Selling online to China

Online shopping is growing in popularity around the world and one of the hottest global markets is China. Paul Swenson, GDECD’s Managing Director for Trade in China, met with Georgia exporters during his visit to Atlanta in August to share information about Chinese ecommerce and how Georgia companies can take advantage of this exciting opportunity to increase global sales.

Ecommerce comprises $3.7 trillion dollars of China’s $4.6 trillion retail market. In 2015, China’s ecommerce market amounted to $600 billion in business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions. That same year China had 520 million online shoppers, compared to 200 million shoppers in the United States. Compared to brick and mortar sales, ecommerce offers low barriers to market entry, low risk, low cost and potentially high returns.

So what are Chinese customers buying? Some of the top items Chinese consumers are buying online include: pet food and supplies; baby products (toys, clothing, nutrition and food); alcoholic beverages, skincare products; fashion, sporting goods, automotive parts and food and nutrition items. Roughly forty percent of Chinese e-commerce shoppers buy their food online with many retailers offering same day or next day delivery.

Commercial holidays created by online platforms such as Ali Baba drive sales in China. One example is Ali Baba’s 11/11, “Singles Day” event. In 2015, Single’s Day sales in 24 hours surpassed all U.S. online sales in November and the first week of December (including Black Friday) by eightfold. Ecommerce in China is growing at a 25% yearly rate and is projected to continue to grow through 2020 to a whopping $2 trillion. The major players in China’s ecommerce arena include Ali Baba, T-Mall, Taobao and JD.com.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s International Trade division can help Georgia exporters make those connections as well as navigate some of the steps to achieve success in this sales channel.

Interested in learning more about selling online to China?  Visit Georgia.org/Trade or call 404.962.4000

Contact GDEcD

For more information on Georgia’s public-private business partnerships, contact the Georgia Department of Economic Development at 404.962.4000.

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