Although the Chinese e-commerce market is still relatively young it is noteworthy to mention that it already boasts 379,35 billion euros worth of sales compared to the 272,02 billion of the American E-commerce market in 2017. Now how is it possible that a country shows an increase of 35% in sales in a span of 3 years? We have done the research and uncovered 3 things we can learn from Chinese E-commerce.

1. Mobile is for buying, not just for browsing.

Many European and American companies still haven’t properly integrated the mobile version of their website as a fully functioning webshop. An abbreviation often used in the land of e-commerce is ‘ROPO’ (research online purchase offline). While this effect is proven to be real, it does not mean your mobile webshop should not be fully functional and user friendly.

As mentioned in our previous article 90% of Chinese citizens access the Internet via mobile opposed to 80% in Europe (Eurostat). With such a large amount of users it is important to realise that your mobile customer experience should be fully optimised, something the Chinese understand very well.

Chinese E-commerce market boasts 379,35 billion euros worth of sales compared to the 272,02 billion of the American E-commerce market in 2017.

2. Innovation is key.

While some countries seem to hold a conservative stance towards innovation, China is setting the bar for innovation.

The ease of payment is the first thing that comes to mind. When shopping online in China it is evident how most payment services are fully incorporated into the lives of Chinese consumers. This shows that they are trying to improve the customer experience with every move they make.

For instance, Alipay can be used to pay through facial recognition, to pay utility bills, top up mobile phone credits, buy train tickets or check the balance of a connected bank account. By following their customers’ lives and adapting to it through innovation, Alipay managed to offer a user experience that is much more complete and has granted them a much larger reach and more trustworthy brand.

Alipay has opted to follow and adapt to their customers’ lives by being innovative. This has resulted in a better user experience that is more complete. In addition this has also granted them a much larger reach and a trustworthier brand

3. Social shopping.

Central to the revolution of social shopping in China is WeChat, an application that was originally used for instant messaging. Yet, due to the demand of the Chinese market this application quickly developed into the digital version of a Swiss army knife. In addition to just instant messaging, Wechat now also includes functions such as social media, e-commerce and even payment services.

Combining all these functions means that you would only use one application for everything. While social selling is used on platforms such as Facebook people in the West are still limited in a way that they have to open a separate website for purchase. According to William Bao Bean, managing director of Chinaccelerator, “It is not that people are not willing to buy, they just do not have a buy button!” Just try to purchase something from Facebook under 20 clicks and see for yourself.

1 http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/7771139/9-20122016-BP-EN.pdf/f023d81a-dce2-4959-93e3-8cc7082b6edd