Alibaba, the giant Chinese e-commerce company, has released its online drinks report, highlighting four defining trends in China’s US$6 billion online drinks market.
According to the report, younger consumers and female drinkers are going to shape China’s alcoholic beverage sales, as alcohol consumption becomes more frequent.
Released around the e-commerce giant’s global wine and spirits festival on September 9, the report is based on data compiled by Alibaba’s retail platform Tmall.com, the country’s biggest retailer ahead of JD.com.
A main trend is a shift to younger consumers. Consumers born in 1980s and 1990s now account for nearly 70% of alcoholic beverage sales online, according to the report.
This means consumers aged between 20 to 40 are the main driving force behind online sales of all alcoholic drinks including beer, wine, Chinese Baijiu and yellow wine, as well as spirits on Tmall.com, which boasts over 500 million monthly active users.
Imported drinks as the report notes are particularly favored by consumers aged between 20 and 28.
Meanwhile, the report noted that female buying power should not be neglected. The reason is that there’s a marked growth in per order price among female drinkers compared with male drinkers.
In terms of drinking habits, consumption is becoming more daily and less restricted to ceremonies and banquets.
Another trend the e-commerce giant highlighted is growing professionalism among consumers as knowledge grows. They are increasingly leaning towards alcoholic products that they can identify with, and in the past two years keyword searches on craftsmanship, product of origin, and classification have surged, according to the report.
Although online drinks sales account only for less than 7% of the country’s total alcoholic beverage sales, its value is estimated at more than US$6 billion.
China is the world’s largest online retail market. The country’s online sales are expected to top US$1.9 trillion this year.
The country is also armed with an army of savvy online shoppers. As of December last year, China has over 610 million online shoppers and over 592 million people shop via mobile phones, according to data released by China Internet Network Information Center.