Ecommerce Sales to China Will Exceed $100 Billion by Close of 2017

2017 Cross-Border Ecommerce Sales in China Will Exceed $100 Billion in 2017

Cross-border ecommerce sales into China are expected to reach more than $100 billion by the end of 2017, according to data from eMarketer. That’s a significant increase from the $78.5 billion in sales from 2016.

These latest figures are part of a growing trend of importing to China, which could lead to plenty of potential opportunities for U.S. small businesses. China’s middle class is growing, both in population and in spending power. And according to the eMarketer report, that growth is likely to lead to even higher ecommerce sales numbers in the coming years.

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According to reports from, more than 40 percent of total global ecommerce spending comes from China. And the Chinese ecommerce market is predicted to be larger than the markets from the U.S., U.K., Japan, Germany and France combined by 2020. So selling to Chinese customers isn’t just something that could give your sales a boost, it could also become downright necessary for businesses to thrive in the coming years.

If you’re looking to take advantage of this growing trend for your own small business, there are plenty of opportunities to jump into the Chinese market through ecommerce. Lots of U.S. products, ranging from makeup to seafood, tend to be popular with Chinese consumers. And platforms like Alibaba’s Tmall give you an easy way to reach those customers.

However, you do need to learn how to actually market to Chinese customers. And those marketing tactics can differ from the ones you use to reach U.S. customers. For example, new technology like virtual reality is more prominent in the Chinese market. And about half of the ecommerce purchases in China are made using mobile devices.

While it might take some time to learn about the market, it could be well worth the effort if the Chinese market and sales numbers continue to climb.

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

2 Reactions
  1. This shows how China is now becoming more open to eCommerce. $100 billion is a lot of money.

  2. It is so true that China is too big a market to be ignored. It can actually be quite expensive to sell through Tmall. I’ve written an article on it on Other Chinese e-commerce cross-border platforms to consider include, kaola, VIP, xiaohongshu, ymatou and so on. It’s important to compare the offerings of different platforms before making any commitment.

    Another way to do cross-border sales is by setting up a WeChat store. There are third-party agencies that can help you set up the store and also take care of marketing. However, if you set up a WeChat store, you have to be prepared to spend on marketing to drive traffic to your stores. It’s a very competitive market so the marketing budget might be more than you expected. It’s important to get a realistic expectations of advertising fees before setting up any standalone or WeChat stores.

    Alternatively, you can work with a distributor who will take care of all the logistics, sales and marketing for you but you risk losing control of your brand equity.

    Regardless of what you do, it’s important to consider intellectual property protection in advance because China is a first-to-file country for trademark registration. If you have a popular brand name, it is wise to check if your name is already registered in China.

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