More businesses in China are increasingly moving their procurement online. Particularly, when it comes to buying office supplies and appliances, Chinese B2B ecommerce space has grown significantly in the last couple of years. In 2015, this segment of ecommerce is expected to grow by 27.2% Y/Y.

There are several reasons for this trend:

  1. First is the natural growth of businesses is driving the demand for office supplies. More offices, big or small, are being opened, existing offices expanded or moved to larger facilities;
  2. Then there is a drive to save cost. Buying online allows making purchases fast and efficient. Products and brands can be easily researched and prices compared finding the best value;
  3. Finally, proliferation of Chinese ecommerce and general public’s familiarity with it, is making the transition and acceptance of online procurement a more natural process;

Chinese B2B Ecommerce figures

As noted by China Internet Watch, enterprise online purchases have been growing particularly fast since 2010 when the government first introduced new policies to support ecommerce and e-businesses. As the trend continues, it is predicted that Chinese B2B ecommerce market will increase at the annual growth rate of 30% for the next 3 years.

Another interesting fact is that, as of H1 2015,  Jingdong (JD.com) holds the largest market share (39.4%) in this particular segment of Chinese ecommerce. It is followed by Alibaba with 18.1% and Suning at 10.9%. The rest is shared between Amazon China, Gome, Yihaodian, Dangdang and others.

Chinese B2B ecommerce JD vs. Alibaba

This also shows that Jingdong has definitely been on the rise in 2015, taking even larger share of ecommerce away from Alibaba. They are focusing on their traditional strong areas such as appliances and electronics which, incidentally, are the products that businesses tend to purchase.

According to H1 2015 statistics, computers accounted for almost 40% of all online purchases in Chinese B2B ecommerce segment, followed by basic office supplies at 22.7%, mobile communication devices (16.5%) and other digital products such as electronic appliances and networking equipment (7.7% and 3.4% respectively).

This means that if your company is selling products in any of the above categories, Jingdong could be one of the sales channels to consider setting up. Targeting businesses through advertising within Jingdong is another element that should be incorporated with the overall B2B marketing strategy. Such ads should be tailored specifically to speak to the needs of office based businesses, stressing the overall utility, better service and cost savings.

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