Growth of shopping via mobile devices fuelling development in e-commerce, finance

By Yu Fenghui Source:Global Times Published: 2016-2-25 23:03:01

Online purchasing via mobile devices exceeded that via computers last year, becoming the first online shopping option for Chinese consumers, with more than 70 percent of online purchases expected to be made via mobile devices in 2017, according to Chinese market research firm iResearch.

A total of 2.1 billion products were ordered during Alibaba Group's five-day "special purchases" before the Spring Festival, of which 70 percent were ordered via mobile devices.

Since online sales now account for almost 11 percent of overall  sales in China, online shopping has become a significant channel for consumption.

As e-commerce purchases are swift and convenient, and transactions can be made 24/7, they allow people to buy products at times of the day or week that suit them.

The wide application of shopping via mobile devices is having a profound impact on development of the e-commerce sector, as well as many other industries.

The shift in online shoppers' purchasing preference from computers to their phones has provided opportunities for Internet operators with sharp business sense and ability to develop the mobile shopping environment, and companies have been working hard to improve the user experience.

In particular, the promotion of payment apps has helped develop mobile shopping, which can be seen in the swift rise of Alipay, WeChat Wallet and Baidu Wallet.

With the entry of other mobile payment methods like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Inc's Android Pay, mobile payment is likely to make further inroads into the offline payment market in brick and mortar stores by using technology such as QR code scanning.

Mobile payment will eventually become ubiquitous, which will enormously facilitate shopping both online and in brick and mortar stores.

A growing focus on shopping via mobile devices by big online operators and other independent online platforms has become a significant factor in advancing China's mobile shopping market.

Many big online operators promised to keep their business running during the Spring Festival. For example, consumers from 88 major cities could still make purchase orders through the online retailer during the holiday, and people in core areas of 15 cities were told they would receive the goods on the same day as making the purchase.

The fast development of the mobile Internet sector will bring about wider reforms, including big changes in the finance sector. Growth of mobile Internet finance options is expected to become the new trend in the industry.

The author is a financial commentator.

Posted in: Columnists

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