According to a 2013 Paypal study, 14 million cross-border mobile shoppers currently make up nearly 80% of the total online cross-border shopping population in China.

Modern spice routes are... mobile

Online cross-border commerce is booming in China. The 18 million Chinese consumers that do outbound shopping are estimated to spend RMB 216 billion this year. These statistics come from a new Paypal study, named "Modern Spice Routes, The Cultural Impact and Economic Opportunity of Cross-Border Shopping". Among these 18 million, 14 million are already using their mobiles to shop, leading to a projected spending volume of RMB 102 billion. The Top five cross-border purchase categories are: apparel & accessories (RMB 22.0 billion); health & beauty products (RMB17.6 billion); computer hardware (RMB13.5 billion); jewellery, gems & watches (RMB13.1 billion); and personal electronics (RMB12.9 billion). Where these Chinese consumers are spending money ?

$36.4 billion this year

Mainly in the US (84%) but also in APAC (Hong Kong, Japan and Australia). In 2018, they will be 35.9 million Chinese cross border shoppers, expected to spend up to RMB1.0 trillion. Additionally, there will be nearly twice as many mobile cross-border shoppers in China looking to spending RMB 339 billion on overseas websites. In 2013, the combined cross-border mobile shopping markets of the USA, the UK, Germany, Australia, China and Brazil are already worth RMB 223 billion – accounting for more than a third of all cross-border online shopping in these markets. By 2018, their total value will have increased nearly threefold to RMB 653 billion.

Deal hunters and safety seekers are dominant

Besides numbers, the study also examines the behavior of these buyers. Among the entire cross-border online population (USA, UK, Germany, Australia, China and Brazil), Paypal found five categories of shoppers : the fearless adventurers, the efficient Explorers, the value voyagers, the safety seekers and finally, the deal Hunters. The safety seekers is someone who shop online more for leisure, but like the variety and brands found on overseas websites. This population spend 12% of total overseas online spend, a represent 23% of the cross borders shoppers. For Deal hunters (don’t shop online very often and mainly from their own country’s websites, except if they find lower price on overseas websites), they spend 10% of all overseas online spend, and represent 23% of cross borders shoppers.