April 13, 2012, 12:04 PM

Chinese e-retail sales set to triple to $360 billion in 2015

A report says 17% of 2015 ad spending in China will go online.

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E-retail sales in China will hit $360 billion in 2015, triple the spending now, according to a new projection from The Boston Consulting Group. The research firm says that e-commerce will account for nearly 10% of retail sales in China by or shortly after 2015.

“Companies with global ambitions need to have an active online presence in China if they expect to succeed,” says Christoph Nettesheim, a senior partner for the firm who helped to write the report.

The report says that China will have 700 million web users in 2015—200 million more than now—with urban consumers aged 51 and older making up the fastest-growing part of the Internet user base.

China has 193 million online shoppers today, compared with 170 million in the United States, the report says. By 2015, 47% of Internet users in China will shop online, up from 28% in 2009, the report adds. Ad dollars will follow that spike: 17% of overall ad spending in China will be devoted to online marketing in 2015, up from 13% last year.

The report also had this to say about web and mobile habits in China:

• Last year, 69% of consumers in China used mobile phones to access the web, up from 39% in 2008.

• The average Internet user in China spent 3.6 hours per day online in 2011, up from 2.8 hours in 2008.

• The web beats television and newspapers as a trusted source of information.

At the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in Chicago in June, several sessions will deal with international e-commerce. For instance, Felicity Lewis, executive director of global online and CRM, Jurlique Holistic Skin Care Inc., and Maryssa Miller, vice president of e-commerce, Createthe Group, will speak in a session entitled “Bonus: Six keys to an effective global e-commerce operation.”

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