R&C Total Retail Survey seminar – 10 key trends characterising the recent development of China’s eCommerce market

Today, China’s Retail and Consumer (R&C) market is characterised by its mobile-first consumer behaviour, vibrant social commerce adoption, and a ubiquitous digital payments infrastructure. While local and international brands compete for consumer’s attention and wallet share, internet giants also race to build broad digital ecosystems to strengthen their existing network. These market dynamics make China’s eCommerce market one of the most advanced and exciting in the world.

With this backdrop of challenging and yet exciting future, it is vital that players in the retail value chain will have to understand and be prepared for the regulatory and legal risks that they are or might be facing. Only prompt and appropriate measures would ensure their survival in this new age retailing. The aggregate amount of data available to retailers doubles every two years. Data analytics can help to identify meaningful trends and insights, and provide real-time assurance by continuously monitoring business operations, KPI and controls. Retailers are profitably leveraging data analytics to personalise experience and increase customer engagements.

Drawing on insights from PwC’s Global Total Retail Survey 2017 and China’s eCommerce in China – the future is already here, PwC Hong Kong hosted a R&C’s Total Retail Survey seminar on 17 May 2017 in Hong Kong. With Michael Cheng, PwC Asia Pacific and Hong Kong/China Retail & Consumer Leader kicked off the seminar by sharing the R&C market trend. Followed by the report key findings presented by Colin Light, China and South East Asia Digital Consulting Leader and Tom Birtwhistle, Digital Consulting Senior Manager. Our Risk Assurance Partner Davis Cho and Director Kristine Chung also shared their insights on how data analytics can be used to help management to turn data into actionable insights to allow more effective and faster business decisions. Lastly, David Tiang, Partner of Tiang & Co. discussed the regulatory or legal risks in the digital retail market, and supply chain management and optimisation.

Recent development of China’s eCommerce market - 10 key trends* were categorised in three core themes shared by the speakers:


New retail normal

  • O2O matures into omni-channel – digitalisation of retail moves from marketing and channels into fulfilment and supply chain
  • Return on analytics – third party platforms finally open up with 70% of Chinese shoppers consider personalised marketing to be important


Content driven eCommerce

  • From eCommerce to eContent – 61% of Chinese consumers start their product search journal on Tmall
  • Blurred lines – Innovation at the intersection of mobile, social and eCommerce where 52% of Chinese consumers shop on their mobile weekly or daily
  • Unlocking the social media opportunity where 71% of Chinese consumers have spent more because of the positive social media interactions
  • Key opinion leaders as a sales channel - 70% of Chinese consumers use social networks as a source of inspiration for purchases.

New growth avenues

  • Food - Foundations now in place where 62% of Chinese consumers prefer to buy their groceries online
  • Luxury - A model starting to fit in where 93% of Chinese shoppers have purchased luxury clothes, shoes, or leather goods online
  • Sports and wellness - Community drive engagement where 67% of Chinese consumers use smart devices to monitor eating and sleeping habits


*Source: PwC Total Retail Survey 2017.