Mobile commerce sales boom in China

13 September 2012

BEIJING: Mobile commerce sales have increased by more than 500% in China during the last year, a trend set to gain further momentum going forwards, new figures show.

According to estimates from iResearch, the insights provider, the revenues generated through this channel reached RMB11.6bn in the second quarter of 2012.

This figure constituted a 74.5% lift on the first three months of the year, when returns hit RMB6.7bn. It also marked an improvement of 592% from the RMB1.98bn recorded in the second quarter of 2011.

Overall, mobile took a 4.3% share of online retail sales in Q2. The ecommerce sector as a whole expanded by 51.6% year on year in the second quarter, and attained a value of RMB268bn.

By way of comparison, mobile delivered just 1.1% of ecommerce revenues in the second quarter of 2011, and 2.9% in the first quarter of 2012.

Looking ahead, iResearch's report predicted that the mobile channel could enter an "eruptive period" in the fourth quarter of 2012, and should yield more than 10% of digital sales in China by 2015.

The premier mobile vendor between April and June this year was Taobao, which claimed 75.6% of revenues. It was followed in a distant second by 360buy on 6.2%, while Tencent occupied third position on 3.9%.

Vancl, the fashion group, was the first brand owner to feature on the list on 2.1%, as the top three were all general retailers.

Maimaibao, a mobile-only shopping site, came next on 1.6%. Amazon, the leading overseas player in the rankings, logged 0.9%, beating Dangdang on 0.7%. In all, the top seven platforms held 91% of the market.

Deloitte, the consultancy, recently polled 100 executives in the wireless telecoms, financial services and third-party payment sectors, and found 66.7% of represented firms now offered mobile commerce tools.

Some 21.4% of its panel expected that banks would lead this industry by 2015, ahead of mobile operators on 20.6%. UnionPay, the credit and debit card service, posted 17% on the same metric.

"Most mobile businesses and mobile payment products have only been deployed on a trial basis," said William Chou, managing partner, technology, media and telecommunications at Deloitte China. "Generally speaking, the industry is still at the exploratory stage."

Data sourced from iResearch; additional content by Warc staff