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What you should know about China’s online shoppers

What you should know about China’s online shoppers article image

More than 60 percent of China’s online shoppers do extensive product research online before they buy, a new survey has found.

The recently released KPMG report found Chinese shoppers set a high bar for trust before they make a purchase online.

The report called China’s Connected Consumers 2016 surveyed the online shopping habits of 2,560 Chinese consumers as part of a global survey of 56 countries.

Of those surveyed, 48.5 percent of consumers bought a product online at least 2-3 times a month in the past year.

Women’s clothing and food were the most popular categories for online shoppers in China.

In the past year, 56.7 percent of shoppers made at least one purchase in each category – followed by electronics, men’s apparel, books/music, and cosmetics, respectively.

The report finds that Chinese shoppers do extensive research before making an online purchase.

Over 60 percent said they search online for reviews and recommendations – a much higher rate than consumers in the US (39.4 percent).

‘Showrooming’ is extremely popular

This online activity goes hand-in-hand with brick-and-mortar shopping – the data finds that consumers often check out items in-store before purchasing online, or vice-versa.

“Showrooming,” or looking up items online while in a physical store, is extremely popular, as 69.4 percent of Chinese consumers have done so.

Their omnichannel approach to learning about products also means their final decision to purchase is made from a combination of in-store and online experiences.

Their top online trigger for online purchasing is seeing an item in an online shop, which has risen to 42.6 percent in 2016 from 19 percent in 2015.

Meanwhile, seeing an item in a physical store came in second, and seeing a friend with the item was third. All of these top three triggers became more prevalent this year.

Convenience is the main reason Chinese consumers prefer to shop online, with 58.6 percent saying they choose this platform for buying products because of the ability to shop 24/7.

Price is also an extremely important factor – the ability to compare prices came in second with 52.3 percent listing it, followed by the idea that better prices can be found online at 41.6 percent.

Trust is critical

For consumers choosing which online shop to go with, trust is critical.

Of those surveyed, more than 84 percent say they only buy items that have detailed and transparent product information.

Also, over 77 percent say service, experience, and atmosphere are the most important considerations for choosing where to shop, while 70.2 percent say they choose shops with the most options for delivery, pickup, and returns.

Brand recognition is also a major benefit, with 70.1 percent saying they trust large global brands more than smaller or local ones.

Since online reviews also play a major role in brand perception in China’s e-commerce market, consumers are highly willing to voice their opinions on purchases online.

According to the report, over half of Chinese online shoppers (51.6 percent) make online reviews about their items – a rate far above the global average of 30.7 percent. Most of them (53.8 percent) go through the seller’s website to post their review, while 38.6 percent will do so on WeChat and 19.4 percent will use Weibo.

Educating consumers about products

To build this sense of trust among China’s online shoppers, they want brands to be forthcoming with information – 53.6 percent said that educating consumers about products is among the most important ways to build trust.

And 51.5 percent said honesty about negative news is important as well as protection of customer data (52.2 percent).

China dominates the world with mobile shopping popularity, while PC shopping is less popular than it on any other continent, according to the report.

It finds 22.3 percent of Chinese consumers prefer mobile shopping, which is ahead of the Asian average of 18.7 percent and far ahead of the global average of 8.5 percent.

Meanwhile, 42.8 percent of Chinese consumers say they prefer a laptop or PC to shop, a rate significantly below that of the United States (57.5 percent) or globally (56.9 percent).

Online payment methods

The survey also found that 90.4 percent of Chinese respondents had bought something over a smartphone in the past year.

Credit cards and Alibaba’s Alipay are by far the most dominant online payment methods, respectively, with 78.8 percent saying they’ve used a credit card to buy online in the last 12 months and 72.2 percent saying they’ve used Alipay. WeChat payment was the third most popular method, used by 34.6 percent of respondents, followed by cash on delivery (22.1 percent).

Once a brand earns a Chinese online shopper’s trust, the report finds that it’s key to also create loyalty.

To keep Chinese shoppers coming back, customer support is the most important factor for gaining loyalty (cited by 51.8 percent of respondents).

Meanwhile, promotional loyalty programs are the second most important ways to get repeat visitors with appeal to 43.7 percent of respondents, while 31.6 percent say it’s important for online shops to listen and respond to customer feedback.

Source: Jing Daily

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