China's online shopping market expanded more slowly last year but still recorded a crazy fast 48.7 percent annual growth rate, with GMV for 2014 totaling RMB 2.8 trillion ($451 billion), according to independent research firm iResearch.
In its just-released annual report on the state of the e-commerce industry in China, iResearch said that shopping via mobile devices continues to make inroads with consumers while e-shopping is increasingly penetrating China's third- and fourth-tier cities. Statistics from the country's National Bureau of Statistics showed that online shopping last year accounted for 10.7% of total retail sales of consumer goods, posting a double-digit share for the first time.
Here's how things break down graphically in charts from iResearch's report:
Over the next several years, China online shopping market will maintain a compound growth rate of about 27%, iResearch predicts.
A few years ago, selling by small merchants and individuals (consumer-to-consumer, or C2C) dominated. As Chinese consumers become more discerning, they are increasingly buying online from big merchants and brands. This activity, called business-to-consumer (B2C), will make up more than half the market in 2015.
Alibaba Group'sTmall.com shopping website expanded its lead in the B2C market in 2014, growing market share to more than 60 percent. In 2013, Tmall captured 52.1 percent of the B2C market, according to iResearch, while its closest competitor, JD.com, had an 18.3 percent share.
Mobile shopping last year grew at a much faster rate--nearly 240 percent--than the e-shopping market as a whole, and iResearch sees the trend continuing, with m-commerce GMV reaching RMB 4 trillion ($644 billion) in 2018.
More goods will be purchased with mobile devices than with PCs in 2016, iResearch predicts.
Alibaba Group's shopping websites own China m-commerce, says this iResearch chart.