In 2016, more than 15% of the population will make purchases from abroad worth $85.76 billion and by 2020, more than a quarter of the population will shop digitally for foreign products, according to eMarketer in its first analysis of the consumer trend.
The chart above in eMarketer’s brand new study represents buyers age 14 and up who have made at least one purchase from a foreign seller either directly through a foreign-based site or an intermediary at least once during the calendar year. Includes desktop/laptop, mobile and tablet purchases.
Last year’s intense growth is also attributable to Alibaba launching Tmall Global in 2014, and JD launching JD Worldwide in 2015, enabling overseas brands to sell their goods directly to digital shoppers in China. In addition, in some categories, such as infant products, consumers in China perceive overseas goods to be higher-quality and more trustworthy.
Cross-border buyers in China are expected to spend an average of $473.26 each this year on global goods, representing 4.2% of the total retail ecommerce market and will amount to a spend of $85.76 billion this year.
The eMarketer forecasting analyst Shelleen Shum predicts shifts in platform use towards official and organized sellers.
“Furthermore, cross-border ecommerce goods sold via the business-to-consumer (B2C) channel are expected to take up a growing share of the total cross-border ecommerce market in 2016 as consumers shift to platforms that are more professional and organized. Since the merchants selling on these B2C platforms have to be authorized, they are considered more trustworthy.”
Rising global brand.com cross-border ecommerce in China
More ‘professional and organized’ sellers? The article does not cite specifically what those disfavored platforms are (one can take a couple guesses) but with the current negative press around the proliferation of counterfeits on Alibaba, it’s probable that official brand.com webstores and non-marketplace models may see a spike in popularity as cross-border ecommerce in China booms.