Shoppers are turning their backs on the supermarkets and now they are purchasing food products via internet.

The popularity of online grocery shopping is rapidly increasing.

Rise of the disposable income, growth of the middle class, higher internet penetration rate, increased desire for a better lifestyle have led Chinese consumers to increasingly choose e-commerce over traditional retail shops.

In 2013, e-commerce transactions totaled $296.57 billion, a 41.2% growth from 2012. With such a fast growth, it’s estimated that China’s online retail sales will hit the $540 billion landmark by 2015.


Online grocery shopping is also part of this trend. Chinese customers are one click away from foreign vegetables, fruits… you name it. This is crucial these days with all the scandals that have been uncovered these past few years.

China has become the perfect market for launching online supermarkets with foreign new products, as reported by Sam Mulligan, director of Data Driven Marketing Asia (DDMA).

A study called “The development of online supermarkets in China”, reported that up to 65% of online supermarket consumers are willing to purchase new brands while 58% already bought new brands.


Some consumers are interested to purchase new brands or new products, however they are shy to do it in public. Through groceries online they have the chance to buy products that they desire but in an anonymous way.

Other advantage of groceries online is that consumers can research about the products before purchase and evaluate if they are willing to try them. If brands or products have good comments and opinions from other consumers, they will be more determined to purchase.

According to the study, there is an essential group to target which includes younger users between 25 and 35 years old with a high income, a good education and from middle and upper class. This group of consumers is the most willing to purchase new brands and products.


For manufacturers and retailers, it is very important to understand the purchasing desire and necessities of the key group in order to provide the right products and therefore, engage them.

To introduce new products is crucial provides many information about them such as ingredients, origin or nutritional information to increase their trust.
For international brands is less expensive penetrate to China’s grocery market through online platforms than via traditional channels. Nonetheless brands have to demonstrate that the products’ safety because for that kind of products, Chinese customers prefer quality over price

Now, I will give you some tips in order to guarantee the success of your online grocery.

Website hosted in China:

Firstly, is essential host your website in China, otherwise it will be necessary long time to charge the site.

Another reason is that hosting your site in China you will have an ICP certificate, which is essential to avoid be censured by the Chinese government.


Develop an efficient logistic network is crucial. You have to be able to provide your products in a short period of time and respect tight deadlines.


For Chinese culture, money is an important factor, therefore consumers will study your competitors in order to find the best price.
Internet is the place of the low price products and if you want to be considered, your prices have to be competitive.


Gaining confidence of consumers online:

Consumers have to trust in you and in the safety of your products. That’s why you have to improve the website’s image and cross-media campaigns are often the solution to increase notoriety.

Respect Chinese habits:

In China the payment systems are different, that’s why you have to include Alypay or Tenpay as payment systems. In addition, some online websites allow consumers to pay the purchase at the reception.


Another habit is utilize many colors and provide more information on the website.

An easy purchase process:

Chinese websites streamlines the purchasing process and only 3 steps are necessaries to finish the purchase.


Consumers could refuse to purchase in your website if the buy process is complicated or takes long time.

Improve your conversion rate:

There are some factors that could help to increase your conversation rate such as include in your website pictures of the products, videos which show the products’ features and descriptive texts.


In order to allow the directly communication between consumer and marketer, Chinese websites include instant messaging platforms as QQ messaging or chat systems.
In China, these tools are necessary to confirm orders in an efficient way.

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The main step to attract consumers is being visible. To improve your visibility, the website has to be well positioned on the search engines, therefore is important include SEO and SEM strategies.



An efficient strategy to attract more consumers is offering promotions in your products as for example, discounts.

In China, the e-commerce is an important part of daily life. Chinese consumers are desirous to try new products  and the online platforms has become the best way to do it.

If you want to be part of the grocery online market in China, don’t hesitate to contact us, our agency will help you to have presence in the Chinese market.



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