More than half of online shoppers in China buy British goods

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Research by Royal Mail has revealed that over half (55%) of shoppers in China bought items from British brands during a three-month period, spending an average of £104 (US$136) per month.

The results showed that there is a real appetite for British goods, with 87% of those surveyed saying they like British brands and 76% saying they trust items bought from British retailers not to be counterfeit.

China’s e-commerce market is a busy place with the average online shopper spending £123 (US$161) per month, compared to £89 (US$116) in the UK. Three in four shoppers claim to have recently increased their rate of online shopping while confidence has risen 30% within two years. They are also tech-savvy, with 79% making purchases via their smartphone (up from 70% in 2015), compared to 28% of UK shoppers.

Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, said, “This study provides a deep insight into the largest e-commerce market in the world. By 2020, China’s e-commerce market is set to be larger than those of the USA, Japan, Germany, the UK and France combined.

“UK brands are really clicking with China’s shoppers and have a unique advantage as their goods are perceived to be of premium quality. UK retailers should feel confident that exporting to China can deliver benefits to their business. Breaking into this market has been made much more straightforward thanks to Chinese third-party platforms such as Alibaba’s Tmall.”

When it comes to delivery, China’s online shoppers have high expectations and 88% spend time hunting for websites with free delivery. When China’s shoppers are satisfied with their delivery, 92% are more likely to buy from retailers again in the future.

The study, part of Royal Mail’s annual Delivery Matters report, asked 1,500 online shoppers in China about their shopping habits and preferences. Returns are more important to China’s shoppers, in comparison to 2015, with 91% more likely to shop with a retailer that has a clear returns policy.

Almost two in three (61%) shoppers in China have bought clothes online, compared to the international average of 46%. Food and drink (51%), footwear (44%) and toiletries (36%) are also popular with China’s online shoppers. China’s shoppers find British retail websites in a variety of ways including search engines (44%), word of mouth (42%) and advertising (30%).

Royal Mail joined the Chinese e-commerce boom in 2015, launching a storefront on Tmall Global providing China’s online shoppers with more access to authentic and high quality British products and in turn giving British retailers access to Chinese consumers. Royal Mail is one of the first postal organizations to set up a flagship store on Tmall.

November 13, 2017

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Dan originally joined Parcel and Postal Technology International in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest technological developments, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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