transactions were made by mobile payment.
45.3% China internet users, who aren’t online shoppers, did not purchase online because they were not used to. The top reason on B2C sites was lack of online payment tools (18%); the number one reason on C2C sites was lack of online shopping knowledge.
Overall, online shopping users experienced a high satisfaction with 54.4% having expressed satisfaction and 25% great satisfaction. Online shoppers are more satisfied with B2C websites than C2C ones as products on B2C sites showed better quality and better customer service. This trend is likely to continue, which makes B2C sites popularity continuously grow.
More online shopping statistics will be shared at CIW in the coming two weeks; subscribe now if you are interested.