5 Things that Set Chinese Consumers Apart

Chinese young adults shopping

Chinese consumers are expected to spend $6.4 trillion a year by 2025. To say this is a lucrative marketing opportunity is an understatement. But as we’ve pointed out in our previous article, attracting, connecting with and converting prospects from this demographic isn’t always easy. In fact, it can take some strategic targeting and sometimes even modification of entire campaigns to be successful in this endeavour. To make things a little bit easier, we’ve narrowed down five key differences between Chinese consumers and those in the Western world.

They love e-commerce.

A recent PwC study that surveyed online shoppers from around the world found that 65% of Chinese consumers shop online at least once a week. This is in stark comparison to the remaining global average of just 28%. Furthermore, the Chinese embrace tools like social media and mobile devices as an integral part of the purchasing experience. The same PwC survey revealed that more than three out of four Chinese consumers have used a mobile device to shop and one in four shop on their mobile devices at least once a week.

They value social proof.

Compared to consumers from other demographics, the Chinese tend to rely much more heavily on the opinions and recommendations of others when making purchasing decisions. In fact, according to an article in Forbes, there are now more than 300 million people who will only move forward with a purchase after getting approval from their peers via social networks and/or verifying the reviews on various e-commerce forums. Furthermore, roughly 75% of all Chinese online users provide feedback on their purchases at least once a month.

They prefer a greater variety of buying options.

It’s not just investing in e-commerce that will ultimately help you be more successful with the Chinese audience. It’s also how you present your products or services. The majority of businesses that market online do so as a standalone web version of their brick and mortar stores. Research by McKinsey & Co., however, revealed a stark difference in how Chinese consumers prefer to shop. With this demographic, 90% of e-commerce transactions are completed via marketplaces which contain a collection of virtual shops and a vast number of independent merchants.

They don’t list price as their biggest priority.

As recently as just a few years ago, Chinese consumers listed attractive prices as the primary deciding factor when shopping online. While getting a bargain is still somewhat important, it’s no longer paramount. Instead, the majority of Chinese shoppers (82%) cited product availability as more important than price. Furthermore, nearly all of those surveyed (97%) said that their biggest priority when choosing an online retailer was the use of enhanced technology to improve the shopping experience.

They have higher expectations.

Shoppers in the Western world sometimes take for granted that the transactions they engage in with online retailers are safe and secure. In China specifically, there are many more instances of internet scams and subsequently much less trust on the part of the consumer. As such, this audience tends to be much more demanding, asking more questions and having generally higher expectations of the companies with which they ultimately choose to do business. In fact, 89% feel it’s important that retailers tailor the shopping experience to their individual needs.

These are just a few of the many distinct differences that marketers must take into account when developing campaigns to reach, convince and convert Chinese consumers. If you could use assistance with any part of the process or would just like help getting better results with your existing strategies, we encourage you to contact us today.

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