What China online shopping behaviours you need to understand

You know by now that China online shopping is a thriving and lucrative market. It offers potential, growth, and the chance of a huge ROI. Like any aspect of business, you will only see the rewards if you put the work in. If you are successful enough to be considering expansion into China, you clearly understand your customers and target market in the West. You know what they like, what they want, and what they value.

It is this market knowledge that allows you to succeed and grow, and it is no different when marketing in China. Without understanding how your potential customers behave, how will you ever appeal to them?

Below are several key behaviours of Chinese consumers when shopping online.

Younger generations spend more and value quality over price

People over 40 in China have grown up with various social changes and hard economic times. These have made them prone to being frugal with their purchases, although those with a larger personal wealth do have more extravagant spending habits. The younger generations however, particularly those under 30, have more cultural freedom and disposable income. They save little, spending a lot of their money on entertainment and designer products. Unlike the older generations, younger consumers are more interested in getting quality than cheaper prices (source: China Business Review).

Luxury brands may be valued, but only outside

China’s Masculine culture means that success is measured in quantifiable terms; how much you earn; where you live; how high up in your company you are. Luxuries and designer brands are therefore worth paying a lot of money for. Expensive clothes, a fast car, or the latest smartphone make a strong social statement. But when no one is looking, there is no need to flaunt wealth, so Chinese people choose cheaper domestic brands when it comes to items such as home appliances.

Remember location when marketing in China

Consumers in lower Tier cities have very different spending habits to the most urbanised. Residents of less well developed areas have not been focussing on much more than the necessities for very long, so the idea of spending money on things other than the basics is still fairly new to them. For this reason, they are much more price conscious, and focus on the durability and functionality of a product.

You need to get on the China online shopping shortlist

Only a few years ago, Chinese consumers would be loyal to one brand, selected mainly for price reasons. Now, however, shoppers have a shortlist of several brands whom they buy from. In order to ride the current consumer wave, it has been suggested that companies need to get your company into your target market’s shortlist of preferred brands. Chinese consumers are still incredibly loyal to their brands, so establishing a connection before the market becomes too crowded will ensure you have a solid customer base in China.

(Image source: ‘Balloons From Computer Showing Sale Discount Of Ten Percent’ | www.freedigitalphotos.net)