Over the past decade, the Chinese e-commerce landscape has grown by leaps and bounds. About 10 years ago, China represented less than 1% of the global e-commerce market; today, that share is a whopping 42%. China is such a big player in e-commerce; it now handles multiple transactions per year from France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States combined.
This solid panorama of e-commerce represents a massive opportunity for foreign brands that want to enter the Chinese market. But such a solid scene also has its difficulties – with hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of new and offered e-commerce sites popping up all the time, where do you start? In this post, we take a closer look at the 8 Chinese online shopping sites that currently dominate the Chinese e-commerce landscape.
The best Chinese online shopping sites
AliExpress is practically the best and most well-known store among Chinese online shopping sites; its fast and secure payment system coupled with excellent customer support and customer protection policies has earned good names and global recognition for them.
Launched in 2010, AliExpress is made up of small businesses in China and other locations, such as Singapore, which offer products to international online shoppers. The e-commerce giant appears to be the most visited online shopping site in Russia, Brazil; it was the 10th most important site. AliExpress helps small businesses reach millions of customers around the world.
The sellers on the platform are independent, just like eBay. I had a positive personal experience shopping with AliExpress compared to my experience with Amazon, so I can safely recommend the site.
This is one of the best websites as AliExpress will provide you with a large variety of products at the wholesale price and you can add your desired products to your online store with API.
The best part is that you can deliver the goods anywhere in the world with an integrated quality management system which will ensure that the product is of good quality. So never the possibility of fraud.
In addition, promotions, discounts and CB points are some of the specialties of this website that can significantly reduce costs.
There are more than 10,000 verified suppliers registered on the website, along with an addition of 500,000 products listed on the websites, and new arrivals and authorizations will also be updated on a daily basis.
If you are a seller, Chinabrands has incentives for you too. You can analyze the trend of sales to find out the required products. This can help bridge the market gap and make higher profits.
In addition, dropship services can reduce the level of risk, leading to a safer business environment. Similarly, SEO optimization related to product descriptions is managed by the qualified team, increasing the overall chances of turnout to buyers.
GearBest adorns the reputation of one of the most popular Chinese online shopping sites when Chinese sites are at stake.
In this online shop, you can find over 100,000 products such as tablets and laptops, smartphones of various brands, household, garden and personal hygiene items, smart and “ordinary” watches, different electronic devices, jewelry, but also many other things.
GearBest is definitely one of the most visited sites to buy and sell from China. When companies are looking for sites like AliExpress, Gearbest is what you need to put on priority list 1.
How LightInTheBox is a popular online shopping store from China? Are they a great alternative to shopping on AliExpress?
Suffice it to say that this site has several hundred million registered customers from all over the world. On this site, you can find over 60,000 products, classified in over 14 categories.
Whether you are looking for an inexpensive wardrobe, equipment for your home, office or garage, equipment for mobile phones or computers, electronics, children’s toys, you can find almost all of this on this site.
Light in the box also boasts fast shipping, excellent customer service, and very simple site navigation.
MiniInTheBox is an online shopping alternative to AliExpress that has been dealing with the online sale of Chinese products since 2013 and has nearly 4,500,000 fans on Facebook.
This site is owned by LightInTheBox and stands out as a category specializing in “mini” things like accessories and gadgets. The site is one of the most similar to AliExpress because it offers a really wide selection of the most diversified equipment.
Nice and simple design, modest colors, but very impressive and easy to navigate, the site has everything a good Chinese product website should have.
On the left, there are standard categories for easy reference and finding what you are looking for (all for Apple devices, Mega sales, all for Samsung phones, cell phone accessories, jewelry, watches, electronics, lamps and lighting, sports and hobbies, office and home equipment, clothing and fashion accessories).
If you are looking for fashion clothes and accessories through MiniInTheBox, you will be automatically redirected to the main LightInTheBox website specialized in this type of article.
6. Deals Machine
DealsMachine (ex. AHappyDeal) is a Chinese webshop available since 2011. Like Chinese online shopping sites like AliExpress, the collection of items is very conventional: cellphones and extras, shabby MP-3/4 players, advanced cameras, finishing parts and PC hardware, distinctive car gadgets such as DVD players, GPS drivers and others.
The comments on this shop are very mixed. At first glance, most buyers never face any challenge and get their purchases. Then again, you need to be extremely careful when requesting.
You should see which items are added to the request and what the cost is based on the fact that certain situations have occurred in which some items that had been in the cart were issued as a request. However, you never tried to buy them.
In case you get a look of terrible quality, which is known from time to time due to the way each of the items is tested with quality control, the store gives you the option to discount or exchange it.
DX, with 13 years of experience in online shopping in China, is one of the right choices for the AliExpress alternative.
Online clothing sales on DealExtreme include “ordinary” clothing such as dresses, shoes, t-shirts, coats, and dresses for special occasions, and even wedding dresses that cost no more than $ 40.
Keep in mind that the IT sector and phones are still the priority of this site and cannot be confused if something is missing in the clothing and footwear category.
Interestingly, the choice of sexy underwear is quite wide and diverse. The online sale of wardrobes on this site is not as popular as the sale of gadgets and phones, but much of the supply is sold out, which means that demand is relatively high.
The website is also suitable for all those involved in scenography, shows, night activities, etc. Because DealeXtreme offers a good selection of various lasers, stroboscopes and more.
It seems that DealeXtreme really wanted to move the boundaries when online sales on Chinese online shopping sites were in question, and in its more than ample offerings, it included 3d printers and equipment for the same. Excellent, there is nothing.
DHgate is one of the leading wholesale sites like AliExpress in China, something like the Chinese version of e-Bay, it also has an incredible breadth in its offer.
You can find everything you want, as well as most of the things you see in sales that come from China at much lower prices. The delivery is obviously a little longer, so it is possible that it happens and exceeds 45 days, but it can also arrive in 15 days.
The page was checked out, I ordered it many times, so I know for sure. The price is only advantageous when you order more items, so this is a good option for online merchants—all in all, a good site with the good enough deal you need to look at.
Tinydeal is also one of the best Chinese online shopping sites like AliExpress. We can say that it is very well organized and easy to see. The articles are classified into categories and sub-categories, to facilitate navigation on the site.
On the home page, you can find sections like new products, things that cost less than $ 5, recommended items or items that are the most voted by customers, special offers with discounts, but also things that are available for wholesale, if plan to purchase more products for further sales.
For any questions, you can also find a live chat, so customer service will meet you if you have further questions about some products or items.
Banggood is one of the Chinese online shopping sites, such as AliExpress in China, which started operating in 2004. They are known for having very low prices and high-quality products.
On this site, you can find equipment for Apple products, such as the iPhone and MacBook computers, Chinese mobile phones, toys, wardrobes, various techniques and more.
Banggood is one of the sites you should visit if you are looking for a specific product and want fast delivery, quality products and customer support.
The undisputed reigning champion of the Chinese e-commerce landscape, Alibaba-owned Tmall dominates the B2C online retail market, boasting a market share of almost 60% in the third quarter of 2018.
In fact, it is the second-largest e-commerce site in the world, with over 500 million monthly active users in February 2018. Selling everything from clothing to electronics, appliances, and even cars, Tmall focuses on ‘offer authentic, high-quality products, and makes significant efforts to combat counterfeit products, making the platform highly reliable by consumers.
This, however, comes at a price for brands, which must meet strict criteria and pay relatively high commissions to appear on the platform.
Also known as Jingdong, JD.com has a relatively large slice of the online shopping pie, with a market share of around 25% in the third quarter of 2018 and around 300 million monthly active users.
Like Tmall, it also sells products from a wide range of categories, such as fashion, electronics, and health. Still, it is continually looking for a more significant piece of the market share pie, branching out into categories with little or no coverage on Tmall, like travel, fresh produce, and industry.
JD.com also boasts its delivery network covering 99% of the Chinese population, which means that customers in rural areas can also take advantage of fast and seamless deliveries, an important consideration for brands for which Rural consumers are a key demographic element.
And they show no sign of slowing down – JD.com is also working on cutting-edge technologies, such as AI, robotics, and drones, in order to further improve the customer experience, which promises to make them more competitive in the months and years to come.
Pinduoduo stormed the Chinese e-commerce world, gaining market share and becoming the fastest growing app in the history of China. Unlike Tmall and JD.com, which focus on premium products, Pinduoduo is aimed at bargain hunters looking for a great deal.
The main point of difference of Pinduoduo is its “group purchase” or “team purchase” model, in which users invite friends to join a purchasing team in order to reduce the price of a product. The social nature of Pinduoduo encourages the virality of the product: the more people buy a product, the more it is discounted, and the more the product is classified, the further promoting sales.
This is an excellent platform for lesser-known brands to spread awareness, as there is less premium for the brand and more for cost competitiveness. It is also worth mentioning that the demographics of Pinduoduo come largely from third or lower-tier cities, and especially from senior citizens, so if your demographic target aligns with this, Pinduoduo could be the platform for you.
Rounding out the top 4 of Chinese online shopping sites is Suning, which had a market share of around 7% in the third quarter of 2018. While Suning’s thousands of physical stores mainly sell electronic devices, their online stores, such as Tmall and JD.com, sells a wide range of products, including books, beauty, and motherhood.
This strong offline presence, however, means that the Suning brand is largely associated with electronic devices in the minds of consumers. So if your brand falls into this category, this is a platform to be seriously considered.
Also known as Wei Pin Hua, Vipshop is one of the leading online retailers in China, which sells products in categories such as fashion, home, and beauty at heavily reduced prices for a limited time.
Their focus on premium and popular brands, quality products, and excellent customer service have given them a good reputation among consumers, and their subscription program, Super VIP, has managed to generate high customer loyalty by offering exclusive offers.
Its focus on luxury brands in recent times, however, could mean that less established brands will find it challenging to gain a foothold on this platform.
16. Little Red Book
Another platform with a strong orientation towards the luxury brand, Little Red Book (or Xiao Hong Shu), promises its users the opportunity to purchase international brands previously banned from Chinese customers. Despite being a newcomer to the e-commerce scene, the site has really taken off in the past year, with over 100 million registered users. (Particularly impressive considering that the most established Vipshop has 60 million users.) Kim Kardashian West is also on the platform.
With a strong social media component – users are encouraged to share reviews and suggestions – Little Red Book could be a great way to increase brand awareness, particularly if you also harness the power of leading opinion leaders (KOLs). If you have a high-quality product aimed at women aged 30 or under, consider adding Little Red Book to your marketing strategy.
Dangdang is China’s answer to Amazon. Like Amazon, it started as a book dealer before branching out into all types of categories, such as beauty and personal care; home and lifestyle; babies, children and maternity; and electronics. That said, it remains the largest book retailer in China and is strongly associated with this category.
According to Dangdang co-founder Penny Yu Yu, “Dangdang caters to medium-high-end customers with above-average education and larger portfolio sizes and tend to live in the top 20 cities.” If this sounds like your demographic aspect and your product is educational, or entertainment inspired, Dangdang might be worth exploring.
If you are in China and you need groceries, but you don’t want to go to the supermarket, you will probably turn to Yihaodian, and it is one of the Chinese online food online shopping sites in China. Here you can find most of the products available in the leading Chinese supermarkets, such as fresh products, sanitary products, and household appliances. Yihaodian’s clientele tends to be well-heeled, with imported products such as wine enjoying premium billing on its homepage.
If your product falls into categories like food and drink, beauty, or health care, Yihaodian deserves a closer look. Recently acquired by JD, it is likely that it will also benefit from technological developments that will improve supply chain logistics.
As you can see, there are many options when it comes to Chinese online shopping sites in China. But the best place to start your foray into the Chinese e-commerce market is Tmall, thanks to its undisputed supremacy and its vast market share.