eMarketer’s latest worldwide retail forecast has revealed that ecommerce sales in China are expected to surpass $1.1 trillion in 2017 and will account for nearly 50% of all ecommerce sales in the world. The report also revealed that ecommerce sales will account for over 23% of all retail sales in China in 2017 and is expected to increase to over 40% in the next four years by 2021. China is already the world’s largest ecommerce market and this is set to continue. It is already more than the US ($450.81bn), UK ($110.07bn) and Japan ($95.33bn) combined, and will increasingly contribute to the growth of worldwide ecommerce sales that are expected to reach $2.290 billion in 2017 according to the figures from eMarketer.
The growth in Chinese ecommerce will continue to grow thanks to more and more Chinese consumers are using their smartphones to purchase goods online and the dominance of Alibaba’s Taobao Marketplace and Tmall, as well as rival ecommerce platform JD.com. According to the report from eMarketer, by the end of 2018, more than three quarters of all ecommerce sales in China (over $1 trillion worth) will be conducted by a mobile device.
“Growth in online purchasing is being spurred along by a growing comfort with mobile shopping, greater spending by consumers in smaller cities, and the expansion in the variety of goods being purchased,” said Oscar Orozco, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer. “In addition, last year, Alibaba expanded its same- and next-day deliveries from 50 to 200 cities, which is having a positive effect on sales.”
Much of the growth of China’s ecommerce can be put down to entrepreneurs such as Alibaba’s Jack Ma. However, as we revealed yesterday, he has much more global ambitions for his Alibaba company, and sees Alibaba not as a company anymore, but as an economy.
“Five years ago, when the Taobao and Tmall GMV just crossed $170bn GMV, which is RMB1 trillion, I had a crazy idea, I said, ‘What if we could make $1tn by the 20-year anniversary of Alibaba, the year 2019—today we call it the 2020 fiscal year—we should meet the $1tn U.S. dollars?’” said Ma, “but I hate the exchange rate.”
Jack Ma has set a target for Alibaba to hit a gross merchandise volume of over $1 trillion by March 31 2020 as well creating over 100 million jobs that will serve over two billion customers. His ambitions do not stop there, and by 2036 he wants to see Alibaba become the world’s fifth largest economy behind the United States of America, China, Japan and the European Union.