The China Online Retail Forecast 2014-2019 from Forrester Research, Inc. forecasts that online retail spending in China will exceed US$1 trillion by 2019, up from US$307 billion in 2013.
The report also estimates spending via mobile will grow at 44.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), twice as fast as online sales, which are estimated to grow at 19.9% CAGR.
The twin drives for eCommerce growth in China over the next five years will be mobile sales and online retailers’ expansion into new product categories.
Vanessa Zeng, senior analyst of Forrester Research, said: “To capture the opportunities in the increasingly competitive retail market, organisations must realize the importance of digital capabilities.
“Successful organisations must drive innovation to deliver compelling shopping experience and focus on enhanced customer segmentation, offering seamless customer experience across touchpoints, and leverage mobile to drive overall online retail business.”
Key findings from the report:
Chinese consumers are shifting to mobile for online shopping. The frequency with which online consumers in metropolitan China shop via their mobiles is increasing rapidly, while those in lower-tier cities use smartphones as their primary means of network access and for online shopping.
Major web players, Tmall and JD.com, will continue to dominate China’s eCommerce market – with market shares of 57% and 21%, respectively – and will try to seize control of the mCommerce market by enhancing their mobile investments and improving customer experience.
More categories of products traditionally sold offline, such as pharmaceuticals and furniture, are now made available online.
The growing number of middle-class and affluent Chinese consumers adds to online demand for a wide variety of high-end products, such as fresh food, imported goods, and automobiles.
The convenience, variety, and fast delivery associated with online purchase will boost eCommerce in these new categories.
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