Lenovo will be turning to online sales channels over the next three to five years to court Chinese consumers and keep up its main customer demographic, which is shifting to those born after 1980 and who are used to buying things online.
Chinese online news site, China Daily, reported on Saturday that e-commerce would become Lenovo's primary sales channel in China to better target younger consumers. The Chinese PC maker's e-commerce business had seen sales volume grow by between 200 percent and 300 percent year-on-year since it started in 2008, Yang Xia, general manager of Lenovo's new route to market consumer business, said in the report.
The company's vice president, Tang Jie, added: "As Lenovo's main customer demographic is shifting to those born post-80s and post-90s, who are accustomed to purchasing items on the Internet, the e-commerce platform has become our fastest-growing sales channel."
China Daily reported that the Lenovo's official online store is China's third-largest business-to-customer (B2C) platform and the biggest B2C Web site for manufacturers, with pageviews reaching 3.6 million in the first half of 2011.
The Chinese PC maker also partnered online shopping sites such as taobao.com, 360buy.com and newegg.com.cn to boost its online sales.
Tang noted that this shift in emphasis would not impact its brick-and-mortar store sales. He said the company's internal study indicated retailers' sales were not impacted by the launch of Lenovo's online site as its target customers were split into two groups--one which preferred shopping online, while the other via physical stores.
This shift to online commerce could help the company further consolidate its status as the world's second-biggest vendor. According to IDC, Lenovo leapfrogged Dell to second place in its third-quarter numbers experiencing strong gains across all regions as the Chinese PC maker capitalized on its channel expansions and disarray among other top players.