China is 10 Years Ahead of the West

2 min read August 07, 2015

Comparison of China and the West is a subject of constant discussions and debates.
Will the CNY take over the USD as the reserve currency? Has China’s economy already  surpassed the US’s?  However, on the social and mobile commerce front, China’s dominance cannot be questioned.

In China, the two phenomena are extensively overlapping and developing faster than in the rest of the world. It is not only the sheer size of the market that often makes e-marketers’ eyes watery, but also how fast the audience is adapting and actively shaping the latest trends and technologies of the e-commerce market. In the first quarter of 2015, the mobile commerce market have grown by an incredible 168%. Currently, shopping on mobile takes up 47.8% of the e-commerce market and if the trend continues, it will soon surpass the sales on desktops.


According to a recent report, more than 70% of the online shoppers are using social media platforms to make purchases. This number is mainly driven by the built in e-commerce functions of WeChat, but there are many other platforms, where shopping or buying gifts are essential parts of the social experience.

The “Generation Z” , young shoppers between the age of 18 and 24, is further propelling these trends. They mainly rely on online information before making a purchase decision and tend to be incredibly active on social media. More than 40% of the shoppers are happy to write and share reviews on social media and they have significant power. In China, bad reviews can make your e-commerce business plummet more drastically than in Europe and the US.

Experts say that China is 10 years ahead of the West in social commerce. In the western world, consumers mainly buy lower value products on mobile, but users in China are willing to go much further than that. Last year, during a flash sale held on WeChat, 388 cars were sold within 3 minutes. This might be an isolated example, but it certainly shows how comfortable the Chinese audience is with making purchases on social media platforms and on mobile devices.

Sources: Forbes, Jing Daily, CBRE



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