More Chinese turn to online for Spring Festival shopping

Chinese New Year

Online shopping

More Chinese have gone online to shop for gifts for the upcoming Spring Festival as the Internet has continued changing people’s spending mode.

A survey conducted by a leading Chinese e-commerce company shows that the sales of New Year gifts, mostly food and beverages, on its platform doubled in 2014 than a year ago.

Analysts attribute the boom to the convenience and low prices that online shopping has over brick-and-mortar stores. In addition, more accurate consumer segmentation and better services also make e-commerce businesses more competitive than physical stores, analysts say.

“I used to carry bags of goods back to my hometown for the Spring Festival, which was so troublesome. But if I shop online, they will be delivered directly to my home. It saves time and energy, and I can buy anything from anywhere,” said Chai Guanhua, a consumer from north China’s Hebei Province.

“Compared with traditional sales, online sales have a vertical business pattern in which products are sold directly from manufacturers to consumers. It probably has only one link, so prices are more competitive,” Qi Chaoyang, marketing manager of an online shop in Hebei.

To adapt to the trend and attract more consumers, traditional stores have also launched online platforms for New Year shopping. Some have also allowed phone-orders and mobile payment to facilitate purchases.

“Since we launched the multi-channel sales model, the sales of New Year gifts have increased substantially this year from a year ago, up about 25 percent,” said Wang Hui, online sales manager of a supermarket in the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang.

Report from CCTV News.