In China, mobile should be a key part of your eCommerce strategy

About two weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to Shanghai for Forrester’s first event in China, “Winning the Dynamic Digital Consumer in China”. (To read all about it check out Andrew Stockwell’s blog post here.) At the event I gave a quick presentation about the potential opportunity that retailers have to engage with mobile shoppers in metro China where nearly 100% of online adults have at least one mobile phone and more than four-fifths of those mobile phones are smartphones.

It is critical for eBusiness professionals to put mobile on the top of their to-do’s when creating their China strategy because of the huge opportunity to engage with consumers - and the fact that the market remains vastly underserved. After spending a week and a half in Shanghai and Beijing and visiting American and European retail establishments this proved to be the case - only a handful had any type of mobile offering.  A few things to think about when considering your mobile strategy in China:

  • There are 1 billion mobile phone users in China, but 3G has yet to hit 25% penetration.
  • Free Wi-Fi is available nearly everywhere – malls, coffee shops, fast food restaurants, train stations and even in some taxis.
  • Unlike their U.S. counterparts, it is very likely that the first connected device for consumers in China is a mobile phone and not a PC.
  • There are specific opportunities for successful mobile campaigns. 39% of Tmall and Taobao’s sales combined were made on mobile devices on Singles Day (China’s equivalent of Cyber Monday).
  • Android is the highest adopted operating system by far.
  • Mobile does not have to be transactional to drive sales. If a transactional site is not an option create mobile specific content to drive consumers to your site. 

To read more about what mobile phone use in China looks like and how eBusiness professionals can respond check out “Mobile Habits of the Retail Shopper in China