China Still Set To Becoming Largest Retail Market In The World Despite Slowdown

China Economy
A new iPhone X is sold at an Apple Store in Beijing, China (Photo: Reuters)

The latest global market report released by eMarketer has revealed that China is still on track to becoming the largest retail market in the world. The report reveals that retail sales in China may reach more than US$5.6 trillion in 2019. That figure is around US$100 billion more than the sales figures predicted for the entire United States. 

The market analysis took into consideration the major factors in the apparent rise of China's retail market. China currently has around 1.4 billion people, a population larger than any other country in the world. The number of middle-class consumers in the country has also substantially grown. China's economy is also continually growing, albeit at a slower rate than previous years. The country's economic growth slowdown has somewhat affected retail sales, but at the end of the day, the country's economy is still growing.

A large part of why China's retail sales have grown so much is due to the country's rapid adoption of retail technologies. Online market and retail sales account for hundreds of billions of dollars in sales each month. More homegrown manufacturers and retailers are taking full advantage of these technologies and the colossal online retail market.

Compared to the United States, the adoption of online payment systems has grown at an unprecedented rate. More than half of Chinese consumers have already tried making mobile payments, while only 19 percent of consumers in the United States have tried it. The number of mobile payments that have been made by Chinese consumers has reached more than US$9 trillion.

According to market experts, China has leapfrogged the rest of the larger markets due to its lack of any traditional retail models.  China doesn't have the same supermarket and mall infrastructures as other countries. Retail in the country basically doesn't follow any traditional systems, which means that the adoption of a new digital retail market is much quicker. With the rapid adoption of mobile payment systems, retail stores around the country have quickly gotten rid of traditional cashiers.

Newer online retail stores have also taken quick advantage of this paperless system. China's biggest online retailer, Alibaba, now boasts over 617 million active users. Alibaba has also launched several brick-and-mortar retail outlets and supermarkets that fully take advantage of mobile payments systems and technologies. These stores double as online distribution centers and as traditional retail outlets. Consumers can use their mobile phones to scan products and pay for what they want to buy.   

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