The motivations and consumption patterns of European and Chinese online shoppers are very different. Influenced by their lifestyle, culture, and environment, Chinese consumers have developed their own practices and habits.
In France, purchasing power belongs to the older generations, in contrast to the trend in China. The younger Chinese generation accounts for a significant part of the total consumption. The increasing wealth of the population can explain this in recent years. These Chinese consumers see it as a way to express themselves, show their wealth, and position themselves socially. With stronger purchasing power, the Chinese shoppers tend to look for qualitative products at higher prices and invest in sustainable and healthier purchases. They are also much more knowledgeable and are fond of trendy products.
One of the first points to highlight is their digital behavior. Chinese consumers are ultra-connected. The number of Internet users passed the 800 million mark last June, it is more than the US and India combined. Therefore, it is said that the Internet is global but mostly Chinese. In China, there is no distinction between Internet-users and consumers. When Chinese users scroll on their favorite platforms, they do so with the implicit aim of buying in the future.
For several years now, China has been the world’s leading market for e-commerce, with a turnover approaching 1,250 million euros. This figure shows the importance of e-commerce in China and demonstrates an integral part of Chinese consumers’ daily lives. Indeed, much more than a simple act of buying, it is a real habit to constantly check e-commerce platforms and look for Chinese consumers’ opinions.
The Chinese users are addicted to consumer information and read a lot before making a purchase. This explains the trends of product short videos and live streaming, presenting products through live or recorded videos. This fundamental way of sharing information and triggering purchases helps understand the average 6 hours they spend in front of a screen.
The Chinese population is also a fan of O2O, such as click & collect and home delivery for almost all sectors; restaurants, entertainment, beauty, etc.
Brands’ services are going to the next level in China to satisfy their consumers.
Undoubtedly, brands need to cherish their customers. While in France, messages and emails are often perceived as spamming, Chinese consumers are fond of receiving constant attention from brands. They like to receive regular personalized messages and have enough information at their disposal.
Real-time personalized offers, couponing, QR codes to access additional content, mobile payment, video walls, and salespeople with tablets are highly valued services in the Chinese consumer shopping experience.
JD Wardrobe understood this and has launched a mobile application that allows users to try on clothes in a virtual dressing room, share a selection of items with friends, and receive advice from virtual fashion experts.
We now know that Chinese consumers have very different ways of consuming from Europe. For brands, this needs to be considered in every step of their strategy for China (merchandising, marketing, etc.) so as not to miss these market opportunities.