Vipshop, the mainland's No3 online retailer behind Alibaba Group Holding and Jingdong, expects more female users, who are increasingly shopping on mobile devices, to fuel its fast growth and extend its lead in the country's flash-sale market. The Guangzhou-based operator of flash sale, where goods are offered at a steep discount for a limited period online, said plans were also afoot to set up its own logistics team and expand into new product categories including cars and travel deals. "We are the third-biggest player in China's e-commerce industry, and although we hold a very small market share, I would say our opportunity is huge … as it gets more and more popular among women," vice-president Tony Feng said. "While overall e-commerce expands 30 to 40 per cent every year, our company's revenue has been growing at over 100 per cent in the past eight quarters. The China market is booming and I am confident we can keep up the growth." Vipshop has a share of about 4 per cent of the mainland's e-commerce market and about 38 per cent of its flash-sale market, which makes it a leader in the category, followed by Taobao's flash-sale arm Shangou and Jumei, according to iResearch. The flash-sale model differs from traditional shopping websites in that it does not let users search products by keywords. Instead, it seeks to create impulsive demand that it says is popular among women. More than 80 per cent of Vipshop's customers were female and they contributed to 90 per cent of sales, Feng said. The company sells mainly clothing and cosmetics, but is looking to sell more maternity and children products and even cars and travel deals. Sales through its mobile platform accounted for about 70 per cent of the sales volume, Feng said, citing the latest company data. They rose from 57 per cent in the third quarter and 46 per cent in the second. Vipshop charges its 12,000 brand partners commission, which includes an entrance fee and promotion expenses. It is working with 4,000 more brands than last year, but said the key to growth was to target thousands of key brands. The firm has also expanded its buyer team from 800 in the first quarter to about 1,000. It brought to the mainland in 2008 and localised the model of flash sales pioneered by Vente Privee, France's third-most popular online retailer behind Amazon and eBay. Feng said the company made about 70 per cent of its revenue from the sales of leftover stock that it called inventory and the rest from exclusive products that were only available on Vipshop. Besides plans to bring more international brands to mainland customers, which generate almost all its revenue, Vipshop aimed to start selling its products to customers outside the country, he said. A survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which polled 5,500 women in Asia, said 69 per cent of mainland women preferred shopping online to doing so in stores, higher than the average of 49 per cent. In Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, the average is 18 per cent, the lowest in the region. Vipshop's third-quarter revenue increased 130 per cent year on year to US$882.6 million, according to its latest filing to the New York Stock Exchange. In a July report, iResearch said the mainland's flash-sale market doubled to 3.78 billion yuan (HK$4.8 billion) from the previous year. It estimated the market would exceed 18 billion yuan in 2016.