China ranked as the world’s top B2C E-commerce market, according to the recent China B2C E-commerce report 2014, by a Hamburg-based secondary research organization yStats.com.
China is the second largest and the fastest growing B2C E-Commerce market worldwide and the fastest growing. Besides, China's potential for further growth of online retail comes from the growing Internet and online shopper penetration, as well as increasing consumption per shopper.
Moreover, the trends in online shopping in China include the increasing use of mobile apps, social media, group-buying and purchase of luxury goods. The Chinese shoppers also are actively buying outside the country, with their purchases accounting for the largest part of the multi-billion EUR cross-border B2C E-Commerce value. Overall, the two largest product categories in online shopping are clothing and electronics, while among the fast growing are groceries, baby products and cosmetics.
The B2C E-Commerce market in China is dominated by online marketplaces, while the direct-to-consumer segment is significantly smaller. Alibaba's B2C marketplace, Tmall was the largest player in 2013, controlling almost half of the market, followed by JD.com and Tencent. Besides, foreign merchants employ various strategies to penetrate the booming market, including launching shops on popular online marketplaces, the strategy chosen by brands such as Gap, Esprit, Uniqlo, and Levi's.
While, Walmart has chosen to acquire an existing online store and Amazon launched its own online shop through new investment. Puma and Apple are examples of merchants that are trying a dual approach, offering one product range through a Chinese market place and a different range through their own online shops.