This is the year of the Chinese consumer. They’re buying more often, in more places, and becoming brand-savvier on a daily basis. A large number of brands have found Chinese consumers are driving their sales – not only in China, but abroad. In fact, out of all consumer demographics,34% of all duty-free purchases in France are made by Chinese consumers. This demonstrates the clout they have in the international marketplace, emphasizing why it is imperative for brands to pinpoint their China marketing strategy.
We’ve pulled together eight surprising facts about the Chinese consumer from Bomoda’s 2015 China Luxury Blueprint that every brand needs to know in order to succeed in China.
1. They’re younger than you think
The average Chinese luxury consumer, unlike the typical Western luxury consumer, is much younger than you’d think.
In fact, the average age of Chinese luxury consumers, at home or abroad, is 33.1 years. And more than 80% of all Chinese luxury consumers are between the ages of 25 and 44.
2. They’re not as well-off as you’d expect
The average annual household income of the Chinese luxury consumer is $83,361. Compare that to the average annual income of a luxury car owner in the United States, who earned $99,364 in 2014.
3. Most are married and have children
Speaking of households, the vast majority of Chinese luxury consumers are married. 82% have tied the knot, while 65% have children under the age of 18 at home.
4. They’re mobile natives
98% of all Chinese consumers have smartphones — a staggering number. And not only do most of them have smartphones, they are searching and purchasing more on their smartphones than their Western peers as well.
5. They all have WeChat
By necessity, social media channels in China are distinct from the social media channels we’re familiar with. 65% of Chinese consumers use Weibo, 87% use Baidu and 90% use WeChat. Yet only 39% of Western luxury brands have a WeChat account.
6. They prefer brand names in Chinese
Part of successful Chinese marketing includes a Chinese name. Across the board, search volume for Chinese brand names is 13% higher than search volume for official English names.
This is especially true on secondary search engines like Haosou and Sogou, where Chinese name searches are 150% and 340% greater than English name searches.
7. They like to shop at retail
The average Chinese luxury consumer still prefers to shop at retail stores. 67% of all luxury purchases made in China and 54% of all overseas purchases are made in store.
8. Alipay is an important method of purchase
While credit cards and China UnionPay are still the two largest payment methods, third-party payment options like Alipay are gaining ground. 40% of Chinese luxury consumers have used Alipay to purchase a luxury product in the past year.
The ever-changing Chinese consumer
All of the above is immaterial without understanding one key point: The Chinese consumer is evolving quickly. Her knowledge of brands has grown from recognizing just three logos to nearly 20 in the past three years. Sales through International websites and foreign resellers are growing at nearly 100% per year. 100 million annual outbound tourist trips ensures she knows exactly what her Western peers know. Her world is being created by her, shaped by her network and not by an authoritative third party. And this will only accelerate for the foreseeable future.