Shanghai (China Daily/ANN) - Online retailers of baby care products are expecting a big surge in demand amid an emerging baby boom.
Revenue from the sector, which totaled 2.23 billion yuan (US$350 million) last year, is expected to leap to 7.19 billion yuan by next year, according to China E-Commerce Research Center.
The emerging baby boom can partly be attributed to the fact that the baby boomers of the early 1980s are now at their prime age for having children.
Some people also believe the current Year of the Dragon in the Chinese lunar calendar is also a good time to have children, as it is believed babies born this year will have good fortunes and enjoy a happy life.
A Xinhua News Agency report forecast a 5-percent rise in the number of births during the Year of the Dragon.
The Shanghai Municipal Population and Family Planning Commission predicted that the city will see 180,000 births this year, the highest number since the turn of the century, and said the baby boom will last until 2015.
The increasing number of births not only offers tremendous opportunities to makers of baby care products but also boosts online traders' sales.
Goodbaby Group, China's leading manufacturer and supplier of baby care products, based in Kunshan, Jiangsu province, reported 60 million yuan in revenue from its online sector last year.
The company has set a target of having 3 billion yuan in sales revenue by 2015.
"Young mothers are paying more attention to product quality and are spending more on baby care products. This means the industry has good prospects," said Chen Shuang, CEO of Redbaby, an online baby care products retailer.
Chen said choice and convenience are two main reasons parents opt for online shopping.
"Pregnant women might choose to shop online because it is inconvenient to visit traditional stores," she added.
In addition, abundant choice and competitive prices are the other attributes attracting young parents to online retailers.
"We do not have many choices compared to people in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai, so online shopping is a good way to compare prices and find good quality and attractive products," said Liu Yue, from Ma'anshan, Anhui province.
Chen noted that online retailers are more popular in second- and third-tier cities.
Customers spend around 200 to 300 yuan every time they visit Redbaby, according to Chen.
Its most popular products are those whose performance or quality can be easily verified, she said.