The year of the Tiger is approaching and we hope it will bring with it the determination of this splendid animal.
Although uncertainty has become our only certainty, e-commerce sales in China have continued to depopulate throughout 2021, so we feel confident enough to make some predictions for 2022.
Here are the trends that will characterize the e-commerce market this year:
Sustainability is the hottest topic in China right now, given that climate change and pollution have reached unsustainable levels, the Chinese government itself is committed to achieving greener long-term goals. Tech giant Alibaba has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 1.5 gigatons in its digital ecosystem by 2035, making it the first major service operator to set such a target. It will do this in collaboration with traders and consumers. For example, logistics company Cainiao Network is committed to delivering packages in greener packaging and promoting box recycling.
2. Cross-border E-commerce
Despite a fragile global logistics system, the import and export of cross-border e-commerce in the first nine months of 2021 increased by 20.1%. In the same year, excellent examples came from Cartier and Tod’s, who overcame linguistic and cultural barriers to expand into the second largest economy in the world using tools such as livestreaming and Hey Box. We expect more and more international brands to reach China through this sales system in 2022.
3. Watch out for GenZ and Millenial
GenZ and Millennial consumers were ecommerce trendsetters in 2021, fueling a wave of innovation. Keep an eye on these generations – and the platforms they move on – if you don’t want to become extinct!
4. Digital tourism
The covid’s grip does not seem to loosen and with it the hope of returning to travel is increasingly distant. In 2021, cultural institutions around the world turned to live streaming to keep their presence and influence on the Chinese market alive, effectively capturing the attention of many. A type of activity that (unfortunately) will continue to characterize the Chinese tourism ecosystem. The Beijing 2022 Olympics are already destined to go down in history as the most digital Games ever.
5. Moving outside the cities of the first and second level
A trend that began several years ago is the shift in the attention of e-commerce giants from top-tier cities (such as Shanghai and Beijing) to lower-tier ones. China’s lower-tier cities are home to over 930 million people, nearly three times the population of the United States, are poorly served by e-commerce sites and have limited access to imported products. The potential is huge! As a testament to this, Alibaba has achieved a 99% penetration rate in China’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities and is looking to win less developed areas as well. Your marketing strategy should take this possibility into account in 2022.
In any case, we are sure of one thing: e-commerce sales in China will continue to grow, better to keep up with the times and look to a digital future.