Cross-Border Ecommerce Spending in China to Top the $100 Billion Threshold in 2017 - eMarketer
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Cross-Border Ecommerce Spending in China to Top the $100 Billion Threshold in 2017

Purchases driven by growing middle class with fondness for foreign brands

November 14, 2017 | Retail & Ecommerce

A growing middle class in China with a high propensity to shop for foreign brands is helping to drive up spending on cross-border goods, according to eMarketer’s forecast.

Total cross-border ecommerce sales in China are expected to reach $100.17 billion by the end of 2017, with the average spend per cross-border digital buyer at $882. Average spend per buyer has increased since eMarketer’s previous forecast due to the growing awareness of overseas brands in China, as well as better logistics and the perception that foreign goods are of better quality.

Cross-Border Retail Ecommerce Sales in China, 2016-2021 (billions and % change)

Cross-Border Retail Ecommerce Sales in China, 2016-2021 (billions and % change)

Also contributing to the growth is the popularity of Tmall Global, JD Worldwide and Kaola, sites that have made it easier for shoppers to access a wide variety of overseas products on a platform they are familiar with.

More than one-fifth (23%) of digital buyers in China will make at least one cross-border purchase via the internet, and growth in such purchases will start to slow over the forecast period as more residents choose local brands for some categories such as fashion. Realizing the demand for better-quality goods, local brands are starting to adapt to this change.

“The factors fueling the trend toward greater cross-border shopping are nothing new, as the average Chinese consumer is now more tech savvy, more exposed to foreign brands through overseas travel and the internet and, crucially, more willing to spend,” said Shelleen Shum, senior forecasting analyst.

“With shopping sites such as TMall Global, JD Worldwide and Kaola adding more brands to their offerings and improving cross-border logistics and processing times, there is an opportunity for foreign brands to tap into the demand for high-quality products, especially in categories like baby, maternity, health and beauty.”

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