A MasterCard survey taken during the 2012 holiday season found that consumers in Asia are more likely than any other demographic to shop online. In particular, China leads the region with the highest rates of e-commerce. And those numbers are still increasing.
54% of those online shoppers in China are purchasing one thing, specifically: fashion.
Fittingly, local apparel e-tailers have been popping up all over and making big names for themselves as the region increasingly looks to domestic designers for high-end fashion. More and more Asian fashion subsidies are adjusting their focus beyond Western brands, increasing the number of outlets to buy local style.
According to MasterCard’s survey, Chinese online shopping rates are rising due to consumer behavior changes, which are most likely caused by the shift and growth of Asian online retailers. Shoppers are more confident in safely buying familiar designers online, viewing the Web as the easy way to get everything on their lists. Plus, more than half of those surveyed said that they’re not just using their computers – they’re shopping on their mobile devices too.
As Asian-based online retailers continue to grow, they’re also moving westward. Here’s a look at eight of the region’s most popular sites, in what has become more than a $370 billion e-commerce industry.
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1. SHOP the MAG.com
– The clothes and accessories highlighted on this site aim to boost innovative and unique design, precise tailoring and high production value. Every designer featured is from Asia, but the Singapore-based boutique reaches a global market. Plus, it is credited as being ‘the world’s first Asian luxury retail website
’ since its launch in March of 2011.
2. Any Shop Style
– AnyShopStyle combines emerging Chinese designers with well-known international brands in the mainland marketplace. Currently shipping to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, their designers have appeared in The New York Times
but they haven’t quite reached an international market just yet. Most recently, the group has extended its hand into branded editorial, to provide original, local fashion news
– Launched in 2012, BKRM's philosophy is “selectivity without a waitlist," merging contemporary fashion and urban appeal to create a global presence. BKRM ships for free to Hong Kong and to six other countries in Asia, and their e-commerce is available in 13 other countries around the world.
– Known as China’s leading online fashion retailer
of the past decade, ShangPin recently partnered with The Council of Fashion Designers of America to expand its international outreach. The site concentrates on "high end customer acquisition" and allies with Chinese banks and established luxury brands to reel in China's fastest growing consumer base.
– A Hong-Kong based company, Callixto has been featured in Lucky Magazine
and other Western media outlets. While its only office is in Hong Kong, the site's jewelry can be bought and shipped internationally. Founded by the globe-trotting Sasha Dennig, the online boutique offers unique accessories from all around the world.
–Zalora is headquartered in eight different countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Taiwan. The company offers massive collections of accessories, shoes, and sportswear. Products, however, are not shipped beyond the countries in which the site is already based.
– With teams in Hong Kong, London, and Shanghai, and no Western partners, the site works to provide Asia with the latest seasonal trends, at the same time that they're presented overseas. The company provides free global shipping
but specifically heavily targets the greater Chinese market.
8. Zao Zao
– By way of early discovery, Zao Zao introduces emerging designers' ideas to Asia. The site is a one-of-a-kind platform
based in Hong Kong, but allows its designers to ship merchandise worldwide.