It would be understandable if you thought that the media dominant US was leading the world in mobile-based Ecommerce sales. They are after all the home of Apple, and Amazon as well as many of the other commerce giants. There is a market dwarfing America for mobile-based sales, however, one which is said to be years ahead of the rest of the world in the innovation of mobile commerce – China.

The value of retail purchases made over mobile devices in China has recently been predicted to breach US$500bn in 2016, with New York-based research firm eMarketer establishing that over 50% of all online retail sales will be made over a smartphone or tablet. This is a staggering figure far in advance of the US’s 28%, and one which dwarfs the predicted value of the 2016 US mobile Ecommerce market (US$96.2bn).

In the same report, marketing analyst Monica Peart states:

“An overwhelming majority of China’s internet users are regularly accessing the internet via mobile phones in 2015, 87.4 per cent versus that of US internet users at 74.6 per cent,” Peart said.

“The sheer number of mobile internet users pushes retail e-commerce activities towards mobile devices in a way that is not yet seen in the US, where desktop computers still factor quite prominently for shopping activities.”

China provides an invaluable insight into the future development of European and American retail trends, we can use their meteoric rise in mobile Ecommerce as a Petri dish to discover the most effective forms of mobile development.

Third party platforms, like China’s largest shopping website Taobao.com, accounted for 44.3 percent, while self-operated stores accounted for 55.7 percent, indicating that whilst third party retailers are hugely successful, many consumers are still going directly to their desired brands. Companies need to have their own successful, integrated mobile commerce platforms utilising such features as click and collect or loyalty programs to compete in a mobile-centric market.

The mobile infrastructure in China is also far more advanced than it is in other business centres, the country boasts the worlds largest 4G network and 361 million mobile internet users. As the infrastructure in western countries is improved and updated, similar trends will emerge. Thanks to Chinese innovation, businesses have the benefit of foresight to see how Western retailers must adapt to the pervasive mobile internet.

Redbox Digital are specialists in delivering Omnichannel strategy to retailers, and creating solutions which merge mobile, in-store and online approaches to function as a single, streamlined platform offering consumers the mobile functionality and diversity of content which they desire.