Mobile shopping more than triples in China in 2014

March 4, 2015 11:25 AM

Chinese consumers spent 929.71 billion yuan ($148.16 billion) on shopping from their smartphones and tablets in 2014, up 239% from 274.00 billion yuan ($43.66 billion) in 2013, according to Chinese research firm iResearch.

That is a huge leap in one year for mobile shopping, given that online shopping grew only 49.8% to 2.814 trillion yuan ($448.47 billion) in China in 2014, according to iResearch, a Beijing-based firm that tracks e-commerce. IResearch attributes the uptick in mobile shopping mainly to the growing popularity of mobile devices and leading e-retailers’ investments in better serving mobile shoppers.  

Mobile commerce seems likely to keep growing: iResearch forecasts mobile shopping will grow more than fourfold to 4.504 trillion yuan ($717. 75 billion) in sales in 2018.

Purchases on mobile devices accounted for 33% of online sales in China in 2014, compared with 14.5% in the prior year, according to iResearch.

The Chinese research company also predicts that mobile sales will surpass sales on personal computers in 2016 and reach 61.7% of online sales in 2018. 

Already several leading Chinese e-retailers say they get a majority of sales from consumers shopping on smartphones and tablets. For example, Vipshop has reported sales on mobile devices accounted for 66% of purchases on its e-commerce site and web marketplace in the fourth quarter of 2014. 

Alibaba Group, China’s dominant e-commerce player with some 80% of online retail purchases on its Taobao and Tmall marketplaces, is consolidating its mobile position by investing in apps for and Alibaba accounts for 86.2% of mobile purchases Chinese consumers make, according to iResearch. IResearch says Alibaba dominates the market and is moving beyond selling products to mobile shoppers to selling everything, including booking hotel rooms and buying theater tickets.

Here is the mobile shopping market share of the top 10 Chinese companies, according to iResearch:

  1. Alibaba, 86.2%
  2., 4.2%
  3. Vipshop, 2.1%
  4., 0.8%
  5., 0.5%
  6., 0.5%
  7. Gome, 0.4%
  8. Amazon China, 0.3%
  9. Dangdang, 0.3%
  10. Maimaibao, 0.3% ranks No. 1 in the Internet Retailer China 500. Vipshop is No. 8; Suning, No. 2; Jumei, No. 11;, No. 6; Gome, No. 7; Amazon China, No. 4; Dangdang, No. 10; Maimaibao, No. 26.  

Alibaba is not ranked in the China 500 because it does not own merchandise sold on its marketplaces, instead acting as a platform where other merchants sell, much like eBay Inc. in the United States and other countries.




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