Surprising trends of Chinese consumers in 2019: what brands should know about the world’s largest e-commerce market

 

While it’s known that Chinese online consumers are some of the most well-informed and savvy in the world (with a total annual e-commerce marketplace in excess of $1 Trillion USD) what is less clear to brands is how much of that marketplace is available to them. How will a company’s products resonate with Chinese consumers? What are the buying trends of Chinese consumers and how can an organization capitalize on those trends to drive revenue for a brand in the market?

Through the power of big data and custom-developed analytics tools by WPIC, as well as more than 100 staff and a presence in the market for more than 15 years, the answers to those questions can be made available.

Here are some of China’s consumer trends in 2019 that western companies may not have known:

  1. 60% of Tmall’s user base is female

A majority of Tmall’s users are female and they’re getting younger. With over 60% of users of the platform being female, it’s important to ensure that a company’s product mix and the promotions that the company offers on that platform speak to those users. While the male users of Tmall are growing, the customer base is also getting younger- female millennials and Gen-Z users now make up the largest customer segment on Tmall. If a company is going to be present on that platform, it needs to ensure that it is speaking the language of its audience.

  1. JD skews towards male users

Similar to the first point, JD is much more popular amongst men than women. In particular, it is well known among consumers that if you want the best tech items (which tend to be purchased in China primarily by males), JD.com is the place to go to.

Furthermore, while Tmall is getting younger (Gen Z, 1995 to 2005 birth years), JD’s bread and butter is men aged 30-35, millennials who perhaps have gotten married and already have 1-2 kids.

However, brands shouldn’t discount Tmall when targeting men, too. Although Tmall’s percentage of male users may be smaller, because the platform itself is 3x bigger than JD (by users), it comes quite close to having the same amount of male users as JD.

  1. Brand story doesn’t matter as much as product info

Western companies know that one of the best ways to speak to consumers in North America, Europe and Australia is to ensure that a brand has an impactful story that resonates with its audience. It’s important for consumers to have an emotional relationship with that brand in order to get them to buy products and keep coming back.

Well, Chinese consumers operate on a different value system than their western counterparts. While a reputable, well-made brand is incredibly important (booming luxury sales are proof of that), that may not be the only way to drive revenues.

If a brand is not well known, a company can drive interest by ensuring that its product pages on Tmall, or JD are detailed and have a lot of information about the product it is selling. While North American consumers may overlook this information, Chinese consumers spend a significant amount of time looking into it. What sort of materials are used? Where are those materials sourced from? Where are items manufactured? What are the sizing details?

All these are incredibly relevant to Chinese consumers and, while providing that information may make for what appears to be a clunky Tmall page to the untrained eye, companies in the know understand that its exactly this information that will lead to conversions on these platforms.

Is your organization looking to speak directly to Chinese consumers? Make sure your partners in China know how your brand can activate on the world’s leading e-commerce platforms. Contact info@wpic.co to learn more.