Social e-commerce, made famous in recent years around the world, through websites such as Groupon and Pinterest, has seen an explosion in growth in the past 3 years in China and is expected to more than double in growth by the year 2021. A recent report by China Internet Watch states that the social e-commerce market in China will grow from 1.3 trillion RMB ($184 billion USD) in 2019 to almost 3 trillion RMB ($426 billion USD) by 2021.
Chinese social e-commerce sites include Pinduoduo, with over 300 million customers who can share great deals and offers with their friends and family who are buying products based on personal recommendations from those around them. This rise is seen as a challenge to traditional e-commerce websites such as Taobao, and JD.com as they help to build more trust in products due to the personal nature of sharing and recommending hot items amongst personal social networks.
Trust is a major issue for e-commerce consumers, which is why websites like Pinduoduo and also social media channels such as WeChat as seeing a rise in customers. The massive rise in smartphone use in China has also played a significant factor in the rise of social e-commerce spending. Research firm Emarketer forecasts that the total number of smartphone-based online shoppers in the country will reach 443.3 million this year, making up more than three-quarters of China’s online retail sales.
Social e-commerce’s success works on the simple model of, the more people who buy the same product together, the cheaper it will be for everyone. It encourages consumers to share the product they want to buy with a friend and encourage them to also make a purchase, thus leading to a joint saving.
Pinduoduo in English translates to ‘buy more together’ and this message is being heard loud and clear by Chinese consumers! This means more jobs in the e-commerce industry in the coming years, so prepare yourself for the future!
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