Online Shopping in China

For those who have been to China but have not tried online shopping, they haven’t really been to China. Online shopping is probably the fastest growing industry in China. Here are some numbers to testify that:

  • In 2012, online sales counts for 5.5% of all domestic retail trade in China; whereas in the U.S. the figure is 5.1%. Chinese love online shopping more than Americans!
  • On Nov. 11, 2012, the sales on Taobao & Tmall (both belongs to Alibaba) reached 19.1 Billion CNY ($3.12 billion), dwarfing American’s Cyber Monday sales, which totaled $1.5 billion. And that $3.12 billion went to just one company in on day!
  • In 2012, online sales totaled $212.4 billion, playing a catching up with the U.S., where online sales totaled $228.7 in 2012.
  • The industry was growing by 75.3%, 66.3% and 48.5% in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively.

If the above figures do not impress you, consider this scenario: on Monday morning you go to work and one of your colleagues recommends you a lipstick that she finds excellent. You go to your favorite online shopping website and added the lipstick to your shopping cart and check out without really paying for it, choosing to pay when the lipstick is delivered to you. Then you continue working and have lunch. After lunch the delivery guy showed up and your lipstick is here. You pay for it and you just bought a lipstick and are already trying it!

That was not exaggerating at all, especially if you live in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. If you happens to live in smaller cities like I do, I still get most of my purchases within 10-24 hours. I usually buy books at night and the next morning they’re delivered to me. That’s probably I bought a lot of books! When I was living in Finland, the delivery often takes days, if not weeks. You will definitely feel the difference the first time you try online shopping in China.

But the fast delivery is not the only reason why online shopping is popular in China, most people buy stuff online because it’s convenient and you can compare things. And often you have many choices. Online stores ofter many different models for the same product. Different stores sell different things. And you can literally find everything you need online. Clothes, shoes, books, tickets? Of course! Meat, vegetables, eggs? Why not? Gold, investments, Cars, apartments, helicopters? No problem, how many do you want? OK, you made your point. How about boyfriends and girlfriends? Hell yeah, pay now and you’ll have one tomorrow!

Besides, things are cheap online, even if you count in delivery fees. Clothes are sold from a few dollars to a few hundred. Most are of good quality. And if you are not satisfied, you can most likely ask for a refund. Most stuff sold online are warranted. What? Chinese only make cheap crappy stuff? Jesus, from whom do you hear that from? Your grandma? Well, we may have different standards for “crappy stuff”, but I do believe most things are more than worthy of the money you paid for.

I’m not here to persuade anyone to try online shopping in China, but I assure you if you do, you’ll be amazed. I was amazed when I first come back from a few years of stay in the Nordics. If you ask me for advice, there just one: check your credit card regularly so that you do not shop too much!

Anyway, bellow are the top online stores in China. They are mostly in Chinese and you should ask your Chinese friends for help.

http://www.taobao.com/ and http://www.tmall.com/, they are the largest online shopping store in China, both belonging to Alibaba. Taobao is mainly C2C and Tmall is mainly B2C. Often stuff on Tmall are also available on Taobao, but Tmall stuff usually are of better quality.

http://www.jd.com/, the second largest online store, mainly B2C. Best known for its fast delivery.

http://www.yihaodian.com/, online supermarket. Meat, vegetables, seasoning stuff, imported food, etc.

Happy shopping!

归国两周感受

回来半个月了,目前总体上还比较适应国内的大环境,因为之前没敢期待太高,所以没有什么心里落差。但是生活中还是有一些小小的感触,先记录在此。

首先是物价,已经远不是我三年前出国时候的水平了。到南通第一天去逛超市什么都不敢买,洗发水跟芬兰一个价,浴巾比宜家的贵质量还不好,欧莱雅的洗面奶芬兰超市卖8欧这边卖100块,进了趟超市买一袋东西两三百就出去了……终于理解到了什么叫物价赶英超美,现在英美都不在话下了,开始赶超北欧了。回来两周小心翼翼的花钱,算下来还是花了四千多,但是花在哪儿我一点印象都没有。

其次是网购,太方便了。京东一般情况下第二天就可以送货上门,还支持货到付款。不过网购的缺点却很明显,就是不知道物品质量到底如何。我在京东上买了一个床上三件套,收到后发现这个三件套是一个床单加两个枕套,太让人无语了,一不小心就上当了。

人们生活节奏都很快,在高速公路上都是不停变道,不停的鸣笛,堵车了更是挤来挤去,越堵越挤,越挤越堵。市区也是,大家经常闯红灯,各种不遵守交通规则。我最受不了的就是大家一直在不停的鸣笛,不管是什么车,卡车也好,三轮车也罢,司机手都随时按照喇叭上。在小区里面也吵个不停,晚上都一样。总体来说节奏快的结果是周围都很吵,旁边的工地一天24小时都有机器轰鸣,中秋十一八天假也是这样。我刚回来的时候早上经常五点多就被吵醒,不过适应了一段时间之后感觉也习惯了。

年轻人会说英语的还挺多的,长途汽车站的售票员基本业务上的英语都会,跟老外打交道没什么问题。另外服务行业的从业人员整体态度都还比较好,去银行柜台后面的人都知道微笑,说话也慢条斯理;公交司机也比较有礼貌;但是被服务的人素质参差不齐,插队的情况也时有发生。总体来说年轻人比中老年人素质高,受的教育愈好素质愈高。

总体来说这两周的感受偏正面,以后想到什么再加。