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British retailers should prepare for growth in the Chinese e-commerce market post coronavirus

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British retailers should prepare to target the Chinese market, as China could enjoy strong economic growth following the end of lockdown and the peaking of the coronavirus epidemic.

According to Richard Morecroft, Director and Co-Founder of digital commerce company JGOO: “As the world battles the Coronavirus, it’s no secret that UK retailers have suffered a drop in sales as a result. Amid these growing concerns, what British retailers might have failed to realise is that all is not doom and gloom for the Chinese market. In fact, the virus could have created an opportunity for British brands in its booming e-commerce market, which stands today as the biggest in the world with a growing value of $1.9 trillion in 2019.”

Morecroft says that when the outbreak of the virus occurred in China earlier this year, it inadvertently created a boom in the Chinese e-commerce market as consumers were forced to self-quarantine. Mobile usage increased by 20% within just one month and online sales spiked as Chinese consumers reverted to online shopping to cater for their needs. 

He says: “Despite China’s challenges and trade being tough in the UK, the coronavirus has presented an opportunity for UK retailers to tap into – albeit, perhaps one that they weren’t expecting. In December, it was forecasted that retail e-commerce sales in China would be worth $2.328 trillion in 2020, however, this could be higher following the post Coronavirus boom in online shopping. UK Retailers looking to increase their sales might want to consider exploring this avenue given the demand for British goods is at an all-time high in China.”

Richard Hyman, retail analyst and founder of Richard Talks Retail, adds: “If British retail businesses are to avoid seeing a fall in sales, the key is to explore other markets. Despite the coronavirus concerns, China shouldn’t be excluded from this.” 

He continues: “Retailers should be thinking more globally in this time of slow growth, and the online Chinese market is one that they should be considering. There is an opportunity for western businesses to engage with this market, and their success will come down to how well they are able to drive their visibility on China’s social platforms, which is the most powerful way of reaching China’s digital generation.”

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