Just like in the US, the Chinese retail trade market showed considerable improvement in Q3 2020. There was a 0.9% increase in overall retail trade, the sector’s first positive growth in 2020.
In September, there was an increase of 3.3% in total retail sales, up from 1.5% in August, marking two consecutive months of positive growth.
However, for the first nine months of 2020, total retail sales were still down by 7.2% YoY. Compared to H1 2020 though, the overall decline narrows by 4.2 percentage points.
It is noteworthy too that China’s online retail sales grew by 9.7% during the same nine-month period. Moreover, online retail sales of physical goods increased by 15.3% and accounted for 24.3% of all retail sales.
Top eCommerce retailer, Alibaba, saw strong growth during Q3 2020, growing its annual active customer base by 15 million, to reach 757 million.
Its cross-border import eCommerce platform, Tmall Global, had an increase of 21% in the sales of online physical goods in that quarter. Taobao Live, Alibaba’s live streaming platform, generated Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) surpassing 350 billion RMB ($52.83B) for the 12-month period which ended on September 30, 2020.
Overall, Alibaba’s revenue during the quarter rose by 30% YoY to $22.84 billion.
Online retail sales in the US are gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels. Based on a report published by Digital Commerce 360, online shoppers in the US spent $218.1 billion on retail online purchases during Q3 2020. In Q2 2020, US eCommerce sales totalled $211.5 billion.