China is the world's largest ecommerce market, having grown at 71% annually since 2009 and set to be worth $541bn by 2015. Of the country's 591 million internet users, 49% made an online purchase in 2013 – ahead of the global average of 40%. Online shoppers tend to be younger and more affluent, and enjoy the convenience of online for price comparison (a big motivator) and accessing product reviews.
These insights come courtesy of Ecommerce and Search Engine Marketing in China, an infographic shared with us by Search Laboratory, a search engine marketing agency.
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In terms of electronic payment method, Search Laboratory finds two companies dominate (Alipay and Tenpay), though cash payment on delivery is still popular, emphasising the need to integrate online and offline retail. China's Singles Day is a particularly big ecommerce opportunity, with $5.7bn online sales in one day in 2013.
This market represents a massive opportunity not just for domestic retailers, but those overseas too. Purchases from overseas have doubled annually for the past three years. Retailers participating in this market would do well to consider SEO in China as 60-65% of people click on top-ten websites, with only 2-4% clicking on websites in positions 21-30.
Global search engines are usually blocked, and in China listings are formulated in a way that prioritises content over keywords, meaning retailers should ensure a good user experience to feature highly.
Baidu continues to be the dominant search engine, though Search Laboratory reports that its share has declined to 63.16%. Baidu's search listings promote websites which have high quality original content, offer good user experiences, offer useful information and have high click through rates, but may exclude websites that rank highly for keywords whilst featuring poor quality content.
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