A Majority of U.S. and Chinese Consumers Shop Via E-Commerce

November 15, 2016, Written By Bill Hardekopf
Hand holding smartphone with ecommerce screen website

E-commerce is going strong in the world’s largest two economies–the United States and China. The “Understanding Digital Commerce in the U.S. and China” study also found Chinese consumers more likely to shop on their smartphones and tablets than their counterparts in America.

The research shows both China and the United States have reached near-full adoption of e-commerce. Of digital users over the age of 18, 89% of Chinese and 84% of Americans said they bought a service or product digitally in the past 12 months. China is leading the charge in a number of areas:

  • 67% of Chinese digital users have made a mobile purchase in the past 12 months vs. 34% of U.S. users.
  • 24% of Chinese shoppers make mobile purchases every day vs. 15% of American shoppers.
  • 89% of Chinese mobile shoppers want to make a mobile purchase in the next month vs. 78% of U.S. shoppers

Digital purchases now make up more than half (59%) of monthly purchases in China and 42% of purchases in America. Of those purchases, 48% are made via mobile devices in China, while 26% are purchased on a mobile device in the United States.

While the research shows digital shopping is on the rise, there are still obstacles. Security is a chief concern, as only 13% of Chinese shoppers and 30% of U.S. shoppers feel completely safe while shopping digitally. Concerns vary based on the country. Americans are more worried about information safety and privacy, while Chinese shoppers are more concerned about digital fraud and scams. The benefits of shopping digitally that overcome these fears are convenience, ease of use, price and selection.

“This study confirms that mobile is a crucial and growing part of the e-commerce experience,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Video at IAB. “While China has always been a mobile-first culture, as their initial adoption of the internet was driven by mobile devices, we are now seeing tremendous year-over-year upticks in terms of mobile growth in the U.S. We expect to see that trend extend to U.S. mobile commerce going forward.”



The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 15, 2016. For up-to-date
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