3 Key Findings on Digital Consumers Affect eCommerce

TMO GroupSeptember 7, 2017
3 Key Findings on Digital Consumers Affect eCommerce

The Internet in China is embracing the scenes of retail, entertainment, intelligence, and offline-to-online. The relationship and bonding between industry sectors and the Internet are growing stronger. In this article, we will review the trend of rising digital consumers and their buying behavior.





1 - People Are Using More Mobile


In China, mobile device users were highest at 0.72 billion where the mobile internet penetration increased from 95.1% to 96.3% in 2017. Smartphones are the key internet device, and the most commonly-owned device in this market, they are also perceived to be internet users’ most important internet access point.

In addition, we’re seeing more and more online behaviors migrate to smartphones, along with increases in the time spent online on them, rising from 2 hours 30 mins in 2015 to 2 hours 51 mins in 2016. It occupied 47% of the total online time i.e. people are using more mobile and using less PC.


Time Spent Online via Mobile


On the internet access by device index, mobile (89%) first exceeded the PC (83%) for the year ended 2016. Content contributors start to switch more focus to mobile platforms.


Internet Access by Device

2 - No. of Digital Consumers is Rising

As at June 2017, more than 0.5 billion Chinese were shopping online and the half year percentage growth was 9%. Online shopping via mobile devices accounted for 66.4%, equal to 0.48 billion people.


Mobile Shopping: No. of users / Penetration rate / Half-year % Growth

  • Reasons for rising mobile shopping

First, it is not restricted to any physical boundary and consumers are willing to pay more for goods with better quality and imported commodity.

Second, IoT is prevailing which greatly increases the sales of intelligent household products.


Age of Online Users


Third, younger generations who are more relying on mobile shopping are becoming the major force of consumption. Statistic revealed that age of online users is mainly 20-29 (29.7%) and 30-39 (23.0%), which also be the major spenders in the society in general.

So, you should beware of who is your target digital customers at your eCommerce business.


3 - Behavior of Digital Consumers

  • Where does the consumer know about the brand?

The Internet and mobile commerce influence much the consumer journey. When a consumer did brand and product research, most people relied on the search engine (41%), following online consumer reviews (30%) and via the social network (29%).




On the matter of online purchase, 74% of people finished the transaction via mobile device while 57% finished via PC / laptop. Same with the finds of 'internet access by device', people are switching to be 'more mobile'.




  • What eCommerce policy does the consumer concern?

When your online (mobile) retail platform was setup, you should also notice the following operation policies that the customers concern. 49% of consumer concerned 'Free Delivery'. One of the reasons why the Amazon Prime membership can successfully drive sales will be the free delivery policy. Consumers can feel free to buy without worry about delivery cost. Quick and easy checkout process (33%) will be related to user interface / user experience and the seamless integration of mobile payment like Alipay, WeChat Pay and Union Pay.





Social interaction and reviews from other customers (33%) were also placing importance on affecting consumer decision. Finally, you should not miss the importance of refund policy (33%) and the financial rewards and incentives (31%). While you may trace the customer is hesitated at the payment page, try to offer him / her a discount coupon to close the deal!


Summary: Key takeaways from the above data

E-commerce and what China is now calling New Retail is the matter of 'People', 'Product' and 'Place'. We have previous articles talking about these.  So, what should you prepare for your China eCommerce?

  1. Get your retail business ready for omni-channel including both mobile and PC device. Official web store, WeChat Store and even the O2O integration in the offline stores are inevitable.
  2. E-commerce embraces the era of big data analysis. Through historial data analysis and prediction, create the user portrait and target your right customers.
  3. Your quality products are quickly spread by 'word-of-mouth' via online reviews and social media channels. Try to add social interaction elements to attract consumers and carefully manage the online community.
  4. Create the best user shopping experience. Professional UI/UX design  will help your conversion.

Thank you for your support. Next article following this, using data proof, we will share popular mobile channels to do your eCommerce marketing.


Data Source:

40th China Statistical Report on Internet Development by CNNIC and the China GWI Report Q2 2017 by the GlobalWebIndex.




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