Friday, 2 September 2011
According to a report on the BBC News website on 30th August by Nick Mackie, online shopping is experiencing a huge growth spurt in China. In fact, according to his report, figures show that the online shopping industry in China grew by 87% year on year in 2010, a quite dramatic leap when you think about how poorly industry is doing everywhere else around the world right now. The industry in China had a turnover of $80 billion dollars in 2010.
Apparently there are now around 5 million small, online stores operating in China. It is hardly surprising that so many small online stores are emerging, when there are 420 million internet users in China, who spend a billion hours each day online. This is a huge market to tap into.
David Clarke, Director of DBS, which specialises a range of communications, including website design, internet marketing and telecoms, said: “At a time when sadly there is still low job security, rising youth unemployment and an increasing number of graduates coming fresh out of university finding that there isn’t much work out there, it is easy to see why more and more people are turning to setting up their own online company. It is so easy. Plus, it allows people to work in a much more flexible way, looking after the children or the home whilst being at work. And despite predictions to the contrary, e-commerce is continuing to grow, and will continue to grow as the younger generation emerges. All you need is a website, you don’t even need to have to pay out to buy offices or any of the other overheads that have previously been associated with owning a business. If you want you can operate out of your spare bedroom in your dressing gown! More and more people are now just working from home, and getting a virtual phone number such as London 0207 phone numbers or 0800 numbers pointed to their existing mobile or landline phones to give them a professional appearance and to give them some privacy by not releasing their private mobile or home number to the world. Setting up your own business has never been easier.”
It is interesting to note the potential for growth in this field. At the 2010 census in China, the population of the country was recorded at just under 1,340,000,000. If there are only 420,000,000 internet users in China, then that means that only around 31% of the Chinese population are currently on the internet. So, if you think that online commerce is a major player in China’s economy now, just imagine the impact it is going to have as more of China’s population grow up with the internet. That figure is going to continue to increase dramatically. The population of the USA is less than a quarter than that of China, with their geographic area being quite similar. It is already the second largest economy in the world, the fastest growing economy in the world, and with figures like this it isn’t hard to see the possibility of it overtaking the USA in the not too distant future.
Back here in the UK, it was reported last week that 77% of UK households now have access to the internet, with a huge leap in people using the internet from their phones rather than a computer. 45% now access the internet on their smart phones, compared to 31% last year. The figure was 71% among 16-24 year olds, so again expect that figure to keep growing. It is becoming increasingly clear that phones are going to replace computers as the normal method of getting online. Google’s recent purchase of Motorola was the perfect example of this. It is therefore apparent that the phone is going to become even more important to how we do business, both in the UK and globally in the coming years, whether it is through more people using phones to access the internet or through using a virtual phone number instead of an office to operate from.