HONG KONG — Amazon is doing more business than ever with Chinese consumers, but not necessarily on its Chinese site, according to a new report from the e-commerce giant.
The “Amazon.cn 2015 Cross-border E-commerce Trend Report” said Chinese customers spent six times more on Amazon sites globally this year, compared to last, driven by the popularity of cross-border e-commerce in China.
Cross-border e-commerce has been the hottest trend in China’s e-commerce sector in 2015, with research from Accenture and AliResearch, market leader Alibaba’s research arm, predicting that the global B2C cross-border e-commerce market will balloon in size to $1 trillion in 2020 from $230 billion in 2014.
This boom will be largely due to Chinese consumers who wish to get their hands on imported products, which are perceived as superior in quality and safety to domestic goods, and are easier than ever to import into China, with the growth of free trade zones in major cities, including Shanghai.
According to the Amazon China report, Chinese consumers care most about price, quality and the speed of logistics when it comes to cross-border online shopping and the majority of cross-border e-commerce consumers come from first-tier cities and southern cities.
While footwear and health products were the two most popular categories for cross-border online shopping in 2014, this year, toys and outdoor products are gaining traction.
Judging from the profiles of online shoppers, the report claims Amazon’s Chinese users are skewing younger, with more education and higher incomes.
Another major growth point for Amazon China has been its Global Selling platform, which allows Chinese companies to sell their wares overseas. The number of Chinese sellers on the platform has grown 13 times over in the period from 2012 to 2015, and the number of products it has sold has grown 87 times over the same period, according to the report.
The hottest items from Chinese sellers on Amazon include predictable fare, such as clothes and computer accessories, though the past 12 months has seen particular gains made in sectors such as tablets, smartphones, robots, Bluetooth headsets and drones.
Amazon is still a relatively minor player in the Chinese e-commerce landscape compared to Alibaba and JD.com. According to data from China Internet Watch, Amazon China has only a 1 percent share of China’s business-to-consumer e-commerce market, in comparison to Alibaba’s Tmall (54 percent) and JD.com (23.3 percent).
Both Alibaba and JD.com reported strong sales growth on Singles’ Day, now the world’s biggest day for e-commerce sales. Also, the two companies both reported double-digit surges in sales for their most recent financial quarters. Alibaba said its second-quarter revenue grew 32 percent while JD.com said its third-quarter sales advanced 52 percent.