April 28, 2021

China’s retail


eMarketer forecasts that 52.1% of China’s retail will come from e-commerce in 2021, up from 44.8% last year. It will be for the first time anywhere. This datapoint remains far out of reach for any other country in the world. The next highest rate of e-commerce as a share of total retail sales is South Korea with projected 28.9%. For instance, in the US, the figure will be just 15.0%, and the average among Western European countries will ...be 12.9%. But in total amount China will outpace the US by nearly $2 trillion in e-commerce this year. There are several factors which describe the recent boom that pushed e-commerce in China. Social commerce grew by 44.1% in China last year and will grow by another 35.5% this year, reaching $363.26 billion. By comparison, social commerce in the US will be just $36.09 billion this year. WeChat’s Mini Programs allow businesses to better leverage WeChat’s user base and have proven to be extremely popular among both merchants and consumers. Pinduoduo (PDD): the groundbreaking group-buying-meets-social-networking phenomenon has shot up from a 0.5% market share in 2016 to a projected 13.2% of China’s e-commerce market this year (Alibaba will claim 50.8% and  will have 15.9%). PDD unlocked China’s rural e-commerce participation more effectively than any other platform. Although China suppressed the coronavirus threat far more quickly than did any other country – and has been operating with a mostly normalized economy for almost three consecutive quarters – it is still true that consumer behavior was altered last year. On-line grocery shopping surged thanks to the virus lockdowns, and this preference may prove to be sticky over the long term.


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