Chinese consumers are regarded as somewhat of question mark to retailers around the world. Understanding what motivates them in their spending is a bit of challenge so we thought we would start by addressing some of the common misconceptions about Chinese shoppers.
They will buy anything ‘British’ or designer – Gone are the days that western retailers can claim that their product is ‘designer’ and expect Chinese shoppers to go crazy for it. Consumers in China have matured into loyal shoppers and value uniqueness and quality more than you would see in any other country. Although China still has a taste for high quality British products, it will take more than a ‘Made in GB’ sticker on an item to convince the average Chinese shopper.
Ethical shopping is not a priority – Chinese consumers are not just loyal, they have become very conscious. Pollution and changes in labour laws have had a huge impact on middle class families in China, forcing many to readdress what is important to them as a consumer. Locally produced fashion and beauty have become very popular across China as people want to support their own economy’s growth. Chinese consumers are vocal in their demand for environmentally friendly retailers and value ‘all-natural’ products. If you are looking to get a competitive edge in China, look at how you can become more locally focused as business.
Chinese consumers never shop around – Chinese consumers are quite possibly the savviest shoppers in the world! With so many retail options online and offline they can afford to be. China has a strong culture of negotiation so shoppers won’t be shy in asking for a better deal. In the UK and US, retailers work to fixed price but if brands are able to embrace the Chinese way of shopping and have flexibility on price, you will find greater success.
Shoppers in China value efficiency over innovation – In a country with a population exceeding 1 billion, efficiency is essential. China is famous for quality and efficiency in business and manufacture, but this does not mean that culturally, they ignore good service or innovation. In China, consumers very much appreciate extra care and thought put into a service. Chinese shoppers are fiercely loyal when they see a business going that extra mile for their customers. So the key to success in China is to show that you care about helping customers rather than just turning a profit.
If you would like some further advice or information how to enter the Chinese retail market, contact our team. We would be happy to help.