Feeds

Chinese shoppers lead way in global e-commerce stakes

Can't get enough of that online stuff

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Shoppers in China are twice as prolific online as those in the UK and US but retailers are struggling to keep up with the growing sophistication of their multi-channel purchasing behaviour, PricewaterhouseCoopers has found.

PwC’s latest global survey on the subject found that around 70 per cent of consumers in the People’s Republic shop online at least once a week, compared with 40 per cent in the US and UK and 20 per cent in the Netherlands, France and Switzerland.

The consulting giant also revealed that despite the relative immaturity of e-commerce in China, more respondents there described themselves as ‘expert’ shoppers (86 per cent) than in any other region.

This represents challenges as well as opportunities for bricks and mortar retailers, especially given that the Chinese shoppers surveyed buy around two-thirds of their clothing, footwear, books, music and films online – around double that of respondents from other countries.

Retailers have been slow to adapt to the needs of their customers and must focus on enhancing the multi-channel experience as well as basic elements such as delivery and returns and product choice, said PwC.

"The most likely scenario is that stores will serve two distinct purposes,” said Carrie Yu, PwC's retail and consumer Leader for China and Asia Pacific.

“First, they will act as showrooms, where customers come for inspiration and are able to browse and to physically interact with products. Their second purpose will be to provide a convenient transaction and collection point, where customers come to complete a journey started online.”

Chinese consumers also seem to be well ahead of the pack when it comes to using mobile and social media to make purchases. Shoppers in Hong Kong (44 per cent) and China (40 per cent) topped the list of those who follow brands through social media.

The bad news for western retailers is that across the survey respondents said they overwhelmingly favoured local brands. In China this means Taobao, Suning and Gome, although Amazon has managed to sneak in there too thanks to its purchase of domestic player Joyo in 2007.

The report shows China is already well on its way to becoming the global e-commerce leader the government is aiming for, with a recent edict from on high revealing ambitious growth plans which will require a quadrupling of web sales by 2015 to reach 18 trillion yuan (£1.4tr).

It’s not certain how far the strict oversight and ‘guidance’ the government is planning to enforce will stifle this growth, although it’s unlikely the Party would interfere in anything making China economically superior to the rest of the world.

The UK is no slouch in this space, of course. Although it can’t compete in the value of its total online sales, it will lead the way over the next four years when taking money spent online as a percentage of total GDP, according to the Boston Consulting Group. ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.