Mobile e-commerce in China on the rise
M-commerce is the sector growing the fastest in the Chinese digital economy. Already. Smartphones account for more than 50% of all online sales.
No matter which part of the salesfunnel you look at, smartphones play a prominent role. Consumers discover new products using their phone. They research it, they order it, they pay and the provide feedback. Everything on mobile. No wonder that M-Commerce is skyrocketing. KPMG reported that smartphones are the primary device people use to order online, with desktop and laptop trailing behind.
Why is Chinese M-Commerce growing so fast?
One could wonder why it is that M-Commerce is growing so fast in China. Much faster than in other countries. Experts have identified four main factors contributing to this rapid growth.
First of all, they point at the mobile payment ecosystem, which is very advanced. AliPay and WeChat pay are dominant players in the Chinese M-commerce market. Both platforms are becoming more important offline too, as consumers have large confidence in the security of payments.
Secondly: China has a very high number of mobile users. The Chinese government did a research, and found that there are 1.3 billion mobile phone users in the country. Almost 30% of these users has a 4G phone. Smartphone sales are also rising, in 2015 alone, 457 smartphones were sold. 90% of people has made an online purchase using a smartphone in the last 12 months, claims a KPMG report.
Thirdly, experts say the rise of M-Commerce has made the markets accessible for everyone. Physical location is not a factor of importance anymore, which is a good thing for people living in the smaller cities and villages. There might not be a shopping center nearby, but now everyone can go shopping as if they live in the big city!
And finally, the economic situation in China is rather unique. While the global economy was in crisis, the Chinese economy just slowed down a little. But it is still growing 6,7% a year. Much of recent growth is fuelled by the growth of consumption enabled by E-commerce.
Bricks and clicks
Chinese consumers even use their smartphone when shopping in a physical shop. 70% of consumers looks up a product while in an old fashioned physical store. This percentage has been growing. It seems this growth has increased a little, after the Taobao and Tmall mobile apps introduced a feature allowing users to search a product using a photo.
eMarketer, a market research company, estimated that half of e-Commerce sales in 2015 were done using a mobile phone. M-commerce sales have been growing since, and may have accounted for well over 55% of online sales in 2016. The growth is far from over. IN 2019, mobile users will be spending $ 1,5 trillion!