Ecommerce revenues to triple in China

3 January 2013

BEIJING: Ecommerce sales in China are due to more than triple during the coming three years, a forecast has predicted.

According to estimates from Analysys International, the insights provider, business-to-consumer online transactions will be worth RMB785bn in 2013, versus RMB470bn in 2012 and RMB240bn in 2011.

Looking further ahead, the organisation projected that category revenues should come in at RMB1.2tr in 2014 and RMB1.6tr in 2015.

As part of this process, the market is beginning to witness a degree of maturation in terms of the sites proving most popular with shoppers.

"Tmall and Jingdong Mall have gradually become the driving force of the nation's ecommerce industry, replacing the customer-to-customer model represented by Taobao.com," Chen Shousong, an analyst at Analysys International, told the China Daily

In reflection of this, the business-to-consumer market will grow at a faster rate than the entire online retail segment, which also incorporates consumer-to-consumer transactions.

As such, the ecommerce sector as a whole will be worth RMB2.6tr in 2015. This compares with 797bn in 2011 and the RMB1.2tr logged in 2012, rising to RMB1.7tr in 2013 and RMB2.1tr in 2014.

Another core trend defining this space at present has been a race to the bottom on price in many product categories.

"Intensified competition among large platforms will further narrow retail profit margins. However, it also helped set the tone for the nation's B2C sector with large shopping platforms set to dominate the market in the years to come," said Chen.

Consumer electronics has seen particularly fierce activity in terms of pricing, as digital pureplays battle it out with the online sites of retail chains like Suning and Gome.

Innovation is also anticipated to play a central role, with Jingdong Mall prioritising areas including the mobile internet and cloud computing in a bid to strengthen its customer base.

Similarly, Alibaba, the parent company of Taobao and Tmall, has committed to enhancing its delivery options in third and fourth tier cities, where affluence is increasing among consumers.

Data sourced from China Daily; additional content by Warc staff