Online sales have passed $1 trillion for the first time in China, the world’s leading eCommerce market.
According to Internet Retailer, China's Ministry of Commerce revealed online retail sales totaled 7.18 trillion yuan ($1.149 trillion) in 2017, an increase of 32% from 5.43 billion yuan ($869 billion) in 2016. eCommerce growth accelerated past the 30% mark in 2016, after slumping to 26% in 2016 from 33% in 2015.
China far outpaces the United States, the second-largest e-retail market in the world, in both sales and growth. While the U.S. Department of Commerce will not release its 2017 estimate of online retail sales until later this month, Internet Retailer estimates U.S. e-commerce growth of about 15% in 2017 to approximately $455 billion.
China is the largest eCommerce market in the world but is still continuing to grow across all product categories, particularly luxury. International retailers considering shipping to China need to invest in making the shopping experience feel local. Chinese shoppers are tech-savvy, and expect brands to not only offer a personal, localized checkout, but to provide 24/7 service on WeChat or Weibo social channels. Brands will need to incorporate local servers, payment methods, delivery options and social media if they hope to take full advantage of the Chinese eCommerce opportunity.