China will never stop amazing the world with its numbers.
At the beginning of 2012, China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) issued a report claiming that in 2011, the user scale in China for online shopping increased to 194,000,000 in total, which is only 10% of the population of China, but nearly equal to the sum population of France, German and the United Kingdom. By the end of 2012 there were over 300 Million shoppers, 146 million mobile shoppers and 500 million social media users. 66% out of these 500 million users were in average following 8 brands each! The market size is expected to reach over 250 BILLION USD by end of 2013 or beginning of 2014. And the fashion market is already over closing up to 500 BILLION.
China’s online sales of clothing were worth $50 billion in 2012, but only 41 percent of luxury fashion brands have any e-commerce offerings of their own. Furthermore, there’s an overall lack of commitment and direct involvement with a mere seven global couture brands selling directly to Chinese consumers from their own sites. That’s the stark summary presented in the new L2 Digital IQ Index: Fashion Supplement.
Digging deeper into the report, it shows some interesting e-commerce trends in China, as well as other ways in which luxury fashion brands are failing to reach out to Chinese e-shoppers.
The most interesting trend is a shift away from consumer-to-consumer shopping when it comes to clothing. In 2011, 80 percent of China’s fashion sales came from amateur shopkeepers on Taobao, China’s biggest C2C site. But, in 2012, there’s a clear leap towards more official sources, such as brands’ virtual storefronts on sites like Tmall, or from flash sales sites like VIPshop or GlamourSales:
The truth is that with the fast development and popularization of Internet, China is expected to overtake the United States as the world’s largest e-Business market by 2014. The more and more affordable and widely available Internet across the country, the continuously rapid growth in the number of Chinese consumers shopping online, and the relatively low cost of logistics are all driving the expansion of e-Business, this booming industry in China.
You no longer need a company in China to start up your business, you can get paid directly through your website by integrating the Chinese cross-border payment systems such as Alipay or Tenpay. With a Chinese site placed just outside of the mainland, with payments in place and with office and representatives on the mainland in a matter of days, business in China is something for everyone and E-Commerce is the way to enter it!