The Wine Intelligence Online Retail & Communication in the Chinese Market 2016 report says 49% of Chinese urban upper-middle class wine drinkers now shop for wine on the internet, making the country the world’s largest and fastest-growing e-commerce market for wine with approximately 21 million online wine buyers.
The report found that larger, multi-category online marketplaces are benefitting most from the strong growth of e-commerce. JD.com was the most popular online retailer among Chinese consumers and the third most popular retailer overall, with 35% of all urban upper-middle class imported wine drinkers using it to buy wine.
According to the report, the main motivator for purchasing wine online was value for money, with 65% of online buyers citing this as a main reason, up from 54% in 2014.
Respondents who cited superior quality of wine products available online as a main reason for purchasing also increased from 18% in 2014 to 26% this year, suggesting a move away from shopping online purely for low prices and discounts.
The report also examined consumers’ usage of online sources of information to learn about wine, finding that peer reviews on shopping websites remain the most used information source, albeit with limited influence on purchase decisions.
The importance of social media platforms was confirmed, with friends’ Weibo and WeChat accounts considered the most trustworthy sources of information online, whilst official websites of wine producers and brands had the most impact on consumers’ purchase decisions.
Wine Intelligence senior research manager Chuan Zhou said: “In an e-commerce market as large and fast-growing as China’s, brands and retailers will have no shortage of opportunities – especially in rural areas where online and e-commerce penetration remain relatively low.”
“Even in higher-tier cities with high e-commerce adoption rates, there is significant room for online shoppers to shop more often and spend more on each order, as retailers overcome shoppers’ concerns, offer new levels of value and customer experiences, and leverage social media to influence consumers’ decisions.”
The Online Retail & Communication in the Chinese Market 2016 report uses WI’s online consumer survey platform, Vinitrac data, based on research carried out among Chinese urban upper-middle class imported wine drinkers in nine cities in April 2014 (n=1,004) and March 2016 (n=1,040)
The report is available from the Wine Intelligence Reports Shop, priced at £1,500 or 3 report credits.