Mobile phones have eclipsed desktops and laptops as the most popular devices used for online shopping in the country, according to the survey of over 5,000 people across China. Eighty-one percent of online shoppers claimed that they use the handheld device for shopping, compared to 59 percent and 57 percent for desktops and laptops respectively.
Ease of use was a big motivator for consumers to switch to their smartphones when shopping, with 71 percent stating that this method was more convenient. Mobile payment facilities were also a big driver, with 52 percent of consumers stating that they preferred this method due to the convenience of mobile payments, according to Nielsen. Tencent’s WeChat Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay dominate much of the mobile payment market in China.
Since the end of 2014, the percentage of Chinese Internet users who use online payment methods increased from 46.9 percent to 60.5 percent, according to the report, with mobile payment usage soaring rapidly in 2015. The number of users reached 358 million, an increase rate of 64.5 percent.
Earlier this month, Alibaba said mobile gross merchandise value accounted for 75 percent of its total GMV of $126 billion for the first quarter ending June 30. It also said that mobile monetization is overtaking the value of PC for the first time.
Meanwhile, the numbers of price-sensitive shoppers seems to be on the rise in China. The report said the percentage of price-sensitive shoppers as part of the total consumer market increased from 15 percent to 19 percent year-on-year. According to Nielsen, price-sensitive shoppers are typically over 35 years old with comparatively less education and lower incomes than other consumers in China.
The introduction and growing popularity of e-commerce platforms’ shopping festivals, such as Singles’ Day, have gained huge traction in the country over the past few years. Sixty-eight percent of respondents claimed that they now go shopping online when there is a sale, with the percentage of customers visiting participating stores during the online shopping festivals up to a staggering 95 percent, according to the report. This has led to intense price wars amongst competing platforms.
Another Nielsen survey of 5,000 consumers shows that traditional hypermarkets and supermarkets are increasingly losing the battle against online retailers on the Mainland. The report found that a significant reason for this shift in consumer behavior was the lure of cheaper goods online, with 61 percent of those surveyed saying that they choose to buy things online due to cheaper prices, a significant rise from 42 percent last year. Price transparency was also a key factor, with 56 percent of respondents suggesting that they prefer online shopping platforms due to it being “easier to compare prices,” which was up 15 percent from last year’s figure.