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This week, Justin Sargent, President, Nielsen China, was invited to give a keynote speech at the 2019 Amazon Global Selling Cross-Border Summit in Shanghai, China. The summit brought together over 7,000 attendees from various key brands and online sellers to hear insights from across the global e-commerce and online landscape. Directed towards an audience looking to expand their international presence, Justin discussed the global online market and touched on the opportunities within the U.S., European and Japanese e-commerce markets.

With the global online market size estimated at US $2.9 trillion in 2019, and set to almost double to US $5.7 trillion by 2022, brands have enormous opportunity to expand into overseas markets and appeal to global consumers. 

Justin Sargent, President, Nielsen China

“Within today’s online internet enabled population, we still have plenty of opportunity to divert people who are online but not buying. We have 27% of the global internet population buying online and that number is increasing dramatically. Last year, the number of people buying online increased by 7.5%. We have almost 2 billion people now buying online,” explained Justin.

While the audience in Shanghai primarily consisted of leaders and marketers of key Chinese brands, Justin spoke to a few key strategies that are essential and relevant for any consumer facing company that is looking to “go global” online.

  1. Stand out from the crowd: Competition online is fierce and consumer attention is short. Additional investments in brand building, unique packaging, product innovation or attractive promotions are essential to catch the eye of the consumer.
  2. Quality first: Ensuring a high quality offering is essential, as reviews and word of mouth are primary channels for discovering new products and hold huge influence over the consumer’s final purchase decision.
  3. Build trust via transparency: Prioritizing transparency and authenticity is key to maintaining trust with online consumers. This is especially true among older generations who often trust traditional media more than digital media.
  4. Culturally adapt: In dynamic online markets, consumer demand and preference can shift quickly. One size does not fit all, so an ability to understand the pulse of the market and quickly adapt will allow brands to uncover immense opportunity.

In addition to these four points, Justin also highlighted how consumers are growing increasingly sophisticated. At the same time, Chinese policy efforts like the Belt & Road Initiative to expand the country’s infrastructure are coming together to drive consumption forward.

“Now is a great time. The world is becoming more connected, consumers are becoming more aware, more mobile, they’re spending more time online, they’re researching. Particularly, the Belt & Road Initiative that you have here in China, this is set up to enable companies in China to go global.” 

From the impressive audience turnout of brands and sellers, to the insights shared by Justin and other top Amazon leaders at the conference, it’s clear that consumers around the world are continuing to shift spending online. The opportunity is there for brands that focus on the consumer, create a first-class offering, and then engage effectively with authenticity and transparency.