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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : March 01, 2013

Report: Why retailers need to be aware of Chinese shoppers

New data out from Alibaba underscores the importance of Chinese shoppers to retailers around the globe. Not only is the growing Chinese middle class spending larger amounts of money but they're spending that cash online.

by Kristina Knight

First, the spending potential: according to Alibaba, Chinese shoppers are expected to spend at least $265 billion online in 2013, more than shoppers will spend in any other country including the US. Why the large number? Because there are more than 240 million consumers in China who choose to buy online. In 2012 each shopper spent an average of $1,000 online.

Comparatively, American online shoppers spent just over $1,300 (average) for the year. So, US shoppers spent more but there were fewer doing the spending.

Other interesting findings include:

• 90% use e-payment services
• 61% are between ages 18 and 30
• One-fifth (22%) make 40 or more online buys each year
• 52% say they buy online to save money
• Apparel/Accessories account for 68% of purchases while Household Goods make up 39%

While Chinese shoppers aren't the richest in the world, 60% earn only about $300 per month, but they are smart about buying online. These shoppers check social networks before spending and don't rely on a computer for all purchases - more than 10% of their e-purchases are made through a mobile device.

And, there is room for growth. While the US and EU-5 countries have surpassed the 50% online population number, only about 40% of China's residents are currently online; the report suggests that by 2015 Chinese consumers could spend more than $445 billion online.

Tags: Alibaba, China, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, retailer trends

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