Cross-border e-commerce, selling products to overseas customers via the Internet, has now become a fad in the business world.
With restrictions on cross-border travel and even shopping for daily necessities and foodstuffs, due in part to the new coronavirus, people are all tending to shop on the Internet.
These trends of the times have also led to an increase in the number of foreigners using cross-border EC to purchase Japanese goods, and the market for cross-border EC is expanding rapidly.
So, whether you are an individual or a company, you may be thinking, “Okay, let’s use cross-border e-commerce! Let’s use cross-border e-commerce to make money!” However, most of them do not know much about what kind of e-commerce site to open a store on.
In this issue, we will introduce popular cross-border e-commerce sites and platforms in China and the U.S. in a ranking format.
There are four main methods of cross-border EC
Before introducing the ranking of popular EC sites, we will first introduce what cross-border EC is all about.
Business selling products overseas through the Internet
The meaning of cross-border EC can be expressed in a nutshell as “a business that sells products overseas via the Internet.
The most familiar company to you is probably “Amazon,” an American company.
Cross-border e-commerce, which makes it easy to purchase products manufactured not only by Japanese manufacturers but also by American and Chinese manufacturers, exists very close to our daily lives.
The means of cross-border EC are divided into four main categories
There are several methods of cross-border EC, which are categorized into four types of cross-border EC depending on the method used.
- How to open a site in Japan
- How to open a site abroad
- How to open a store on a Japanese e-commerce site that supports overseas sales
- How to open a store on an overseas e-commerce site
The first method is to open a site in Japan, which is relatively easy to start because you will rent a server in Japan and build an e-commerce site. However, it is a difficult task for beginners because they need to set up the site in the language of the target country and decide on a site design that is easy for overseas customers to view.
The second method of opening a site overseas is to rent a server in the target country and build an EC site. Since the language settings and rules for building an EC site are different from those in Japan, you will need to be able to understand the language of the target country.
The third method, opening a store in a Japanese e-commerce mall that supports overseas sales, has the advantage of being easy to use and simple to start because the e-commerce site is developed in Japan. However, it is another matter whether overseas customers will view the e-commerce site on a daily basis and whether they will be motivated to buy from it.
The fourth method, opening a store on an overseas e-commerce site, allows you to directly open a store on an e-commerce site that is popular in your target country, so you can expect to attract more customers than the above three methods. There are some caveats, such as the need to understand the target country’s language and follow the country’s rules, but if you can clear these points, it is safe to say that this is the most recommended method.
Ranking of popular e-commerce sites in China
Now that you know what cross-border EC is and what steps to take to actually use cross-border EC, we will now introduce some popular EC sites in China.
In China, which has one of the largest markets in the world by far, we will introduce a ranking of the most popular e-commerce sites.
Please check it out if you are interested.
No. 1 TENNEKO (T-MALL)
Introduced at No. 1 in the ranking of popular e-commerce malls in China is “Tian Cat. Tian Cat is the largest e-commerce site in China, operated by the Alibaba Group.
Tianxico is so popular that more than 50% of cross-border EC shoppers in China use Tianxico, which has more than 65 million members and more than 70,000 stores, making it “No. 1 in China” in terms of the number of stores, members, and market share.
Tianneko can expect to attract a high number of customers for a variety of categories of Japanese products such as beauty products, health foods, baby products, and toys. Because of the large number of original members, it is easier to attract customers than when opening a store on other e-commerce sites, so if the products are “high quality,” “safe,” and “secure,” they are likely to be popular.
No. 2 Kyungdong Business City (JD.com)
The second most popular EC mall in China is “Jingdong Shopping Mall”. Jingdong is the second most popular e-commerce mall after Tenco, with 30% of cross-border e-commerce shoppers in China using Jingdong Shopping Mall.
In other words, Tianxia and Jingdong Shopping Center, which we introduced earlier, account for more than 70% of the total sales in China, which means that most people are shopping at one of the two e-commerce sites.
In China, Jingdong is not positioned as a general mail-order company, but focuses on consumer electronics products. In addition, Jingdong Shopping also operates a website called “Japan Pavilion” that specializes in Japanese products and focuses on sales of “made in Japan” products.
The third most popular e-commerce mall in China is China’s leading e-commerce mall, China Pagoda, which accounts for 7% of all cross-border e-commerce shoppers in China. With the third largest market share in China (after Tenco and Jingdong), 7% of Chinese cross-border e-commerce shoppers are using China’s e-commerce malls.
Looking at the numbers alone, it still looks inferior to TianNeBei and JingDong Shopping Mall, but Pingtata, which was newly established in 2015, is growing its sales at a very fast pace. In order to differentiate itself from Tianyao and Beijing Dongcheng, Pinyin has focused on its target group of “low-income customers,” and has succeeded in attracting new customers.
The company’s sales are expected to continue to grow in the future, and pinata is now attracting a lot of attention.
Ranking of popular e-commerce sites in the U.S.
Next, we will introduce three EC sites in the U.S., the second largest cross-border EC market in the world after China, in a ranking format.
A firm grasp of popular e-commerce sites in China and the U.S. will definitely help you when you start cross-border e-commerce, so please check them out.
No. 1 Amazon (Amazon.com)
Introduced at No. 1 in the ranking of popular e-commerce sites in the U.S. is the well-known Amazon. It is a well-known and very famous e-commerce site, and many people in Japan use it as well.
It is estimated that 50% of those who shop at e-commerce sites in the U.S. use this Amazon, so most Americans shop at Amazon.
Amazon’s market expansion will continue to grow, and it is said that the time will soon come when “one out of every two Americans is an Amazon member. If you are anticipating cross-border EC in the U.S., be sure to check out Amazon.
No. 2 Walmart
The second most popular e-commerce site in the U.S. is Walmart.
Walmart is not a familiar company in Japan, but it operates the world’s largest supermaket and is said to surpass even Amazon in global recognition. The e-commerce site operated by Walmart mainly sells food products such as fruits and vegetables and groceries.
In addition, Walmart offers a wide selection of daily necessities, sundries, home appliances, and apparel, so you can get everything you need when you shop at Walmart. The company also offers a service that allows customers to order items on its e-commerce site and receive them at the store in cooperation with the actual store.
Introducing the third most popular e-commerce site in the United States is eBay. Although its market share ranks third behind Amazon and Walmart, eBay is the world’s largest auction site, with offices in 30 countries around the world.
With eBay, you can list your products in 190 countries around the world, making it a recommended e-commerce site for those who are considering using cross-border e-commerce, not limited to the United States. Compared to Amazon and Walmart introduced above, eBay targets low-income customers and tends to have many customers who want to “buy products as cheaply as possible.
We hope you found this article on what is cross-border EC and the ranking of popular cross-border EC sites helpful.
Opening a store on an overseas e-commerce site is highly recommended as it can be expected to attract a high level of customers.
Among them, if you can use a popular e-commerce site like the one introduced here, you may be able to catch the eye of many overseas customers and sell Japanese products to a larger number of customers.