A new report from McKinsey says that the combined use of both online and offline channels will become the dominant form of shopping for Chinese consumers, as e-commerce continues to transform China’s retail market.
McKinsey’s new China iConsumer Research 2017 report found that over 95% of 5,900 survey respondents said they used some combination of online and offline methods when procuring electronic good, either visiting physical stores first before making purchases via the Internet, or conducting research online before buying directly from bricks and mortar stores.
McKinsey sees this trend continuing, with retail platforms that operate exclusively online having hit a ceiling as “new retail” of omni-channel usage takes off.
“Having quickly evolved as a market for pure digital players, Chinese e-commerce is poised to enter a new retail era,” said the report.
E-commerce in China is expected by McKinsey to grow 19% in 2017, following six years of rapid expansion including a 74% spike in 2011.
Another trend for Chinese e-commerce will be the increasing use of popular social media platforms for marketing or sales purposes.
McKinsey found that roughly 70% of people surveyed would be interested in using the WeChat instant messaging and social media tool for shopping purposes if it featured some of their favourite brands.
Chinese consumers also show a penchant for customised products and services, which could be abetted by increased use of available data and more effective combination of online and offline experiences.