By Jim EricksonNov 21, 2011 | 01:10 pm   Bookmark and Share

More than 85 percent of Chinese consumers cite price as the main reason they shop online but a merchant’s reputation is the most important factor consumers consider when they choose a website to buy from, according to a survey by U.S. digital marketing company Acquity Group.
The survey, which provided a glimpse of Chinese e-shoppers attitudes, found 45 percent bought something online at least weekly, and 44 percent did so between once and three times a month. Acquity Group polled more than 1,000 consumers in 150 cities. (Download the survey results here.)
Consumers continue to depend heavily on services run by Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce company, when shopping on the Web. More than 40 percent of online shoppers said they discovered e-tailers through Alibaba’s Taobao, the country’s largest B2C and C2C website.
That compared with 27.5 percent who said they discovered retailers through web advertising; 18 percent who relied upon recommendations from friends; and 7.8 percent who used search giant Baidu to find merchants.
Nearly 70 percent cited online payment service Alipay, also owned by Alibaba Group, as their preferred e-payment method.
The paradox of the Chinese consumer
Nearly two out of three consumers are concerned about customer service and getting stuck with fake goods when shopping on the web, which helps explain why merchant reputation is important to online shoppers. Those surveyed also said product quality and price were important determinants in where they shop online.
Getting a Handle on China’s Online Shoppers