Though relatively new to online shopping, Chinese consumers already make up for almost half of global online retail sales, and are only growing in numbers.
Online retail sales amounted to $581.61 billion in 2015, surging 33.3% from the previous year. The volume of online sales in China now exceeds that in the US, and online sales are expected to grow 20% annually by 2020.
So why is e-commerce such a fast-growing sector in China? In an opinion piece for Forbes, Chinese economy expert Sara Hsu shares her thoughts.
Young, urban, and highly educated shoppers
They have a different attitude toward shopping than older generations, which were shaped as savers by more challenging political and economic circumstances. Younger shoppers are more willing to spend.
Ease of e-commerce
E-commerce requires fewer licensing requirements and quicker customs clearance. Online shopping also allows consumers to access products that are not available in stores, including organic foods and some luxury products from overseas.
Growing rural population
Hsu also discusses the tremendous growth potential of the e-commerce sector in China, fueled by growing numbers of savvy shoppers in Tier 3 and 4 cities, plus rural areas, that have yet to discover online shopping.