China Leads The World in Online Commerce

Asian woman using smartphone on sofa living roomChinese users have the highest engagement with online commerce across all devices, a new report shows. 76 per cent of Chinese internet users are buying via desktops and laptops, 60 per cent via mobiles and 25 per cent via tablets, according to research by GlobalWebIndex.

Overall, online commerce is strong, with two thirds of internet users aged 16-64 having bought a product online within the last month, and only 10 per cent saying they have never purchased an item via the internet. While PCs remain the dominant devices, smartphones and tablets are making significant gains.

26 per cent of global respondents had bought an item in the last month using a smartphone, and 12 per cent used a tablet. These numbers have risen by 25 per cent and 54 per cent respectively since the end of 2012. Perhaps more importantly, multi-device commerce is establishing itself as a major trend, with over a quarter of respondents using a desktop and mobile device together to make purchases.

Looking at national breakdowns, while China dominates all device types, the countries that follow paint an interesting picture. For purchases made by desktop and laptop, internet-mature countries like Germany, the UK, South Korea and the US rank just below China. When looking at smartphones and tablets, its emerging, fast-growing markets that make up the rest of the top five, like Turkey, Thailand and Mexico.

Breaking down trends in showrooming and webrooming, the report showed that while low-value, impulsive products like clothes, shoes, gifts and books were more likely to be purchased online after researching them in physical stores, big ticket items like white goods, consumer electronics, mobile phones and cars were more likely to be researched heavily online, then purchased in bricks and mortar stores.