Chinese online retail sales are set to triple to more than $360bn by 2015, helped by growing numbers of Internet users and greater consumer acceptance of e-Commerce, according to a report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
The country is likely to become the largest online retail market in the world by 2015, with close to 10% of retail sales occurring online.
China already has more online shoppers than any other market, including the US, and the nation will have 700 million Internet users in 2015, about 200 million more than today.
Last year, consumers in China spent 1.9 billion hours a day online, an increase of 60% from two years earlier, according to ‘China’s Digital Generations 3.0: The Online Empire.’
Average time online per user grew from 2.8 to 3.6 hours per day between 2008 and 2011, and online users in China spend about an hour a day more than US users.
BCG senior partner and coauthor of the report Christoph Nettesheim said in just a few years, China has become the largest Internet market in the world.
"Companies with global ambitions need to have an active online presence in China if they expect to succeed," Nettesheim said.
The country’s overall penetration rate, which was 38% in 2011, will exceed 50% by 2015, with urban consumers segment likely to expand by 22% annually.
According to a research, half of Internet users consider Internet as their most trusted source of information, followed by television at 30% and newspapers at 15%.
Between 2009 and 2011, the share of Internet users who shop online grew to 36% from 28%, and it is expected to reach 47% by 2015.
About 79% of Chinese Internet users send instant messages, compared with 21% of US users.
In addition, the share of overall ad spending devoted to the online channel is likely to grow from an estimated 13% in 2011 to 17% in 2015.
BCG senior partner and co-author of the report David Michael said faster than in any other major economy, the Internet is becoming embedded in Chinese society.
"The rapid growth represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for companies that figure out how to connect with China’s digital generations," Michael said.