You’ve probably read that China is the next big thing for online business, and there’s a case to be made for that. But how does your brand play into this? What are Chinese consumers really looking for online? Market research firm Mintel recently conducted a study of “Consumers’ Attitudinal/Behavioral Trends in Online Shopper Behavior and Their Impacts on Retailers” . The report was centered around whether Chinese consumers are acting differently from shoppers in other countries. Mintel found some interesting results.
For example: only 25 percent of Chinese Internet users have an account with an online retailer, while 56 percent log onto retailer websites. Also over a third of respondents feel that physically buying goods in a store is more convenient than ordering goods online.
Chinese consumers base most of their purchases on brand loyalty
A new study shows that Chinese consumers base a large portion of their purchases on brand loyalty. This is especially true in categories that are considered more important, such as those with lasting effects on health and safety, like infant formula and medicine. The research was conducted by the company TouchPoints and consisted of surveying 1,000 people across nine Chinese cities.
According to the results of this study, Chinese consumers show an overall trend of brand loyalty for many kinds of products. However, about one-third of respondents have also admitted to being influenced by other factors, such as price and advertising efforts. In some cases, close to half of consumers have said that they’re willing to switch brands if given the right deal or incentive—a total of 48% for beverages and 45% for shaved ice desserts.
The report also mentions that “consumers in China are increasingly savvy” when it comes to interacting with brands. For example, they expect brands to provide value in exchange for their trust and loyalty; this involves providing high-quality products or services at reasonable prices. In addition to expecting good products, consumers are also looking for truthful marketing messages from businesses they want to buy from.
Chinese consumers are willing to pay for quality
What’s the best way to understand and predict consumer behavior? According to a study released this week by market research firm IPSOS, not even the Chinese know.
The survey, which polled 6,000 Chinese consumers in 15 Chinese cities from eight product categories, found that respondents are increasingly willing to pay extra for quality products. Forty-four percent of those polled were willing to pay more for better-quality items; only 10% said they were not willing to do so.
The study also looked into whether people’s age or gender affected their buying behavior and found that older men who earn a higher salary tend to be more willing to pay more for quality than other groups, though differences between age groups were less pronounced than one might expect. “It is often thought that Chinese consumers’ interest in quality declines as they grow older,” noted the report. “However, the results of this survey show that this is not true.”
One of the most interesting findings was how much money people are willing to spend on quality products compared with their actual spending habits. The report concluded that while many consumers are aware of the importance of buying good-quality items and readily admit it, their actual spending practices may tell a different story.
The Chinese middle class is on the rise
The Chinese middle class is on the rise. As of 2014, China had a total wealth of $22 trillion compared to $12 trillion in 2010. The growth has led to a change in consumer purchasing habits, which are now much more international and sophisticated. These changes have been seen in many industries including food, retail, auto and luxury goods.
The rise of the Chinese middle class is expected to continue into the future as their disposable income increases over time. This means that they will have more money to spend on luxury brands and services that were previously out of reach for them. It also means that there will be increased competition among retailers and brands to capture this market share by offering lower prices or better quality products at competitive prices.
While consumers have become more sophisticated in their purchasing habits, there are still key differences between Western consumers and those from China when it comes to shopping behavior:
A higher percentage of Chinese shoppers say they shop every day than Western shoppers do (51% vs 39%).
Quality and trust influence buying decisions
According to a recent research study, consumer buying patterns in China are influenced by four key factors: quality, trustworthiness, price and brand.
The survey, conducted by Nielsen and AIMIA, was based on the responses of more than 2,000 Chinese consumers. The results showed that all four factors were significant in influencing buying decisions, but each one had different levels of importance depending on the product category.
For example, quality was most important for food and beverage (F&B) products, followed by trustworthiness and brand awareness. Price was least important for F&B products. For personal care products (PCP), trustworthiness was most important for women but price was more important for men; both genders considered quality as less important compared with F&B products.
The survey also revealed that consumers’ perceptions of brands have changed over time: While brand loyalty is still an important factor in determining buying decisions, it is no longer enough to guarantee a sale. Today’s consumers want to feel confident about the quality of their purchases and will carefully consider other factors such as price when making their decision about what brand to buy from.
Products that improve health appeal to Chinese consumers
The Chinese consumer market is growing rapidly. With the rapid development of e-commerce, Chinese consumers are becoming more aware of health issues and products that improve health appeal to Chinese consumers. According to the latest research data released by Nielsen (China) Ltd., the average number of times a day that shoppers make purchases has increased from 3 times per day in 2011 to 4 times per day in 2016. The proportion of consumers who purchase vitamins, protein powders and sports drinks increased from 20% in 2011 to 35% in 2016.
In addition, the number of consumers who purchased products such as supplements, diet pills and tonic drinks also increased from 17% in 2011 to 24% in 2016.
The latest consumer purchasing patterns report shows that China’s consumer purchasing patterns have changed dramatically over time. Consumers are increasingly making purchases online or through mobile apps instead of visiting physical stores. The proportion of consumers who made purchases online increased from 7% in 2014 to 18% in 2016; those who made purchases through mobile apps increased from 4% in 2014 to 12% in 2016.
China’s consumer purchasing patterns also differ according to gender and age group. Men tend to purchase more sports nutrition products than women do.
Mobile internet plays a key role when it comes to purchasing decisions
As the market, economy and technology are developing rapidly in China, the buying decision behavior will be changed accordingly. In this report we will discuss some results of a recent study on consumer buying decision behavior in China.
The study was conducted by INNOVATEChina, a market research agency based in Shanghai. The research covered 3000 respondents across China and took 4 months to complete.
The results of the research showed that the mobile internet plays a key role when it comes to purchasing decisions. “More than 70% of consumers search online for product information before making any purchase.” According to the report, 80% of these searches are done via a mobile device and nearly 50% of all purchases are made through mobile devices.
When it comes to mobile shopping, most Chinese consumers prefer apps to websites. “Nearly 90% of respondents were using apps for their mobile shopping activities.”
Another finding from the report: “Recommendations from friends and family have a significant impact on purchasing decisions while celebrity endorsements have very little influence.”
Final thoughts on consumer buying behavior
The consumer decision making process in China is much more complicated than in the North American market. In order to succeed in China, it is important to understand the consumer decision making behavior and their cognitive process behind it. As a company expands globally, understanding these differences can help a company make better decisions regarding customer expansion across continents.
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