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What Brands Need to Know Before Tackling the World’s Largest Ecommerce Market – China

In China, ecommerce opportunities abound, but challenges remain

New York, NY (November 7, 2012) – Online sales in China are flourishing. Consumers are embracing the internet’s ability to offer comparison shopping and product research, and marketers are eager to expand operations beyond flagship stores in established markets. A new eMarketer report, “China Ecommerce: A Developing Market Begins to Boom,” examines the opportunities and challenges for brands entering this growing market.

The report answers important questions for marketers looking to expand their ecommerce efforts in China, including:

  • What are the main drivers of ecommerce in China?
  • Who are China’s lower-tier online shoppers?
  • Is Taobao the only platform you need to know?
  • What role will mobile commerce play in the market’s future?

Already established as the world’s largest internet market in terms of sheer users, China has also become the world’s largest ecommerce market.

Westerners mostly shop online for convenience, but in China the kick for the click is driven much more by availability and value. Shopping online means access to brands and goods otherwise not available beyond Tier 2 cities. The country offers enormous opportunities for marketers to build brands without having to invest in expensive physical locations across hundreds of cities.

A number of additional factors are driving ecommerce growth, such as virtual flagship stores on platforms like Alibaba’s Tmall, an offshoot of the eBay-style auction site Taobao. Ecommerce also has strong support from China’s government, which believes online sales growth will help develop domestic sales across China’s entire value chain.

Despite the optimism, China’s ecommerce industry still has hurdles to overcome, including issues with privacy, counterfeiting, user data protection, payment systems and distribution. Advertisers should also realize that working with local platforms can be difficult. China’s ecommerce websites would rather please customers than brand owners and operate at a faster pace than the average ecommerce platform in the West.

Posted on November 6, 2012.