Get to know Chinese Gen Z shoppers, the world’s most powerful consumer group

Jul 13, 2021
4 minutes Read
Capitalize on the potential of Chinese Gen Z. Discover marketing strategies that resonate and ensure lasting loyalty in this dynamic market!
Get to know Chinese Gen Z shoppers, the world’s most powerful consumer group

Members of the Generation Z, also known as Gen Z, are part of the demographic group born between 1996 and 2005 which puts them in the 16 to 25 years-old age bracket in 2021. Unlike Millennials, the generation that precedes them, the Gen Z cohort are coming of age in a time of economic prosperity.

In China, Gen Z’ers represent 15% of the country’s population¹ and are well on their way to becoming the world’s most powerful consumer group. They grew up during China’s economic expansion, they’re used to high standards of living, rapid improvements, and technology as a form or communication, entertainment, and commerce has always been embedded in their daily lives.

If you are a consumer-product business looking to succeed in the Chinese consumer market, Chinese Gen Z’ers need to be on top of your list of target customers. But what do you know about them? Here are 6 key aspects that will help you understand what sets them apart so you can effectively market your brand to them.

  1. They outspend their budget. China’s Gen Z shoppers are impulsive. More so than any other generation in China and compared to other Gen Z’ers in the world. This behaviour can be explained by their unwavering optimism. They’re comfortable living paycheck to paycheck because they are confident they will always earn more money. When it comes to shopping, China’s Gen Z’ers refer to themselves as the “Moonlight Clan” because they have no problem spending their monthly salary during one lunar cycle!
  1. They crave uniqueness. Customized products, personalized experiences, and tailored services are all things that appeal to Chinese Gen Z customers. They will favour a brand offering a “unique product” especially if it’s bought as a gift, which is a big part of the Chinese consumer culture.
  1. They are loyal to brands. Once engaged, China’s Gen Z customers are likely to stay loyal to a brand they love and will choose that brand over a new one. This behaviour can be explained by their extensive use of social media, which provides retailers and brands opportunities to connect and have a conversation with customers 24/7 through dedicated apps or other targeted marketing initiatives.
  1. They embrace omnichannel shopping. Shopping and technology have always been intertwined in China, especially for tech-savvy Gen Z customers. Chinese e-Commerce giants like Alibaba and have started offering omnichannel solutions to their retail partners to cater to Gen Z’ers, who turn to omnichannel shopping to browse through products in person before buying online.
  1. They prefer individual online merchants. Along with their spontaneity and desire for uniqueness, Chinese Gen Z shoppers value quality and transparency. This explains why they prefer e-Commerce sites like Taobao and Xianyu, that offer peer-to-peer transactions. This behaviour, however, does not necessarily apply to independent sellers on other social media channels, as Gen Z’ers trust that more established online shopping platforms will guarantee greater transparency and quality.
  1. They are influenced by word-of-mouth. Not the traditional “offline” word-of-mouth but online reviews and recommendations by friends and families on social media. Chinese Gen Z shoppers will also look for other online sources for product recommendations such as brands’ official social media accounts, bloggers, celebrity influencers, Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and livestream shopping hosts.

Merchants looking to tap into China’s lucrative consumer market need to start by offering mobile payment options to their Chinese customers. But with Chinese Gen Z customers, it goes a step further. You need to have a complete picture of their background and understand what resonates with them to engage them. But once you have successfully achieved these two steps, you’ll be able to leverage their customer loyalty to increase your sales.

As the official partner of Alipay, WeChat Pay, and UnionPay, OTT Pay is one of Canada’s leading Fintech firms and payment partner for businesses looking to get ahead in the Chinese consumer market. As a Canadian company with deep roots in China, we have a thorough understanding of every aspect of the Chinese consumer market and digital payment landscape.

Ready to start connecting with more Chinese Gen Z shoppers? Give our Customer Support Team a call at (+1) 800-688-9838 or email us at to get started!


¹ McKinsey and Company, Pew Research Center, eMarketer.