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Ecommerce sales grew by 40% during CNY in 2015

  • Smartphone shopping will continue to gain ground
  • Retailers will see a high web influence on their in-store sales
  • Instant delivery services will become common

Chinese New Year has proved to be a busy time for ecommerce players as consumers browsed retail products more actively than before during this period. There was a 25 per cent increase in items added to ‘baskets’ or ‘shopping carts’ in 2015 during this period, according to data released by Criteo.

The findings are based on an analysis of 174 million online transactions in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam before, during and after Chinese New Year in 2015.

The results also showed a 40 per cent increase in ecommerce sales during the same period, of which, three in 10 transactions were completed on a mobile device. This highlights the need for brands to make their online advertising campaigns fully optimised across desktops, laptops and mobile devices to attract and retain consumers during this time period.

“Due to the traditional practice of wearing new clothes to symbolise a new beginning, consumers are doing a tremendous amount of online shopping two weeks before Chinese New Year. Based on 2015 data, sales on mobile, in particular, have also hit record numbers. This spending period presents retail companies with a huge opportunity to engage consumers through personalised and relevant online advertising,” said Yuko Saito, Managing Director, Criteo Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan.

Mcommerce will continue to rise as smartphones are the first point of internet access or brand interaction for many consumers and are therefore playing a key role in driving ecommerce growth. In Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan, on aggregate, more than 45 per cent of online transactions are now happening on mobile, compared to 29 per cent in the second quarter of 2015. Indonesia was the highest at 56 per cent, followed by Singapore at 45 per cent.

With majority of consumers now researching online before or while visiting a store, understanding a shopper’s online activity is vital. According to Google, eight out of 10 shoppers with a smartphone are using it inside the store to help them with product research and price comparisons, with most of them eventually completing a transaction at Point of Sale (POS). The report highlighted that retailers can acquire a better view of the customer’s shopping journey by connecting with them via branded apps or beacon technology, before matching each customer’s email ID with loyalty programmes at in-store POS terminals.

Order fulfilment will be a big focus for retailers in 2016, with many offering delivery options to match Amazon’s Prime Now service. Both online and ‘click-and-brick’ retailers will be trying this strategy through specialised third-party eCommerce logistics providers. Faster delivery at lower charges will also drive growth of cross-border shopping as consumers will not mind buying from other countries to save money.

“During special occasions like Chinese New Year, we observe instances of intensive, last-minute shopping, where consumers take less time to consider a purchase and require products to be delivered on short notice for personal use or gift-giving. Taking a three pronged approach – engaging consumers on the mobile web or on mobile apps, leveraging consumers’ web browsing data to deliver personalised in-store and mobile shopping experiences, and investing in instant delivery services will be crucial to increasing sales conversions,” said Ms. Saito.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.