Eye on AsiaThanks to 185 million online shoppers, the transaction volume of online shopping in China has reached $RMB498 billion in 2010, drawing from the statistics of China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC). Booming e-shopping numbers boost e-commerce websites, say, Taobao, Jingdong, and Dangdang. Taobao. China’s largest retail site, has gained 70.8 percent market share and the highest brand recognition among customers. The online shopping concept  for the Chinese has been reshaped e-business in the recent years.

Eye on AsiaThanks to 185 million online shoppers, the transaction volume of online shopping in China has reached $RMB498 billion in 2010, drawing from the statistics of China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC). Booming e-shopping numbers boost e-commerce websites, say, Taobao, Jingdong, and Dangdang. Taobao. China’s largest retail site, has gained 70.8 percent market share and the highest brand recognition among customers. The online shopping concept  for the Chinese has been reshaped e-business in the recent years.

Clothing and 3C products (computer, communication, and consumer electronics) are the most popular items to purchase online. Lower prices are fairly attractive to Chinese customers who are sensitive to cost. Normally, the price of the same t-shirt can be 20 percent lower in e-stores. Therefore, many Chinese customers tend to try a t-shirt on in a physical store and eventually buy online. When visiting online shops, customers always compare prices and services offered by different stores and then choose the store they feel most trustworthy. It takes a shopper perhaps several hours or even more to simply buy a t-shirt. However, he or she could easily become a loyal consumer to that store if the provided products deserve their prices.

Online shopping“Made in China” is synonymous with cheap but high-quality products in the global market. Unfortunately, that is not the case in the eyes of Chinese citizens. They strongly believe that Chinese business and the government export the best products at an extremely low price to other countries, but sell inferior ones in domestic market at a much higher price. Chinese consumers probably have a higher chance in buying a same Chinese brand product with lower quality compare to foreign shoppers.  Real high-quality “Made in China” products did not flow into the domestic market until 2009 when Chinese manufactories turned to Chinese consumers for help during the economic crisis. E-commerce sites allow these companies to thoroughly display products, freely talk with customers and readily find wholesalers. Common e-shoppers as well are willing to purchase those special-designed products.

Inflation may compel more customers to shop online, not only because prices are lower, but also because e-shopping saves expenses in transportation, parking, and dining. Customer satisfaction does not decline in shopping online but rather slightly rises, according to the research released by the CNNIC. Customer-oriented services like customized products and professional advice can add value to online shopping.

E-shopping has gradually penetrated into small and medium-sized cities in central and western China. The number of e-shoppers in those places has a 70 percent increase in 2010. Low prices are  the advantage of e-shopping. However, economical shopping means not simply buying low-price products but also an intelligent life style. The strategies of various e-stores and websites, therefore, will be correspondingly altered when the market continues expanding.


Eye on Asia - CatherineCatherine Zhou Ningyu
周寧宇

US/China Cultural Industries Internship Program
Seattle Chinese Times / Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College
中美文化交流實習計劃
西城時報/北京師範大學-香港浸會大學聯合國際學院

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