On November 11, popularly referred to as Singles Day by Chinese Internet users, the daily sales of online retailers in China reached a new high of $4.8 billion. Similarly, online shopping on Cyber Monday in the United States topped $1.98 billion on November 26. The traditional model of in-store retailing has taken a huge hit by its online counterpart.
In recent years, China's e-commerce has embraced improving conditions. E-commerce enterprises have emerged in great numbers. Various payment technologies, including online and mobile payment, are rapidly developing. Along with the speedy rise of express delivery services, these trends are converging to create a strong infrastructure for booming of e-commerce in the country.
There are 100 million Internet users in China who are actual or potential online shopping consumers. Young people, especially white-collar workers, comprise the majority. From a toothbrush to a TV set, they increasingly turn to the Internet for their consumption needs.
According to the Bluebook of China E-business: Forecast 2013, published by the Data Center of China Internet (DCCI) on November 26, China's online sales are expected to reach $160 billion this year, accounting for over 3 percent of total consumer sales. The bluebook also predicted that online sales will exceed $223 billion in China in 2013 and its proportion of total consumer sales will reach 5 percent.
The e-commerce market is so enormous that no enterprise can afford to ignore its potential. For this reason, many in-store retailers and producers have launched online sales services.
However, many problems stand in the way of China's e-commerce sector. For instance, a credit management system has not been fully established. Intellectual property rights violations and counterfeit and fake goods remain unsolved problems. Laws and regulations are conspicuously lacking in e-commerce. Other supporting services, including warehousing, logistics and delivery, lag behind booming e-commerce.
E-commerce is an effective way for consumer goods producers to reduce costs, increase efficiency, expand markets and innovate business modes. Moreover, it will increase consumption demand and improve efficiency of resources utilization.
E-commerce is important to the transformation of China's economic growth mode, and it will play an increasingly vital role in optimizing industrial structure, fostering emerging industries and driving economic growth.
In the aftermath of every new online shopping bonanza, enterprises and concerned government departments should settle down and think carefully about how to turn soaring sales into continuous growth for the Chinese economy.