Online shopping is catching on in China, with 40% of Chinese Internet users having shopped online, according to a new report from UPS International. Online shoppers primarily are in the larger Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Of online users, 23% said they shop online less than once a month, 11% shop online one to two times a month; and 6% shop online three times a month or more.
Of the products purchased online, books, music and videos accounted for the most purchases (45%, compared with 43% in 2005); followed by consumer electronics (26%, vs. 22%); apparel/fashion accessories (26%, vs. 16%); commodities (22% vs. 14%), and beauty products (18% vs. 15%), the study found. Home appliances, athletic equipment, home furnishings, health care products/pharmaceuticals, gourmet food and alcoholic beverages/tobacco accounted for a total of 33% of online purchases, compared with 19% in 2005.
But while more Chinese are shopping online, only 27% of consumers have access to American products on the web, the study found.
When asked how they access the Internet for personal use, 72% said they use a personal computer at home, up from 59% in 2005. Other means of access were through business computers (34% vs. 28% in 2005), Internet bars (15% vs. 12%), and mobile phone 11% vs. 6%).
For the study, UPS surveyed 1,200 middle class consumers in six Chinese cities.