Posted On 2015/08/01 By In Business, Branding, Consumer, News, Face, Internet, Media, Fashion, Luxury, Shopping With 790 Views

The 5 Ms of Selling Cross-Border Into China

[Tim Parry:] Introducing Alibaba Group’s Jimmy Tobyne’s keynote session on July 21 at our Growing Global conference, I was asked to take a few minutes to warm up the crowd with some related information.

And the first thing that came to my mind was the letter M. It seems like if you want to build your cross-border ecommerce strategy into China, it comes down to 5 M-words or phrases. In no particular order, they are:

Middle class

AZN economists say the middle class population in China has grown to more than a half a billion, and could reach 854 million by 2030. And 2030 per capita income is expected to grow threefold from what it is today. Clearly, the middle class is rapidly growing, as is its disposable income.


PayPal notes that 68% of shoppers in China made a purchase via a smartphone in 2014. As iResearch points out, the soaring use of mobile internet, improved mobile shopping scenarios, and better mobile commerce platforms are all contributing to this surge. Also, mobile payments are on the rise. Companies like Alibaba, with its Alipay mobile payment solution, are making payments by smartphone second nature for the Chinese consumer.


Chinese consumers want luxury goods, but they also want authenticity. This explains why U.S. merchants such as Coach and Kate Spade are finding greater growth in China than they are in their own backyards. But Chinese customers are not just buying luxury products online from U.S. businesses. They also buy everyday staples like food, baby products, and cosmetics, and big ticket items like furniture and appliances.


Well… we haven’t cracked that code yet. China is a hotspot for U.S.-based merchants, but Return Path says just 44% of emails sent by U.S. businesses to recipients in China actually reach the inbox.


The Chinese consumer trusts and prefers buying on marketplaces, and does not have that same affinity to brand-owned sites. Alibaba’s Tmall is king of the marketplace scene in China, followed by And Amazon? While it’s a powerhouse in the U.S., it has just a fraction of the Chinese wallet.

Learn more in our Global Ready China Seminars


Article: Tim Parry via Multichannel Merchant

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Stefan (from Austria, Europe) has been living, studying and working in China since 2010. Stefan has worked on several research, publication and consulting projects focusing on the China Travel Market. He holds three Masters degrees and is an expert on China Outbound Tourism, Marketing and Social Media in China. Stefan works with BMG on the Global Ready China Seminars as well as the Global Ready China News and related projects. He also has teaching engagements in the areas of eMarketing and Tourism Strategy.

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