The China’s National Bureau of Statistics recently released a report presenting the 2016 country’s economic data. Chinese online shopping is reportedly facing an historical boom. Already the largest e-commerce economy in the world, the Chinese e-commerce market growth is predicted to expand even further over the next few years.

Chinese E-Commerce Market Growth overview

The report’s results show that Chinese e-commerce market growth rate increased by 26.2%. E-commerce now represents 15.5% of total retail sales in the country. The e-commerce industry in China has generated ¥5.16 trillion in 2016, which represents twice the growth rate of the whole retail economy in China.

The majority of items Chinese people order online consist of tangible goods, which are worth ¥4.19 trillion with digital goods making up the rest. The governmental agency report details the kind of goods Chinese consumers purchase most online. Last year, Chinese people purchased more food online as the figures reached 28.5% growth. As for clothing sales, it increased by 18.1% while item like mobile devices reached almost 12%.

From now on, Chinese buyers prefer premium quality products. To get those premium items, Chinese consumers often need to go online to order imported goods, as the trend shows that they perceive foreign goods to be of higher quality. Consequence of this new interest, Alibaba’s Tmall Global, which is specialized in premium imported goods, saw more than double sales in 2016.

Chinese e-commerce evolution for the future

The Chinese economy is healthy: in 2016, China‘s GDP grew by 6.7% and the country is becoming one of the most powerful economies in the world, maybe as soon as 2017. As we presented you in 2016 IPC’s survey, China is the first online shopping market in the world, with 36% of its population ordering online at least once a week. According to Specialists of the China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the country will expand the advance it already has on the United States in the future. The reason behind the Chinese e-commerce market growth rate is associated to more bricks-and-mortar stores penetrating online markets.

As a new Forrester’s research show, the actual Chinese mobile payment growth rate clearly surpasses the US’. In 2016, Chinese consumers used their mobile to pay their purchases about 50 times more than American consumers. The growth of online shopping and development of internet financial services in China can explain those figures. Forrester thinks US mobile payments will only become 2.6 times bigger in 2019 than it was in 2015, while Chinese’s should grow as high as 7.4 times in the same period of time.

What does that mean? Well, such interest in mobile payment proves Chinese consumers are not afraid of shopping online. This surely makes market penetration easier for e-commerce, contrary to countries where tangible money like cash and credit cards are the norm and still represent the majority of the payments. For e-commerce professionals looking to get into the Chinese e-commerce market, offering a clean mobile layout with easy mobile payments is the top priority.