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Cross-border seafood online to become the norm in China

autoreBy Angus Boweron 27 Jul 2016

It might seem like a difficult thing for you and I to get our heads around and appreciate considering there’s more than 432 million active e-commerce users in China. But with over half of China’s entire digital buying population purchasing from overseas locations, online is on track to becoming the preferred medium for Chinese buyers to attain premium international seafood.

At the moment, around 40% of the country’s active e-commerce participants are buying from cross-border sources, and according to eMarketer that equates to around US $85.76 billion worth of trade by the end of this year. Essentially, on an individual level, Chinese online consumers will spend an average of US $473.26 on foreign goods in 2016. Now, if you think that those numbers are startling - by 2020 (less than 4 years from now), cross-border digital consumers will account for 50.7% of China’s total digital consumer population, up from just 20% in 2014.

There are two key factors that can merit for this substantial growth over the past couple of years. First of all, the standards of living have exponentially soared. China’s current middle-class have a combination of both wealth and willingness to spend on luxury goods like seafood. The second element is the growing presence of cross-border e-commerce platforms (like Gfresh) providing these affluent populations the ability to easily purchase the world’s best products from locations around the world - Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Europe, South America, Asia, anywhere. The opportunities presented by global online trading platforms means that the whole world has literally become any buyer’s oyster.

While seafood isn’t affected by China’s recent implementation of cross-border e-commerce tariffs on some products (like jewelry and infant formula), the strength of the country’s drive to purchase high quality overseas goods was highlighted by market analyst, Shelleen Shum:

“The demand for foreign goods via cross-border e-commerce channels is still expected to remain strong due to better prices compared to offline retailers, perceived quality and better variety…”

The majority reason being that sellers on cross-border platforms are considered trustworthy.

So looking at the evidence, not only is China the world’s largest market of seafood buyers, but also on track to becoming the world’s largest cross-border e-commerce population. So if you’re a seafood supplier looking to start selling seafood online, you should have a big smile on your face right about now.

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