China, the world’s largest e-commerce market in sales, belonged to the innovators, the passionate and the adventurous in 2022, and their consumption behavior offers a roadmap for the year ahead.
Roughly 1 billion local consumers shopped on e-commerce channels across China in 2022, racking up 45.3% of all retail sales online, research firm Insider Intelligence found.
Among categories, outdoor sports and pet care in China grew beyond niche communities, while virtual influencers and the metaverse showed potential to made good on their promise to transform online retail.
The growing purchasing power of Generation Z consumers underpinned growth in all these areas, powering the rise of collectible toys to non-alcoholic beverages.
The fast pace of change in China means staying abreast of trends is crucial for any brand and retailer to excel in the country’s e-commerce market.
We drew on insights from Alibaba Group’s ecosystem and consulted e-commerce experts and entrepreneurs to identify the top five emerging e-commerce trends that could gain traction in 2023.
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#5: The Great Outdoors
Skateboarding influencer Elon Shi riding high this year as sports craze hits China. Photo credit: Elon Shi
Chinese outdoors enthusiasts took to the ski slopes en masse and went camping in droves through 2022.
Travel restrictions and the Winter Olympics in Beijing drove young consumers outdoors, feeding a winter sports boom.
Sales of winter sports equipment rose 300% on Alibaba’s e-commerce marketplace Tmall between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4, including a 180% jump in skiing gear. Outdoor gear and camping sales on Tmall doubled in March compared with the same time last year.
“Most consumers are in [it] for the experience and for pleasure, rather than regarding it as a competitive professional sport,” said Wang Xiaoyuan, an industry representative of the outdoor sports category at Tmall.
Flying discs take to the air over China
Activities that build social connections are trending. Flying disc players in China grew to around 500,000 in 2021 from a mere 100 in 2008.
During the last mid-year shopping festival in June known as 6.18, over a dozen international brands, including American board brands Carver and Santa Cruz, said they would enter China with the help of Tmall Global, Alibaba’s cross-border e-commerce platform.
In the year ahead, we expect brands to double down on the China market and digitize to serve outdoor enthusiasts.
Retailers Go for Gold as Ski Craze Hits China During Winter Olympics
#4: Fur Babies Get All The Love
Chinese consumers are taking their fur babies on outdoor adventures. Photo credit: Alibaba Group
Pet ownership is changing in China as consumers treat their furry companions more like small children, right down to specially made clothing and tech devices.
Pet food brands on Tmall recorded a …….