According to Euromonitor International, the total sales value of internet retailing in Hong Kong reached to 13.7 billion in 2016 with a 15% annual growth rate, in which the sector “apparel and footwear”, amounted to 1.5 billion, or around 11 per cent of the total value. Up to 2021, apparel and footwear are expected to see an annual growth rate of 4%. Compared with some other regions like Mainland China, USA and UK, the pace of development in e-commerce business is not considered impressive in Hong Kong.
The unique features of the Hong Kong market that lead to the tepid development of local e-commerce in the past five years include but not limited to the following:
- The local market is relatively small, and the merchants prefer to develop e- commerce business in larger markets for higher profits;
- Hong Kong is a free port and the local residents can easily buy products from different online shopping platforms or social media platforms around the world;
- A key barrier for e-commerce business model is last-mile delivery in Hong Kong. The failure rate of first-time home delivery is high, and there is still a lack of effective solutions to deal with the warehousing problems;
- Compared to Mainland China and USA, the acceptance of electronic payment and mobile wallets are relatively low in Hong Kong. The traditional payment culture slows down the development pace of e-commerce to a certain degree.
A research on consumer behaviors of online shopping in Hong Kong was conducted by KPMG and GS1. Some important data and information have been analyzed in the following section.