Poor In-Store Experiences Drive Mainlanders to Shop Overseas

on November 20 2013 | in Lifestyle Retail Trends | by | with No Comments

luxury shopping, Hong Kong, Dior

About 92 percent of Chinese consumers indicated that they were dissatisfied with brands’ services in China, according to the recent 2014 China Luxury Forecast report jointly released by Ruder Finn and Ipsos Group. The study forecasts luxury purchasing trends in China for 2014.

One of the major trends noted by the report is that Chinese consumers have become more sophisticated and they are no longer simply look for the brand name. Moreover, they are expecting higher level of professional services from sales staff, such as broad product knowledge and after-sales service quality.

“As the market matures, Chinese consumers are becoming more and more knowledgeable about the different luxury categories and offerings, and are looking for experiences that truly reflect their discerning expectations. For now, they are finding these luxurious shopping experiences overseas.” said Elan Shou, managing director and senior vice president of Ruder Finn China.

International luxury brands which have flocked to China are often accused of offering poor services by local consumers and media. Early this year, China Daily indicated that luxury brands need to look more into their poor customer services as domestic consumer behaviors and demands are changing .

“You can see a common and familiar phenomenon at luxury stores in China. The attitude of the shop’s sales staff toward customers depends on the price and amount of goods purchased by the customer,” reported China Daily. This is one of the important reasons that Chinese consumers choose not to buy luxury domestically besides the lower prices of luxury goods bought overseas.

While store decor in China has reached the international “luxury” standard or even beyond, the rapid growth of luxury businesses in recent years has caused a shortage of qualified and skilled staff, particularly in second and third-tier cities where training a good employee can be costly and time-consuming. Furthermore, a performance-oriented business environment makes sales staff reluctant to pay more attention and patience to potential customers, reported the Chinese-language media Sina this July.

image credit: herry lawford

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