M-Commerce Sales Account for Half of China's Online Sales

Online retail sales booked on tablets, smart phones and other mobile devices will reach US$334 billion this year in China, up 85.1% from 2014. The figure represents 49.7% of all retail e-commerce sales in the country this year, which the latest estimate on retail sales around the world, from eMarketer revealed.

eMarketer firm’s logo
eMarketer firm’s logo

´This estimate puts retail m-commerce sales in China at nearly 450% of those in the U.S., where such sales are expected to rise 32.2% in 2015. Even more striking, in the U.S., retail m-commerce sales will represent 22.0% of the retail e-commerce total and just 1.6% of all retail sales this year. That compares with 7.9% of total retail sales in China coming from mobile.
These figures indicate that China’s retail market is more digital—and specifically, more mobile—than its U.S. counterpart.

Chinese internet users access more by mobile phone
“An overwhelming majority of China’s internet users now regularly access the internet via mobile phones—87.4%, vs. 74.6% of U.S. internet users,” said Monica Peart, eMarketer’s forecasting director. “The sheer number of mobile internet users pushes retail e-commerce activities toward mobile devices in a way that is not yet seen in the U.S., where desktop computers still factor quite prominently for shopping activities.”
eMarketer estimates that around the world, online buyers will spend $1.672 trillion on retail e-commerce sales this year, or 7.3% of total retail sales. By 2019, retail e-commerce will account for 12.4% of total retail sales around the world.

Expected impact on postal and express delivery
In a related development which in the long run could impact growth of express and postal delivery companies, recent studies by several research firms show that demand for buy on-line, pick up in-store - also known as click and collect - is growing with consumers being drawn to this purchasing option in order to save a few dollars or get their hands on purchases earlier.
A study by Blackhawk Engagement Solutions asked digital buyers what would make them likely to try buy online, pick up in-store, 86% said they would consider purchasing this way to save $10 on a $50 item.
Speed was also appealing: Nearly eight in 10 respondents said they would consider buying digitally and picking up in-store if it meant they could receive an item three days earlier. In all, 45% of respondents had purchased online and picked up in-store in the past six months.
Blackhawk noted that buy online, pick up in-store offers perks for retailers, too. Not only does it reduce shipping costs—it also gets customers in-store, where they’re likely to purchase more.
While some research points to low adoption of click and collect among retailers, more recent studies suggest usage is rising. In an April 2015 study by KPMG and The Consumer Goods Forum, about the shopping/delivery options retailers worldwide offered, the buy online, pick up in-store option was cited by 59%.

Nol van Fenema

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