Westwin Publishes First Report on Chinese Cross-border Consumption -- Presenting New Global Picture of Chinese Consumers

Chinese consumers are displaying a growing preference for global brands: overseas spending by Chinese consumers reached almost US$200 billion (US$199.52) in 2017, according to a study published by Westwin, a leading marketing and consulting firm that focuses on cross-border business. The report, co-produced with a leading independent third-party research firm, gives a unique and interesting insight across three categories of Chinese consumer, highlighting the changing nature of the Chinese society, economy and ever-expanding cross-border trade.


"As Chinese consumers' appetite for cross-border shopping grows, Westwin has been working on creating strategies for global businesses to better appeal to this booming and fast-moving market," observed Anderson Liu, CEO of Westwin. "Our study is the first on cross-border consumption that includes overseas residents, thus offering the most relevant, up-to-date, holistic consumer profile to China watchers, the public and retailers."


Chinese consumers spent the huge sum of nearly US$200 billion (US$199.54) in 2017, including outbound travellers who made contributions of US$115.29 billion through purchases during trips last year, a figure which is expected to increase by 4.3% in 2018. Meanwhile, overseas Chinese residents accounted for US$84.25 billion of the total spend in 2017, with this number set to grow by 5.12% in 2018. The report also finds that China's cross-border e-commerce volume reached 408.95 billion yuan (US$63.52 billion) in 2017, representing a big opportunity for trade.


Main Takeaways from the report


1. Cash (or Card) is no Longer King.

Having (almost) skipped the whole credit card phase altogether, and with a passion for the latest tech, it is not surprising that cash has found itself outdated in the Chinese economy. But which payment platform is the most popular with online consumers? The report finds that China's mobile payment platform Alipay comes in the lead with both online domestic shoppers (91%) and international travellers (69%).


2. What's Popular?

The top four most popular product categories are cosmetics, apparel & footwear, electronic appliances and food. The "Chinese men don't care about their looks" stereotypes need to be re-thought: figures suggest the number of male online shoppers of cosmetics (77%) was found to be close to that of their female counterparts (90%).


3. Social, Social, Social - It's all about social.

The report finds that Chinese cross-border shoppers rely heavily on social media platforms to guide their purchasing decisions, with over 60% of online shoppers using WeChat & Weibo to search for information and view ads. While this may not be much of a surprise given the 'mobile first' ethos of the Chinese economy, what is striking is that nearly 50% of international travellers (48%) and 30% of overseas residents rely on WeChat and Weibo before making purchases of international goods. Therefore, brands wishing to tap into the lucrative Chinese cross-border market, even if they are local, may still need to consider advertising on Chinese consumers preferred platforms if they wish to reach them effectively.


4. Where to Sell & Where to Buy?

From the most popular products category, the report finds that Tmall Global is the prime site for Chinese consumers wishing to purchase cosmetics (53%), apparel & footwear and food. However, JD Worldwide was found to be the most popular place for electronic appliances. Brands would, therefore, be wise to consider their sales partners in China carefully, by matching their products offering with the right platform, rather than just going for the market leader.


5. Have a Story & Stick to it

Over 40% of overseas residents and travellers see a brand's story, their origin and culture as a deciding factor when making purchases. Furthermore, online shoppers (67%) and international travellers (61%) look to friends, family and KOLs - Key Opinion Leaders (Influencers) before making their decisions. Therefore, a brand's image matters as much in the wider community as it does within their target market.


About the 'Cross-border Consumption of Chinese Consumers' Report

Co-produced by Westwin and leading independent third-party research firm, the '2018 report on Cross-border Consumption of Chinese Consumers' examines consumption behaviours in three segments of cross-border consumers: domestic online shoppers, international travellers, and for the first time, overseas residents (Chinese consumers working or studying overseas), an often-neglected segment of global shoppers. The report surveyed consumers in China, Singapore, Australia, Canada, the United States, and the UK.

Download the report at: https://adstochina.westwin.com/cross-border-consumption-report.shtml


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