China Ecommerce: 2015 Market Update - eMarketer
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China Ecommerce: 2015 Market Update

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Executive Summary

Although China’s economy as a whole has suffered from a great deal of instability this year, its ecommerce sector is and will remain a major driver of economic growth, as internet penetration and smartphone ownership continue to increase. Although consumer-to-consumer sales (C2C) have accounted for the majority of China’s ecommerce in previous years, retail ecommerce has caught up quickly, and this year will account for roughly half of the country’s total ecommerce.

  • China is the world’s largest retail ecommerce market, responsible for 40% of global retail ecommerce sales. In 2015, the country’s retail ecommerce sales (excluding sales of travel and event tickets) will rise 42.1% to $672.01 billion.
  • eMarketer estimates that China’s retail ecommerce sales will experience strong gains through at least 2018, when year-over-year growth will slow to slightly under 30%. Retail ecommerce sales value will by then exceed $1.5 trillion, more than three times the value in the US.
  • In 2015, mobile will account for about half of all retail ecommerce sales in China, a higher percentage than found in many developed markets, including the US.
  • Rural areas will be a major area of growth for many categories, though new and specialized retail categories are likely to experience major growth in Tier 1 cities as well.
  • Alibaba’s Tmall is the undisputed ecommerce leader in China, with more than 60% of retail ecommerce sales in 2014. Alibaba has an even more commanding share of mobile retail ecommerce and C2C sales, at over 85%.
  • Apparel and consumer electronics are the most popular purchase categories among China’s digital buyers, while imported fruit and other types of fresh food are among the fastest growing ecommerce product categories in urban areas.

"Ecommerce will continue to represent a growing share of retail sales in China, rising from 15.9% in 2015 to nearly 30% in 2018."

Market Overview

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B2C’s Rise

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Mobile Ecommerce

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Cross-Border Commerce Grows Rapidly

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What Consumers Are Buying Online

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China’s Ecommerce Players: An Update

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30 charts are included in the full report:

China Ecommerce: 2015 Market Update

Retail Ecommerce Sales in China, 2014-2018 (billions, % change and % of total retail sales)

Market Overview

Retail Ecommerce Sales Worldwide, by Country, 2014-2019 (billions)

Retail and C2C Ecommerce Sales in China, 2011-2018 (trillions of Chinese yuan renminbi, % change and % of total retail sales)

Retail Ecommerce Sales in China, 2014-2018 (billions, % change and % of total retail sales)

Internet Users and Penetration in China, 2013-2019 (millions, % of population and % change)

Internet User Penetration in China, by Geographic Locale, 2007-2014 (% of population in each group)

Internet User Share in China, by City Tier/Geographic Locale, Oct 2014 (% of total)

Primary Device Used by Digital Buyers in Rural China to Make Digital Purchases, Spring 2015 (% of respondents)

Digital Buyers in China, by Age, 2014-2019 (millions, % of internet users in each group and % of total)

Average Ecommerce Spending per Digital Buyer in China, 2011-2018 (Chinese yuan renminbi and % change)

B2C’s Rise

Retail and C2C Ecommerce Sales Share in China, B2C vs. C2C Sites, 2011-2018 (% of total)

Important Factors When Choosing Which Ecommerce Sites to Visit According to Digital Buyers in China, Dec 2014 (% of respondents)

Mobile Ecommerce

Retail Mcommerce Sales in China, 2014-2019

Mobile Phone Internet User Penetration in Asia-Pacific, by Country, 2012-2014 (% of internet users)

Mobile Internet Connections in China, 2009-2015 (millions)

Smartphone User Penetration in China, 2009-2015 (% of population)

4G LTE Mobile Phone Connections in China, Jan & Dec 2015 (millions)

Retail and C2C Ecommerce Transaction Share in China, Desktop/Laptop vs. Mobile, 2011-2018 (% of total)

Types of Digital Payment Methods Used by Internet Users in China, 2014 (% of respondents)

Leading Reasons for Shopping via Mobile Phone Among Mobile Phone Internet Users in Select Countries in Asia-Pacific, Dec 2014 (% of respondents)

Mobile Driving Changes in Consumer Habits

Reasons that Internet Users in China vs. Worldwide Engage in Showrooming*, Sep 2014 (% of respondents)

In-Store Technologies that Would Improve Their Shopping Experience According to Internet Users in China vs. Worldwide, Sep 2014 (% of respondents)

Cross-Border Commerce Grows Rapidly

Cross-Border Ecommerce Sales Share in China, Retail vs. B2B, 2010-2017 (% of total)

Reasons that Cross-Border Digital Buyers in China Make Cross-Border Digital Purchases, Dec 2014 (% of respondents)

Product Categories that Cross-Border Digital Buyers in China Purchase Digitally from US Retailers, June 2015 (% of respondents)

What Consumers Are Buying Online

Average Annual Number of and Amount Spent on Digital Purchases Among Digital Buyers in China, by Product Category, Oct 2014

Digital Fresh Food Buyer Penetration in China, June 2015 (% of internet users)

FMCG Digital Buyers in Select Countries, by Frequency, 2014

FMCG Product Categories that Internet Users in China Plan* to Purchase Digitally, Sep 2014 (% of respondents)

China’s Ecommerce Players: An Update

Retail Ecommerce Sales Share in China, by Site, 2014 (% of total)

Retail and C2C Mcommerce Sales Share in China, by Site, 2014 (% of total)

Interviews included in the full report:

China’s Booming Ecommerce Market Boosts Fresh Food Delivery

Interview conducted on July 23, 2015

Interview conducted on August 7, 2015

Interview conducted on August 11, 2015

Interview conducted on June 17, 2015

Interview conducted on August 7, 2015

Interview conducted on July 27, 2015