How Chinese eCommerce platforms will outperform physical ones by 2021


Published 18/05/2021 · 3 min read


2020 was the year of online sales platforms

Although eCommerce was already on the horizon, 2020 was the year it became a central part of the sales strategy of large and small businesses (many of which were forced to learn to sell online to survive). What has so far been a booming trend is beginning to be reflected as a mainstream practice in many countries. So much so that experts expect online sales in China to overtake in-store sales by the end of this year, accounting for 52% of the total. This, which at first sight may seem a long way off for European companies, should nevertheless be seen as a trend that will gradually take over retail sales all over the world. It represents a before and after in the history of global commerce, rewrites the rules of the game: it is the first time that eCommerce has surpassed physical stores in sales, and it does so in the world leader in retail sales.

Although the UK is still far from such values, eMarketer recognises it as the third country with the highest percentage of online retail sales (with 28.3% and the prospect of booming in 2022). The power of online commerce hides a great opportunity for businesses that know how to reinvent themselves: they will offer greater availability and coverage to their regular customers, increase cross-border sales to customers worldwide, and reduce the costs associated with physical retail sales. In short, those who adapt to new consumer needs will achieve an overall increase in their conversion, an injection of new customers, and all the benefits of a business model with a high ROI.

How did China's leading eCommerce manage to increase online sales?

Ten years ago, the percentage of retail sales that were made online was almost identical in countries such as the US or China, at 4.9% and 5%, respectively. However, online sales in the Asian giant soon began to eat into retail sales in physical stores. Why has China become the world leader in online commerce? What did the main eCommerce companies do to become sales leaders?

  • Mobile shopping. Based on the fact that their customers spend more time in front of mobile phones than computers, eCommerce such as Alibaba or JD could develop websites designed for smartphone use, the inclusion of mobile payment systems, or even apps that enrich the shopping experience such as WeChat Mini Programs.
  • More and better payment systems. As we mentioned in the previous point, mobile payment (which is making cash payments obsolete in China) has been key in the rise of online commerce and has done so thanks to payment platforms such as Ali Pay or WeChat Pay. With billions of users, they are the undisputed leaders in retail payments (both physical and online), thanks to their accessibility, convenience, speed, and ease of integration into the payment gateway of any business. By the way, payment methods have already arrived and are fully operational in British businesses, thanks to financial experts such as PayXpert. Their benefits? The increase in cross-border sales and the millions of Chinese tourists who visit our country every year. It is a key tool for millions of tourist stores that want to offer the best user experience to their Asian customers.
  • Social networks as a sales platform. In recent years, the main social networks (Facebook and Instagram) have included the shopping section among their features, known as social selling. This has been an incredible opportunity for small and medium-sized companies that wanted to get started in click and mortar commerce. In China, this model was already consolidated in the country's main social platform, WeChat. It is estimated that the bulk of sales through social platforms in China will reach 3 billion euros in 2021, consolidating itself as one of the main sales channels. This data sets the trend for online merchants in the rest of the world, who have to respond to this new shopping channel on the rise.
  • The 2020 healthcare crisis. As if all of the above were not enough evidence of the undeniable shift in commerce to online platforms, the pandemic that began in 2020 and the resulting restrictions further boosted online commerce. China was the first country in the world to suffer the social and economic impact of COVID and the first to start recovering. The well-established online commerce was the salvation of many retailers, and in turn, was further strengthened by the closure of physical stores.

How to offer your best eCommerce and sell more online in 2021

Do you want to learn how to sell online? Perhaps you already have an online sales portal, and you want to know in detail the value it hides, analyse your KPIs and, in short, carry out a management control of your business like an expert. As fintech experts at PayXpert, we develop technology to offer you a highly accurate financial analysis with the help of our team of experts.

Benefits of working with PayXpert

Our customers know that PayXpert is a guarantee of results; we work to make it so. Fraud control and management, increased conversion, a leading payment gateway, more and better payment methods for your customers, a detailed view of your business activity... How? Through data management technology, business intelligence, or the best financial security technology, tokenization.

Do you want to know what we can do for you? Visit our website and discover our tools in detail. Contact us for personalised advice on the best fintech optimisation solution for your business. Integrate financial technology into your business and start getting results.

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