Three of China’s biggest cross-border fashion and apparel e-tailers have set their sights on India’s e-commerce market, thanks to the country’s high potential for economic growth.
A new report has revealed that 10 of China’s best performing online retailers are looking to India for future growth opportunities, with SHEIN, ROMWE, JollyChic and Club Factory among those focusing on consumers in the Middle East and India.
According to the report from app data provider, App Annie, strong economic growth in countries like India have attracted a number of key Chinese businesses to the region. Similarly, in Arab countries, smartphone usage is reportedly on the rise, and because many oil-rich countries traditionally lack the resources to produce products for the apparel industry, cross-border e-commerce opportunities for the retail category are strong.
The report also showed that South American markets are becoming increasingly attractive to Chinese e-commerce players, while more developed markets, such as the United States and Europe remain a key profit area for Chinese businesses operating within the e-commerce sphere.
The Indian e-commerce market has been a hot topic of discussion in the last few months, with research showing that the industry is expected to grow 31 percent by the end of 2018, equating to a total worth of $32.7 billion. To put this into perspective, the Australian market is only sitting at $26.08 billion, according to the latest figures from NAB and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
By the end of 2018, it’s estimated that 25 percent of India’s population will actively be shopping online, with this figure expected to rise to 41.6 percent by 2022. This rapid expansion has been attributed to key marketplaces’ activity in the region, including Flipkart, Amazon, and Paytm Mall, as well as American department store chain, Walmart, after its US$16 billion investment in Flipkart.
Since Walmart’s investment in India’s local online marketplace, global players have started upping their ante in the region, with Amazon announcing its plans to invest a further $2 billion into its local activity, on top of the $5 billion commitment the company had previously made.
While Amazon and Walmart were battling it out for control of India, eBay was also making its move, announcing its plans to sell its shares in Flipkart to re-launch its own local platform.
Last year, eBay sold its Indian operations to local e-commerce giant, Flipkart as part of a $1.1 billion deal that included agreements that allowed Flipkart to use eBay’s brand as its own. However, after Walmart went public with its deal to purchase a 77 percent stake in Flipkart earlier in the year, eBay announced that it would also be selling its shares in the company.
In a Tweet, eBay’s CEO, Devin Wenig, said the company’s newly invested interest in the Indian market would mean importing inventory into India and opening its cross-border markets to Indian merchants.
“We plan to relaunch eBay India with a differentiated offer to focus initially on the cross-border trade opportunity, which we believe is significant,” eBay said in a statement. “We believe there is huge growth potential for e-commerce in India and significant opportunity for multiple players to succeed in India’s diverse, domestic market.”
Current projections estimate the Indian e-commerce market will be worth as much as US$200 billion by 2026, so it’s not surprising that so many international e-tailers are trying to get in on the action.