Five trends driving China's e-commerce surge

Updated: 2015-03-19 10:18

By Dai Tian(

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2. Showrooms: Good for window shopping only?

Five trends driving China's e-commerce surge

A consumer scans the QR code tagged on a coat at a shopping mall in Wenzhou city, Zhejiang province, on Nov 10, 2013. The QR code directs her to the brand’s online shop at Tmall. [Photo/IC]

The survey shows that a showrooming effect, where shoppers browse in stores but buy elsewhere, has become particularly intense. Only 16 percent customers, among those who have Internet access, bought electronic goods at physical stores.

To retain sales, more brands are choosing to collaborate with online shopping platforms and place QR codes next to their products and sending customers digital coupons and daily tweets.

"Given the increasingly drastic effects of showrooming, we expect some retailers to go so far as to reduce the number of physical stores in 2015, focusing instead on differentiation through quality offline services and offline-to-online conversions," said McKinsey.

Digital engagement can also help retailers get to know their prospective buyers, according to the report.