[By 2016, China’s overall online sales growth has slowed by 26.2%, but some sectors, such as cross-border sales and online food products have grown significantly in relation to the overall market.]
CROSS‑BORDER E‑COMMERCE AND ONLINE FOOD SALES GROW OVER 80% IN CHINA
he cross-border e-commerce is booming in China
Since 2013, political reforms have promoted the sale of foreign products online in China. These changes involve many economic aspects such as the reduction of the tax on cross-border electronic commerce, which has largely eliminated the main obstacles for foreign online retailers and suppliers in China.
The demand of Chinese consumers online is growing. Indeed, in 2015, Chinese consumers bought foreign brand products worth 118.43 billion yuan (17.22 billion US dollars) thanks to cross-border e-commerce, an increase of 112% compared to previous years. The growth of cross-border e-commerce has slowed slightly in 2016, with an annual growth rate of 86%, and 219.8 billion yuan (31.99 billion US dollars) in sales. however, the Cross-border electronic commerce remains an important category not to be neglect in e-commerce in China. source
In 2016, cross-border e-commerce in China reached 6.5 trillion yuan (1.02 trillion dollars), with an increase of 30% and 20% in the ratio of total import and Export of China, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. Nearly 40% of clothing products sold in the United States is imported from China.
The main players in cross-border e-commerce in China
The main players in cross-border e-commerce in China are e-commerce companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. And Amazon.com Inc., Netease Inc. Koala.com that continue to improve their international transport operations and payments to enable Chinese consumers to more freely buy products from retailers abroad. According to Alibaba, operator of Tmall Global, in 2016, the number of Chinese consumers who bought imported products on Tmall Global, an online market for imported products, has increased significantly. In addition, Amazon, number 1 in “Internet Retailer” and No. 4 in the “China 500” of 2016, said that by the end of August 2016, Chinese consumers had placed more than 10 million Orders on cross-border e-mail.
Recently, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said online retail sales in China reached 5.16 trillion yuan ($ 752 billion) in 2016, 26.2% from 2015, more than double the rate of growth in total retail sales, which increased by 10.4% year-on-year.
In addition to the presence of some e-commerce giants in cross-border e-commerce, the launch of applications such as the RED mobile shopping application also played a crucial role in promoting overseas products.
The sale of fresh products online
Another important aspect of e-commerce in China is the sale of fresh products online, which reached nearly 100 billion yuan ($ 15 billion) in 2016. Online sales would represent about 7% of total product sales China, and it is increasing by about 82% per year.
The taste of Chinese consumers for fresh food continues to grow. A recent survey conducted by the consultancy firm showed that fresh food is now the most requested product category. 63% of consumers in the survey say they intend to buy more and more fresh, high-quality food over the next few years.
With a growing demand in the future, this sector is already attracting the attention of many new players online and offline, and it is expected to increase sales in the coming years.
Chinese consumers are also more likely to buy fresh products online. A survey found that 24% of consumers were satisfied with fresh food purchased online, compared with 17% who were more satisfied when shopping in stores. Price is not the only online sales engine in this category, as the Internet also offers convenience and a better selection of products for Chinese consumers.
Nowadays, manufacturers and merchants focus on the presence of many channels and platforms; Online, offline, mobile, social. This makes the landscape very fragmented and pushes traders to multi-vendor operations.
Cross-border sales channels
Foreign products are usually sold in China, but not always on official B2C channels. In general, when Chinese consumers fail to buy the desired foreign products by themselves or through friends, they often make use of purchasing agents who sell through platforms such as Taobao , JD. The channels through which many foreign products enter China, generally do not pass customs inspections.
With the current development of cross-border e-commerce, channels quickly replace purchasing agents. All online trading giants currently have a b2c (business to consumer) segment for foreign products. The products displayed on the b2c platforms are sent directly to the client from abroad or transferred to the customs warehouse in China. Traders on these platforms must be allowed to receive products from outside and be considered trustworthy. In addition, the import procedures and customs duties for postal items have been largely attenuated by the government.