• Packages ordered online to be delivered by express companies are sorted on a walkway outside an office building in central Beijing.

Packages ordered online to be delivered by express companies are sorted on a walkway outside an office building in central Beijing. (Photo : Reuters)

China is leading other countries in the world of e-commerce, as consumers showed adaptability and willingness to accept innovation, the China Daily reported.

Citing a report by McKinsey & Company, a consultancy firm, China Daily said that the strong growth of social commerce and online-to-offline services, together with the dramatic rise in online purchases of food and increase in e-commerce users from the rural areas, have contributed to this development.

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"Given the rapid rate of experimentation among China's businesses, and the rapid acceptance of new business models by its people, we believe China will lead the way in defining the next generation of social and mobile commerce experiences," the McKinsey report said.

The report has also identified five key factors that contributed to the country's rise as the biggest e-commerce market in the world in 2015.

According to the McKinsey iConsumer report, social media platforms have contributed much in shaping consumer behavior, and aside from helping 500 million users in China to communicate and access entertainment, they are also shaping behaviors in significant ways.

The report said that many Chinese consumers value their friend's recommendations in making decisions when shopping online.

The survey also showed that online showrooms have also helped consumers get to know products before buying them, and many stores have reduced their physical stores and focused on quality offline services.

Digital engagement has also helped retailers to know the buyers, the report added.

"To capture the ever-experimental and fast-learning Chinese consumers, companies will need to expand their O2O offerings and find innovative ways to engage and serve their customers in a multichannel fashion," said the report.

Further, more than 60 percent of rural online consumers are as active as their urban counterparts, in terms of online purchases. The trend has driven retailers to create country-level operations and speed the transport of goods to the rural areas.

The survey also noted an increase in the demand for packaged and fresh food among online shoppers, which rose at the average of 34 times a year, compared with 22 times a year for apparels.

"The way to the Chinese digital consumer's heart appears to be through their stomach, and addressing this important basic-need category will be critical to drive stickiness and frequency to e-commerce sites," said the report.