Hong Kong SAR, China flag Hong Kong SAR, China: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in Hong Kong SAR, China

E-commerce

Internet access
With almost 5.5 million internet users, Hong Kong has internet penetration rate of 74%.Hong Kong consistently ranks as one of the countries with the fastest online connections worldwide. Hong Kong is one of the most smartphone-friendly markets in the world. In 2017: 5.08 million people accessed the internet through their mobile phones. In 2022, the number of mobile phone internet users is projected to reach 5.71 million (Statista). The search engines market in Hong Kong is dominated by Google with a market share of 83.8%, followed by Yahoo with 13.6%. Bing has only a limited share of the market (1.4%).
E-commerce market
E-commerce is developing rapidly in Hong Kong as more retailers set up their online presence and shoppers change their consumption patterns and lifestyles. With more than 4.5 million e-shoppers, the e-commerce penetration rate in Hong Kong is at 59.8% in 2018 and is expected to hit 72.6% in 2022. E-commerce sales in Hong Kong have been steadily increasing, passing from US$ 2.9 billion in 2015 to an estimated US$ 3.7 billion in 2017 (+27%). E-commerce sales are forecast to continue rising with an annual growth rate of 10.2% to reach US$ 5.4 billion by 2021 (Statista). In 2017 there was a significant drop in the number of Hong Kong-based companies that do not have an omnichannel business strategy, with the rate passing from 21% in 2016 to 9%. Many traditional stores have established online purchasing platforms, such as Watsons, Wing On Department Stores and Chow Sang Sang. On the other hand, e-commerce platform HKTVmall has opened some concept stores in an experiment to find out the most applicable online-to-offline retail model in Hong Kong. These shops mainly serve as interactive billboards aimed at showcasing products available on HKTVmall’s website. Among the most popular online stores/marketplaces in Hong Kong are Alibaba’s Tmall, WeChat, Taobao, Amazon, JD, Alibaba and eBay. The boom in cross-border e-commerce with mainland China also offers huge growth opportunities for Hong Kong’s e-commerce sector.
E-commerce sales and customers
Electronics & media is currently the leading product category in Hong Kong, accounting for US$ 1.07 billion market share, followed by fashion which generates US$ 990.5 million in sales (Statista). 74% of online shoppers in Hong Kong are estimated to buy using desktops, with the rates of those using smartphones or tablets being much smaller (16% and 6% respectively). People aged below 30 are the most active e-shoppers, nevertheless consumers aged 30-49 are those that spend the most online. The key factors that lead Hong Kong’s customers to buy online are price and the convenience of shopping anywhere at any time. Ensuring an improved customer experience is becoming more and more important. The three main methods of payment for Hong Kong’s e-shoppers are bank cards, PayPal and China UnionPay.
Social media
As of third quarter 2017, 78% of the population were active social media users. The most popular social platform was Facebook with 3.5 million active users, followed by Youtube and Instagram (2.3 million). Whatsapp is the main messaging app (74% penetration rate) ahead of Facebook Messenger (45%) and WeChat (44%). Twitter and LinkedIn are not very popular among Hong Kong’s internet users, with a penetration rate of 19% and 16% respectively. According to a report by KPMG and GS1, Facebook is the most popular social media platform for Hong Kong’s companies, with 76% it for customer engagement, and 53% using it for sales. Second on the list in both categories is WeChat, with 48% for engagement and 35% for sales. YouTube and Instagram are used much more for customer engagement than sales activities: 47% of companies use YouTube to engage their customers, while only 15% use it for sales, while Instagram is used by 43% for engagement and 18% for sales.

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Latest Update: November 2022

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