China Shoppers Embrace Foreign Grocery on Cross Border eCommerce, And Here's The Proof

TMO GroupJuly 26, 2016
China Shoppers Embrace Foreign Grocery on Cross Border eCommerce, And Here's The Proof

We revealed earlier that selling your foreign grocery business to China via cross border eCommerce could be the new million dollar idea. Promising as it looks, you may still wonder that: what does Chinese customer think? Are they willing to try foreign grocery products on eCommerce?

The answer is Yes. “Fresh Food E-commerce in China: 2016 Report” was released earlier by iResearch, and we gathered the major takeaways from this report, especially those directly reflected the cross border eCommerce on grocery/fresh food.


1. Grocery/fresh food eCommerce: Huge demand and potential overall

While Chinese residents are constantly improve quality of life, they also have placed higher requirements on the quality, safety, and convenience of food. Thus there is huge demand left for grocery eCommerce in China now.

In the past three years, grocery/fresh food eCommerce market has been growing rapidly with an above 80% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR). Meanwhile, it only occupies 3.4% of total retail sales of agricultural products, which implies huge room for growth in the future. It is estimated that the online grocery market will exceed 100 billion Yuan in terms of GMV by 2017 with a 7% penetration rate.

China Foreign Grocery/Fresh Food on Cross Border eCommerce


2. Chinese Shoppers embrace grocery eCommerce, especially foreign grocery

According to the survey results, 27.4% of the survey respondents have bought grocery online before, which seems not too many. The silver lining is: about 48.1% of the respondents said that they never bought it, but they are “interested in trying it. These respondents will be the potential clients for grocery eCommerce business in China.

Only 24.5% respondents claimed that they never tried grocery eCommerce before, and they have no intention on trying it in the future.

China Foreign Grocery/Fresh Food on Cross Border eCommerce

Plus, research result shows high purchase rate for foreign grocery products online: The purchase rate of imported fresh food is as high as 53.1%. High purchase rate shows that most of Chinese consumers who purchased fresh food online recognized this way of shopping.

China Foreign Grocery/Fresh Food on Cross Border eCommerce


3. Foreign fruits, seafood and dairy product are very popular

If you own a foreign fruit business and you’re eyeing China eCommerce market, the timing cannot be better. In 2015, top 3 best-selling fresh food categories purchased online in China were fruits, milk & dairy products and meat.

Besides, foreign fruits, seafood and dairy product are those imported product that are favored of. 40.3% of the survey respondents said that they prefer foreign fruits than domestic ones when shopping online, following by foreign seafood products.

China Foreign Grocery/Fresh Food on Cross Border eCommerce

Mexican Avocados on Tmall

In contrast, small output and heavy demand have driven up imports of dairy products, making it a popular fresh food category purchased online.

Devondale australian milk cross border eCommerce in China

Devondale, an Australian milk brand selling on


4. Low Price No Longer the No.1 Reason to Buy

It’s about time to get rid of your stereotype about Chinese customers now. More than low prices, Chinese buyers are concerned about time efficiency.

China Foreign Grocery/Fresh Food on Cross Border eCommerce

When asking “reasons for buying fresh food online”, the No.1 reason is: “convenient, saves the time of shopping in supermarkets”, which accounts for 65.6%.

Besides, 38% of people claimed that “imported products” is their main reason to buy grocery online, which brings huge potential for grocery eCommerce.


5. Over Half of Online Orders Reached Consumers via Same-day Delivery

Now, time efficiency was the major driver for online purchase of fresh food. Fresh food eCommerce boom also improved the timeliness of fresh food delivery. 52.5% fresh food purchased online reached consumers through same-day delivery. Over two thirds of fresh food orders reached consumers within 2 days.

China Foreign Grocery/Fresh Food on Cross Border eCommerce


As a developing pioneer in China, TMO Group know eCommerce ecosystem well, and we are open to give you the service and quality workmanship that is well expected.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding eCommerce solutions that you may have!


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