According to the management consultancy firm, Bain & Company, the public should expect China’s e-commerce market to skyrocket this year, passing the United States and coming up on top, as the world’s leader by total consumer spending.
From the data gathered by the Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group, online shopping has become more popular and will soon account for 50% of all Chinese retail spending in ten years’ time. Compared to $228.7 billion in the U.S., the total spending by Chinese buyers via online shopping reached $212.4 billion in 2012. This sudden change in shopping habits is due to the increase of availability of access to the Internet of almost half of the country’s population. Currently,80% of China’s population of 1.3 billion now own smartphones or tablets.
The future is online
From 2009 to 2012, China’s e-commerce market has grown at an average rate of 71% while the growth in America remains at 13%. While offline shopping is still larger by far when it comes to revenue, the growth of online sales is progressing at a much faster pace.
Nicholas Studholme-Wilson, a senior analyst at Sun Hung Kai Financial in Hong Kong, even predicted, “Soon retail companies may have to take a leap of faith, shutting their bricks and mortar outlets to reduce overhead costs and hope that customers will turn to their online stores.”