Billion dollar reason to sell online (well, $3.06 billion actually)
4th December 2012
Chinese online giant Alibaba has challenged the notion of wild consumer spending as a thing of the past by taking a staggering $3.06 billion from just one day recently.
The sum, which takes into account sales on Taobao and Tmall (eBay and Amazon equivalents in China), eclipses the US eCommerce one-day total for ‘Black Friday’ of just over $1bn.
It raises two intriguing questions for SMEs in the UK, looking to sell online now or in the future.
How does that much money get spent via the Internet in one country on one day? And how do I get a piece of the eCommerce action?
First off, China is big. Very big. There are LOTS of people in China in case you weren’t aware! At the last count, Taobao and Tmall had half a billion registered users – or 30 per cent of the Chinese population to you and me (if you imagine most of them getting the urge to splurge on the same day, then $3.06bn might actually represent a moderate day’s cash!).
Alibaba is an umbrella for 50,000 different companies (much the same as Amazon or eBay), so supply can always meet demand – as China’s burgeoning middle class will testify.
So the demand is there, infrastructure to cope is there and supply can keep up with it.
UK SMEs looking to join in the eCommerce party should bear in mind that growth in this sector is healthy (worldwide it’s double-digit and set to continue that way). The UK has one of the healthiest eCommerce sectors in the world and in 2011 66% of UK adults bought goods and services online (figures from Boston Consulting Group).
To get in on the eCommerce action, your platform (website) must include an adequate payment solution with shopping cart, good product information, security (for payment and return of goods), plenty of shipping options and a proper returns policy.
The UK is one of the most successful Internet-based economies, so businesses without an eCommerce solution risk being left behind.
For more information on eCommerce, accepting electronic payments and the latest eCommerce news, visit www.electronic-payments.co.uk
Don’t let it be you.