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News Mobile commerce dominates China’s online drinks sales

Mobile commerce has contributed to more than 80% of all online sales made on China’s biggest e-commerce company Alibaba Group’s retail platform,, in the first quarter of the year.

This is compared with 2014 when just over 20% of online drinks sale were generated from mobile devices, with the majority coming from computers, according to the latest joint report by and Chinese research firm, CBNData.

The fast rise of Mobile Commerce or M-Commerce in the country, where the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) estimated that 95.1% of its total 731 million internet users used a mobile device to access the internet in 2016 – more than double the US population – means that online drinks retailers have to tailor their marketing and campaign towards today’s mobile-dominated e-commerce.

Judging by different categories of alcoholic beverages, China’s Baijiu still leads’s online sales, followed by wine, imported spirits, beer, yellow wine and other beverages. Alibaba claims that it has nearly 23,000 beverage brands from more than 70 countries for sale on its site.

Interestingly, wine is the category that remains most prone to seasonal consumption changes compared with beer or Baijiu. Summer tends to see sharp increases in beer sales, while in autumn and winter, Baijiu sales tend to spike, according to the report.

In terms of grape varieties, at odds with the conventional belief, Merlot-based wines have surpassed Cabernet Sauvignon to lead Alibaba’s online wine sales in 2016, with the rest being Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Moscato, Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Tempranillo.

Based on the report, Australia’s Penfolds has emerged as the most popular brand among first time online wine consumers, and its appeal continues to grip repeat consumers as well. Among the top five brands purchased by repeat consumers, Changyu was the only Chinese brand that made it on to the list.

Chinese actress Zhao Wei’s Bordeaux wine Château Monlot was the third choice for first time wine consumers.

Imported wines still dominate the country’s online wine sale, but shares of domestic wines have grown from 2015 to take up 19%, according to the report.

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