Over the last 30 years China has experienced unprecedented social, structural and economical change bringing huge opportunities for e-commerce merchants. With online retail sales in China hitting $589 billion in 2015, the country has overtaken the US and UK markets with their combined sales of $505.97 billion. Moreover, the Chinese market is expected to triple and approach $2 trillion by 2020, so it’s easy to understand the attraction of the market for growing UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Of course, much work and analysis is required by any businesses thinking seriously about entering China but on the assumption that it ticks the right boxes and a business strategy has been set, there are a number of e-commerce obstacles that need tackling before the open sign can be hung up. Here are some of the key points to work on, as well as some potentially valuable pointers.
- Chinese SEO
- Cross-border shopping
And while this demographic in China becomes more active, they are also earning more than the average person – more than double, in fact. Having an online shopping experience that matches their expectations is vital, especially as reports point to their online shopping habit only increasing further in the future.
- Online payment
China is dominated by two online payment methods - Alipay and Tenpay - with a 49.6% and 19.5% respectively. By offering Alipay or Tenpay as a payment method as Checkout.com does, both domestic and cross-border e-commerce merchants are able to accept payments from a combined force of 500 million Chinese consumers. Alipay provides an impressive majority of this number with 300 million members and an overwhelming 80 million daily transactions.
Similar to Alipay, Tenpay offers a cross-border solution, allowing companies to take payments from 200 million Chinese customers. These two payment methods are currently dominating the Chinese online market and are crucial to offer to online customers within the e-commerce sector.
- Optimise for mobile
The $2 trillion market on offer thanks to a middle-class that is quickly growing bigger and more affluent isn’t finished just yet. The Economist recently predicted that by 2020, the Chinese e-commerce market would be bigger than the existing markets in America, Britain, Japan, Germany and France combined.
The difference between success and failure in China has a number of factors behind it, but what is without doubt is that getting it right online will have a profound effect.
By Guillaume Pousaz, founder of Checkout.com