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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 28, 2011

China soon-to-be next e-commerce superpower

Consumerism is alive and well in China and the Internet now plays a significant role. However, the country's e-commerce market is currently worth just half of the US's, but for how long?

by Helen Leggatt

china flag.jpgA new report (.pdf) from the Boston Consulting Group reveals that within the next five years online shoppers in China will spend twice what they do today averaging $980 per year by 2015. That's just $20 under what American online shoppers currently spend.

The number of online shoppers in China is also forecast to rise significantly from today's 145 million to 329 by 2015. The US currently has approximately 170 million. According to Waldemar Jap, a Hong Kong-based partner at BCG and one of the primary authors of the report "There will be an astounding 30 million first-time Chinese consumers shopping online on average every year until 2015".

The Chinese government has heavily subsidized the rollout of high-speed Internet access. "Internet access has far outpaced the reach of the top physical retailers," said the report. "China's massive geography hampers the effectiveness of physical retailing."

Overall, ecommerce will account for 7.4% of the country's total retail value by 2015, up from 3.3% this year. It took the US almost a decade to achieve such growth, says the report.

The low cost of delivery in China is one reason many log on to shop. To ship a package weighing 1kg costs just $1 in China compared to $6 in the US. However, online shoppers do have concerns about their items being delivered. Apart from the worries about items arriving intact or credit card fraud, almost half (45%) are concerned their purchases might be swapped for counterfeits during transit.

Tags: China, ecommerce, Internet, online delivery, online shopper, report, research, US

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  • for overseas business, selling to China online is a low cost and risk market entry option

  • China will continue to pose a huge role in the growth of eCommerce. The biggest concern that many of my clients have when dealing with China is fraud. Credit card fraud and identity theft are huge issues that need to be addressed before many of my american based eCommerce clients are comfortable when dealing with China.



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