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What drives Chinese consumers? Here are 5 things you need to know

February 12, 2020 | Blogs

Higher incomes, better standards of living and the rapid growth of e-commerce have all contributed to the rise of China’s consumer market, making it the second largest in the world after the U.S. In Canada, this market translates into increasing numbers of affluent outbound tourists, new immigrants and international students, spending billions annually. Is your business ready for them? Let’s take a look at 5 things that drive Chinese consumers.

Method of Payment: This aspect of Chinese consumer behaviour has been researched extensively in recent reports and has emerged as the cornerstone of any business strategy targeting Chinese consumers. Nielsen’s 2017 Survey: Outbound Chinese Tourism and Consumption found that over 90%of Chinese tourists travelling overseas would use mobile payments if given the option, and that 91% would buy from overseas merchants who accepted mobile payment solutions. For Chinese people, mobile payments are a way of life, and whether they’re travelling or living abroad, they expect to use them for everything like they do at home.

Asian couple shopping in barcelona

Social media and connectivity: Regardless of their demographics, Chinese consumers are digital-savvy and hyper-connected. Global lifestyle super-apps like Alipay and WeChat are at the center of Chinese people’s digital lives. They use them instead of cash or credit cards to pay for goods and services, but they also rely on their extensive ecosystems for recommendations from friends and family, reviews from Key Opinion Leaders, and for any other initiative or program that enhances a brands’ online presence.

Experience over price: China’s consumer landscape is evolving quickly. Although it’s still true that Chinese people love to shop, they’re also looking for other ways to spend their money. According to Nielsen’s 2017 Survey, they value uniqueness and personalization over price, and are willing to pay more for products and services that provide them with richer experiences.

Emphasis on quality: With higher disposable incomes and access to global markets, Chinese people are looking for products and services that will improve their quality of life. According to Nielsen’s latest Product Premium Survey, 61% of Chinese consumers choose premium products—20% more expensive than the average price in their category—because of superior quality. Chinese consumers have sophisticated tastes and are looking for products that align with their upgraded lifestyle.

Holidays and Shopping Festivals: Chinese people’s outbound trips are generally clustered around the Chinese Holiday Calendar—including Chinese New Year and Golden Week—a time when they like to spend money while travelling. Single’s Day, held every year on November 11, is another staple event that drives Chinese consumers, and is a time when they expect discounts and exclusive offers, and spend billions in just one day. Chinese consumers will also look for other shopping events, such as Black Friday, the Western Christmas shopping season or winter sales in Europe, to obtain foreign luxury brands.

Chinese tourists, international students and new immigrants in Canada are a substantial source of spending power. But the fact that they’re ready to spend doesn’t mean that they’ll become your customers. Building lasting relationships with Chinese consumers doesn’t just involve mobile payments. Businesses need to look deeper into their consumer culture.

As the official authorized payment and marketing partner of Alipay and WeChat Pay in Canada, OTT Pay has unique insights into the Chinese consumer market. We understand how mobile payments work and what your Chinese customers want. Ready to get started? Contact us today at info@ottpay.com or give us a call at (+1) 800-688-9838.