China is eCommerce’s greatest success story to date. In the five years to the end of 2015, the amount spent online has more than quadrupled in size to nearly half a trillion dollars, driving it past the US (US$300 billion) as the largest eCommerce market on earth.
The brands and businesses thriving as part of this great eCommerce expansion are those with strategies built around the distinct characteristics of the market. In China, rapid urbanisation, swiftly expanding technology and entrepreneurial spirit have been the catalysts for growth. And the eCommerce environment they have produced is far more than just a sales channel; it’s a potent ecosystem for brand building, CRM, innovation, test marketing, and more – the foundation for entire go-to-market strategies.
eCommerce in China has been a hugely disruptive force across a range of categories – and it’s not finished yet. As the eCommerce ecosystem expands to include new types of platforms, it produces new shopping trends and new brand opportunities. To leverage them effectively, marketers need to understand why eCommerce in China has taken the form that it has – and learn the lessons of those that have used online shopping to rewrite the rules of brand-consumer relationships.