Conversations & Insights July 21, 2015

E-Commerce in China: P&G vs. Unilever

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A winner? The juggernaut that is Chinese e-commerce. An estimated 461 million Chinese consumers—a third of the population—are now shopping online, up from just 46 million in 2007—a tenfold increase. China is now the world’s largest e-commerce market, with almost half a trillion dollars in sales online, or about 11% of all retail sales. In L2’s recent Digital IQ Index for Personal Care in China, we found that Procter and Gamble does the best job of leveraging the enterprise, elevating human and technological decisions across brands to offer superior digital. Head & Shoulders was number one, and P&G boasts seven of the ten top performing digital brands. On the other side of the spectrum? Unilever, which does not appear to be taking digital seriously or leveraging their enterprise in what is probably the most important market in the world right now. Can you correlate the sales of a digital leader and a digital laggard? Yes, it appears you can—Procter and Gamble registered a 6% increase in revenue in the last quarter of 2014, while Unilever dropped 20% in the last quarter of 2014.

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