Few products could be more synonymous with China than tea, but it is a modern approach that is leading to increased sales.
In recent years, retailers have been turning to the internet as a new source of sales for their teas, especially green tea. According to the China Tea Marketing Association, internet sales are currently quite small, but there has recently been significant growth in that arena and it looks like an important future opportunity, especially for reaching younger tea drinkers. Longjing is the biggest benefactor of these increased sales.
Online retailer Alibaba Group began dipping into the arena last year with special deals on spring teas, as did the buying site ju.suning.com. On March 9, Suning began taking their first orders and in three days, more than 86,000 sales poured in. Those sales were valued at more than $1.7 million USD.
Companies are strategizing for using e-commerce to connect consumers with producers in an efficient way. Ju.suning has connected with 12 producers in the eastern part of China. They feel that these relationships can streamline distribution and make delivery quicker.
In 2014, online sales accounted for only 8% of tea purchases in the country.