The regional market share of global e-commerce is shifting dramatically, and any organization hoping to be on the forefront of international commerce should hold geographical and overseas economic growth in the same high regard as omni channel offerings.
To that end, there is no example that is more dynamic than China in terms of the reshaping of the global e-commerce landscape. By the end of this year, China will surpass the United States as the world's largest e-commerce market. By 2017, China will command 462.9 million of the world's 1.46 billion digital buyers. In terms of revenue, China is forecasted to own a 33.6% share of the $2.35 trillion global e commerce market.
China's middle and affluent classes are growing rapidly, and increased access to mobile broadband is boosting the number of smartphone users. Economic advances have made credit card payments far more prevalent than in the past, and many major international brands have already set up Western style e-commerce stores in the country. Moreover, revenues at Tmall, China's largest e-commerce marketplace, continue to rise significantly.
Omni channel is more than just an insider phrase in China, which, as a country, is the unquestionable champion of mobile and social commerce. In fact, mobile and social media strategies are not simply a “nice to have” for organizations entering the Chinese e-commerce market—they are a crucial component of any company’s global growth strategy.
There are more than a billion mobile users in China, and 69% of smartphone users have made a purchase from that device. Mobile phones, not fixed internet connections, are the most commonly used device for accessing the internet. Moreover, while the worldwide average of shoppers who have searched for products or services via social media is 24%, that number rises to 56% in China. Still more impressively, 34% of social media users have bought products via social platforms.
Simply put, the opportunities for sales growth by entering the Chinese market cannot be ignored by organizations seeking to maximize their revenue and build brand awareness across the globe. Still, the Chinese market is unique in many ways, ranging from the dominant search engines and social media platforms in the region to the accepted payment methods, storefront platforms, and languages/dialects spoken throughout the country.