Archive for Brad Wills

Digital Commerce in China: No Choice but To Jump In

Posted by Brad Wills on November 16th, 2012 at 7:00 am

Along with China itself, Chinese e-commerce will mushroom in the next five years and beyond. For Western brands looking to make inroads in China, digital will be as crucial for them there as it is here. But in many ways, it’s very different in China. Western brands may find it hard to ramp up their digital efforts as quickly or as completely as other facets of business. And digital’s place in the marketing-and-sales mix could be very different, as well. But Western brands may have no choice but to start learning fast.
First a few salient facts. The number of internet users in China is expected to grow at nine percent annually through 2015, well above the one percent growth forecast for the U.S. and Japan, according to a Boston Consulting Group report in 2010. But China’s penetration rate currently is only roughly 25 percent (estimates vary), and much of the growth is expected in rural areas.
Westerners may be surprised to learn that Internet access for Chinese is largely through mobile phones and Internet cafes; China’s mobile penetration is expected to rise roughly 50 percent by 2015, to 84 percent, and there are already more than 200,000 cell-phone-optimized stores on China’s... Read more