Comparison and Analysis of Online Shopping Consumption: U.K. and China
It is worth noting that the online shopping platform has seen a rapid growth ever since the first internet user browsed the global web in pursuit of goods and services. Back in the year 1991, when the global web had about 3 million users, online shopping was non-existent. However, nearly ten years later, the internet usage had more than 300 million with more than a quarter of the users engaging in e-commerce. In our contemporary world, the sales realized through the online platform represent a significant part of the entire commercial arena. Despite the noteworthy growth and embracement of e-commerce, the trends vary between the developed and developing nations such as the United Kingdom and China respectively, as will be discussed in this paper.
China is one of the largest growing economies in the world, and as more consumers of Chinese nationality continue to travel overseas and shop online, many become interested in purchasing foreign products via online platforms. In fact, it has been noted that three out of every four consumers bought foreign products through the internet from local shopping websites in 2015 (International Trade Centre 1). The cited reasons for embracing e-commerce was the quality of the foreign products and the relatively affordable pricing.
In China, the rapid online shopping consumption change had been driven by the increasingly strong demand among people from the middle class. Indeed, their online purchases of various goods include foods and household equipment, books and communication equipment such as Apple Inc.’s iPhones.
Foodstuffs are some of the products that have high percentages of the Chinese online purchases, which is attributable to the pronounced changes in resident’s tastes and behaviors. According to a recent study, 40 percent of consumers in this region buy foodstuffs through the online grocery site (Chung and Park 129). In fact, the aspect of online grocery purchasing has increased drastically in China due to the high numbers of middle-class individuals who are more accustomed to the increase in social change and are willing to try the new shopping behaviors.
Despite not having a large consumer population as compared to China and United States, the United Kingdom is ranked number three worldwide with regard to online consumer purchases. In fact, the UK economy is critical not only to the European countries but also to the world as a whole. As e-commerce transactions continue to increase in this part of the continent, more residents are also adopting this new consumer shopping behaviors. An average UK resident spends approximately a thousand dollars annually more on online purchases as compared to an average online shopper from China.
As opposed to China where 40 percent of online food purchases are made, The United Kingdom spends slightly more than 20% on online groceries. Furniture, clothing, and other household appliances are the main items that the people from U.K. shop online. In contrast with China where foodstuffs are ranked among the main online purchases, households and beauty products are the main products bought online in the U.K. (Psaila and Wagner 212). The United Kingdom online shoppers are happier when purchasing shoes and communication equipment as compared to foodstuff and beauty products.
As the world continues to embrace the online shopping consumption changes, there remains a clear distinction between the products that are ordered by developing and developed countries (Norris 19-30). In fact, the frequencies of online transactions also vary between the developed and the developing nations. While the Chinese shoppers are likely to shop online more than one time a month, UK residents are likely to shop online several times a week. In essence, understanding the online purchasing frequencies is critical in determining the market strategies for international e-companies.