China e-commerce trends revealed

The popularity of the Internet in China has changed consumers’ shopping behaviors.

Research firm Nielsen says Chinese buy apparel and accessories online more often than items from any other category.

According to its report on online shopping behavior of Chinese consumers, 91 per cent of respondents say they have bought apparel or accessories online over the past three months.

Not needing to travel to a store, the ease of shopping online and time-saving are the top incentives driving online shopping.

Household products rank second with a penetration rate of 78 per cent.

Chinese consumers shop for electronic appliances/mobile/IT digital products with the least frequency (21.12 times a year in average), but they spent the most on products from these categories.

Chinese respondents cited lower and transparent price, home delivery, ease of shopping and time-saving as the factors driving them to shop for these products online.

Most say they would turn to search engines to find product information while some log on the professional reviews network to help them make online purchase decisions while others go to physical stores to check out the actual products.

Meanwhile, Chinese shoppers are more cautious in their purchases for baby products and are likely to conduct thorough research on specific products of interest through a wide range of channels before their final online purchases are made.

Also of note in the report was that men are more active than women in the online shopping process. As high as 80 per cent of male respondents (59 per cent for women) say they have purchased electronic appliances/mobile/IT digital products online and 71 per cent of male respondents (66 per cent for women) say they have purchased service/virtual products online.


“Compared with women who are more likely to shop around and compare quality and prices of different channels, men are goal-oriented shoppers,” said Steven Li, CEO of Nielsen online China and VP of e-commerce.

“The stand-out features of online channels, such as transparency, good price and convenience, offer significant benefits for goal-oriented shoppers when purchases are just a click away.”

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    Michael Baker posted on September 20, 2013

    I don't believe that 91% of Chinese consumers have bought apparel & accessories online during the past 3 months. This means Nielsen must be using a panel stuffed with active e-commerce shoppers. In other words, the survey is meaningless.

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