Chinese consumers are responding to a powerful new marketing tactic that plays to a widespread fear of food contamination – the promise of safe groceries sold online.
Pledging produce direct from the farm, vendors have found food is becoming one of the fastest-growing segments of Internet retailing as they cash in on scares from cadmium-tainted rice to recycled cooking oil.
Indian online supermarkets seem to be going the Amazon way in expanding their presence. Online start-ups such as LocalBanya.com, BigBasket.com and AaramShop.com are looking to move from their home turf to multiple cities to tap local markets.
The US online giant recently expanded its grocery supplies to California from Seattle in a bid to break open grocery market there. It is expected to spread the business further across the US.
LimeRoad, an online shopping site for women, will expand its operations to the US and UK by June-July to tap the growing market of online women buyers. It also plans to expand its operations in 23 countries in the coming months to tap the growing market of online women buyers. LimeRoad Founder and CEO Suchi Mukherjee told PTI the US and the UK as the markets there offer very promising opportunities for the company.
China is set to become the world's largest online retail market this year, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, but this isn't stopping China's e-tailers from expanding to all corners of the globe.
India was home to the fastest growing online market among the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations last year, growth that is fuelling a booming e-commerce market.
The number of unique online visitors in India grew 50 percent in the 12 months to November 2012, according to internet analytics firm comScore, outpacing the likes of China and Brazil, which grew just 2 to 3 percent each.
While e-commerce companies have plunged into ever-increasing competition in the Chinese domestic market, some are trying their luck outside China to find other ways to fuel growth. A number of Chinese e-commerce players, including Jingdong Mall, dubbed China's amazon.com, and online clothing retailer Vancl (Beijing) Technology Co., have already stretched their reach globally with different approaches.
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd, the world's biggest jewellery retailer by market value, said on Thursday it is targeting e-commerce as a pillar of future growth after online sales tripled in the first half.
The Hong Kong-listed company, despite posting a disappointing slump in six-month profit, was also upbeat about a near-term pick-up in China's luxury spending and the prospect of strong longer-term demand due to increasing wealth and spending power in smaller cities.
Defying the lingering economic malaise, online sellers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are ringing up brisk sales outside their home markets through eBay's international e-commerce platform.
According to the e-commerce giant's newly published Greater China Exporters' Index, about 7,500 eBay merchants from the mainland achieved revenue of more than USD100,000 and posted 68 percent sales growth on average in the 12 months to June. That robust gain has solidified their status as eBay's biggest exporters from Asia.
There was excitement but a little heartache too for millions of bargain hunters last Saturday as China's Singles Day evolved into what is probably the world's biggest online shopping event.
The 50,000-plus merchants on Alibaba's consumer-oriented Tmall.com took in CNY13.2 billion (USD2.1b), the company said, after discounts of at least 50 percent were promised on a massive range of goods. Sales on Alibaba's Taobao marketplace took the 24-hour total to CNY19.1b.
China's biggest online retailer 360buy.com started selling directly to overseas buyers on Thursday, the first such move by a major Chinese e-commerce firm, as it struggles with increasing competition at home.
Its move into the global market, where it wants to take on Amazon.com will be closely watched by other Chinese e-commerce companies.