From January to September 2013, Beijing's Internet retail sales reached CNY63.73 billion, exceeding the retail sales of traditional department stores, and the sales accounted for over 10% of the total retail sales in Beijing for eight consecutive months, according to Lin Ya, secretary general of Beijing Electronic Commerce Association.
Lin said that compared with traditional businesses, Beijing was a late starter in the Internet retail sector. However, its development has now been explosive. In 2011, Beijing's Internet retail sales more than doubled. In 2012, the city's Internet retail sales surged to CNY59.68 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 99.8%. During 2012, the Internet sales in Beijing accounted for 7.75% of the total retail sales in the city, still trailing the traditional department store industry.
During the first nine months of 2013, Beijing's Internet retail sales exceeded those of the entire year of 2012, reaching CNY63.73 billion. The sales also exceeded those of the traditional department store industry. The Internet retail sales accounted for 10.5% of the total social retail sales of Beijing during the reporting period.
Lin said depending on price and convenience, online shopping has replaced other industries such as physical shopping malls, automobile sales, and dining to become the most important power to stimulate background consumption in the capital city. However, its relationship with traditional businesses is still one of coexistence, rather than replacement. This is a difference between e-commerce in China and that of the West. Therefore, combining traditional channels with e-commerce will allow experiential services to consumers and create new business opportunities.