China has led the world in many areas of innovation, and e-Commerce is no different. China is the clear leader in both volume, and innovative new ways for customers to interact with retail brands. New research published by the Ecommerce Foundation states that China is the leading e-Commerce location globally, beating even such developed markets as the US and UK.
e-Commerce in China in 2018 was worth over $600 billion, which compares to $522 billion in the US and $208 billion in the UK. This growth is allowing China to develop new payment systems, logistics, and even customer culture far ahead of other markets. Other data suggests that the market is already worth around $1 trillion, but whichever research is correct, it is clear that China is leading the world.
For example, over 40% of all clothing and footwear in China is now bought online. Think about what this means for fashion and clothes retailers. They cannot avoid a complete omnichannel customer service strategy because this is where their customers are buying products. Alibaba, WeChat, JD, and Tencent are all forging a new relationship between retail brands and customers and the e-Commerce Foundation research suggests that growth in 2019 will also be strong – at least 15%.
Companies such as Alibaba are spreading their wings and helping entrepreneurs start new ecommerce companies that will use their platforms. Education programs in new markets such as Rwanda are training local people in how to use the Chinese e-Commerce platforms to launch their own successful business.
Forrester Research has suggested that online sales in China will be worth almost $2 trillion by 2022—the growth is clearly there and will continue, but I believe that China has several lessons to teach other markets about the way that e-Commerce success is explicitly linked to the customer experience. If a platform makes it easy to find products, purchase them, and return them when there is a problem then entrepreneurs will find it easy to launch their own stores.
This is where China is leading the world. With payment integrated into the e-Commerce apps to the extent that these payment tools have become normalized in society, China is not just leading in e-Commerce volume, but in innovation too. Many big US e-Commerce leaders should come to China if they want to see the next chapter in their own future being lived today. e-Commerce growth in China is all about the customer: what the customer wants and how they want to purchase it.
If you want to now more about this topic, Teleperformance, and other topics focusing on China’s e-Commerce and customer experience, please do not hesitate to reach out!