Ecommerce | 6 min

The Explosive Growth Of E-commerce In Hong Kong

COVID-19 has driven online shopping faster than ever before. Of those who buy online in Hong Kong, 80% say e-commerce is an integral part of their lives.
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Michael Ashton
By Michael Ashton
April 27, 2022

The explosion of e-commerce in Hong Kong is fuelled by a number of global trends that have been accelerated by the pandemic.

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has driven online shopping faster than ever before. In 2020, 62% of the world’s population shopped online – up by 40% pre-pandemic.

In Hong Kong, more 50% of people who started shopping online during the pandemic say they plan to continue post-pandemic.

These new buyers cite convenience and great deals as top reasons for shifting away from brick-and-mortar stores – and this trend isn’t isolated to just one country or industry.

More retailers are opening online stores to grow their business

Hong Kong’s retail landscape is constantly evolving, and more merchants are embracing e-commerce as a way to grow their business.

Rising rent costs and the pandemic have accelerated the need for retailers to go online and adopt an omnichannel retail strategy.

As competition increases in Hong Kong, retailers are looking for new ways to reach customers and stay relevant. Online stores provide an easy way to reach a broader audience – especially now that Hong Kong has one of the highest rates of e-commerce penetration in the world (at 87%).

Many merchants have already adopted successful omnichannel strategies – with great results. In some cases, merchants had already recouped the upfront costs required to build an online store infrastructure.

See our successful case studies for examples of stores we’ve worked on in the past!

Or see our pricing for the strategy, design and build of e-commerce stores!

Shopify is the platform of choice for Hong Kong e-commerce merchants

With a population of 7.2 million, Hong Kong is an attractive market for e-commerce sellers. This is due to several key market characteristics:

  1. High Internet usage: 81% of the population uses the Internet
  2. High credit card penetration: 95% of the population has at least one credit card
  3. High mobile phone penetration: 96% of the population owns a mobile phone
  4. Hong Kong's GDP per capita is USD $39,935, making it one of the wealthiest regions in Asia. Its reputation for high-quality products and services makes it an ideal export base for international companies.

Given this, Hong Kong now has over 3,000 Shopify stores registered in the territory - with the most popular categories being food and beverages, computers and electronics, fashion, home and garden.

The Hong Kong government has also been aggressively promoting e-commerce. An initiative called the "Technology Voucher Programme" has encouraged more local businesses to participate in e-commerce with funding opportunities for businesses to build infrastructure.

Shoppers want more from e-commerce

More than half of people in Hong Kong said online shopping is a fun, relaxing and engaging experience.

Of those who buy online, 80% say e-commerce is an integral part of their lives.

For many consumers, e-commerce offers a better shopping experience than traditional retail. It also provides more convenience and flexibility when they want to shop on the go - even while they are commuting or during lunch breaks at work.

According to our research, nearly two in three people with internet access in Hong Kong have made purchases through mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.

Retailers are getting more comfortable with data and analytics for marketing and sales

As a retailer, you need to do everything you can to get comfortable with data and analytics.

Analytics is being used in so many parts of the business—from marketing and sales to customer service, product development, inventory management, and supply chain management.

The goal here is to better understand your customers so that you can build more effective marketing campaigns that drive conversion and increase sales.

The Power and Potential of Email Marketing Campaigns

"E-mail remains the highest driver of conversions for our clients," says Mike Ragogna, senior vice president of strategic services at StrongMail. "We see that more than search, more than display advertising, more than social media."

Email marketing has proven to be one of the best ways to increase conversions for businesses, as it drives more than 20% of e-commerce transactions and is the most effective digital channel for customer acquisition and retention, according to Forrester Research.

"I have seen some marketers who have driven a significant amount of their revenue through e-mail programs," says David Daniels, CEO of The Relevancy Group. "That's not unusual."

If you are interested in exploring the possibilities of e-commerce then consider the reasons listed above that have made Hong Kong one of the most promising markets for e-commerce expansion.

Michael Ashton
By Michael Ashton
Managing Partner
Michael leads the Butter team and has had a career within industry leadership roles partnering with clients to drive digital transformation, performance marketing, and building business intelligence practices through marketing analytics. Michael focuses on providing digital & ecommerce consultancy for clients, aiming to improve business and commercial operations. Michael has an MBA from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and NYU Stern Business School.
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