E-commerce data in China leaves even the most optimistic marketers stunned.
According to a research carried out by China Internet Watch, over 80% of Chinese online sales have been generated by mobile apps and this trend should continue in the future.
The total number of online shoppers on Chinese mobile e-commerce apps has increased from 207 million to 783 million in just one year. The penetration of e-commerce in China has reached 71.1% of the total Chinese population. Considering that the Chinese population reaches over 1.4 billion inhabitants, we can count over a billion people shopping online in the sole Country. In terms of money, we are talking of about $ 1.53 billion spent on shopping apps in China.
Online sales are not the future of the Chinese market, but an already established reality. Obviously, the number of applications that deal with online sales has also grown along with the number of buyers.
Here are the apps you need to pay attention to, if you decide to walk the web path.
Belonging to the Alibaba group, Tmall focuses on the sale of branded products with a B2C business model, and is the undisputed leader of the sector with a market share of 59.5% in 2018. The brands sold on Tmall are considered more reliable, as buyers buy directly from companies rather than individual sellers.
Tmall and JD.com together account for over 80% of B2C e-commerce transactions in China. With B2C eCommerce transactions that account for almost 60% of all online purchases and expenses that reach an estimated value of 8 billion RMB ($1.2 billion).
Only companies with a business license abroad or internal business operations in China can create a Tmall store, so foreign companies must rely on local agencies. With Alibaba as an agent, brands can manage their sales and website. The experience in Tmall is the closest to shopping in a real shopping center: the brands manage their activities on Tmall in the form of highly personalized “flagship stores” that allow brands to maintain their image and show the values of their brand.
Tmall is certainly a good choice for foreign brands that want to maintain their own identity, while relying on an existing e-commerce platform.
JD.com (or JingDong) started with a focus on electronics products in the 1990s. However, JD only really started growing when he brought its business online. It has slowly added more and more categories until it has developed into the e-commerce giant it is today.
The platform is recognized as a safe supplier, not only for domestic products but also for goods from all over the world. Furthermore, JD.com directly manages its own logistics network, guaranteeing fast deliveries within the day or at most the next day, and thus controlling every step of the supply chain.
JD.com is a leader in terms of luxury sales among China’s online shopping sites. With its well developed logistics network, it is on its way to expanding its global business empire by bringing more foreign brands to the Chinese market.
Despite being born as a platform specialized in electronics – and it is still among the most popular platforms – recently several fashion brands like Tissot and Moschino have decided to include their products in this APP.
XIAO HONG SHU (小红 书)
Xiaohongshu (小红 书) has become one of the most important online shopping platforms in China by combining a social media and online shopping platform. The platform was launched in 2013 and reached the top position in China’s App Store list in 2015. By the end of October 2017, the number of users of the platform had already exceeded 70 million.
For most users in China, Xiaohongshu is not only a shopping platform, but also a social platform. On the platform, users can introduce any product using photos and communicate with other users through comments. Using the community to share the products and the experience on it, Xiaohongshu has attracted many women specializing in cosmetics and fashion products.
PIN DUO DUO
Since its launch in 2015, Pinduoduo has seen explosive growth. Within just three years Pinduoduo became the second shopping app in China. In fact, it is the fastest growing app in Chinese history. Its Chinese name 拼 多多 literally means “make many purchases”.
What makes Pinduoduo different is that its main features revolve around group purchase. This means that the more people buy a product, the lower its price. Of course, this leads users to share products with others, hoping to get cheaper prices, generating viral word of mouth.
Regular flash sales and limited-time offers occur every day to increase the customer’s rate of return. Setting time limits reduces customer decision making and encourages impulsive purchases.
Pinduoduo integrates its payment method with the largest independent social media app in China: WeChat. The more users share their products, the greater the chances of receiving a discount, which leads to tons of offers on Pinduoduo shared on social media platforms like WeChat.
Through the use of this business model based on word of mouth, the app has generated an enormous amount of sales through users who publish and share product information. This organic content voluntarily generated by customers makes Pinduoduo one of China’s most exclusive online shopping sites.
The platform is very popular among residents of 2nd and 3rd level cities, with lower revenues and consumption. Keep in mind that Pinduoduo users are on the platform looking for offers, so this may not be the best platform for selling premium products.
Vip.com specializes in sales of branded products at an advantageous price. it collaborate with famous brands to sell their extensive inventory through flash sales. Their slogan is: “全球 精選 正品 特賣” which can be translated as: “We sell authentic products of global brands with significant discounts”.
Since the launch of Vip International in 2014, the site has insisted on buying goods directly from their place of origin, in order to guarantee the quality of the product through the control of all import steps.
In 2018, Vip shop decided to focus on the clothing category, distinguishing itself from the other APPs.