A recent survey of 300 white collar Chinese women conducted by SILK social CRM shows that 20 percent of travelers had trouble spending their entire budget while shopping abroad.
Top 5 reasons for shopping list abandonment:
1. Not enough time / energy
Chinese travelers are increasing in sophistication. The more they venture abroad, the more they are interested in seeing cultural sights and enjoying new experiences. There is less patience for chaotic malls and poor service. Over 40 percent of white collar women reported dropping luxury items from a shopping list because it took too much effort to find or acquire the item. Large department stores without Mandarin staff to immediately greet the shoppers lost the most business.
2. Lines too long / Too crowded
Several of respondents ditched their Chanel shopping list and picked up Bottega Veneta bags instead.
3. Unsure of price difference between destination and China
Shoppers are value sensitive, not price sensitive. They find large price differences to be “irresistible”. If there is substantial doubt that a location offers value vs. in-China pricing, the shopper will drop the purchase.
4. Bad Service
About 8 percent of respondents abandoned a luxury purchase on their last trip due to poor service. Some of the shoppers were not able to find a Mandarin speaking staff, some felt that the staff were inattentive or rude.
5. Inventory out of stock
There is nothing quite as disappointing as making a shopping list, making time to go shopping, and arriving at the destination to find that it is out of stock. Some of the shoppers wanted to get information on availability before arrival, but did not know where to check.
Besides getting mandarin speaking staff at key destinations, it is also essential to help shoppers plan their trip for comfort and efficiency. Brands should consider adding pre-arrival planning, or a simple way to get in touch with helpful sales associates for the busy traveler. Customer relationship management starts before the traveler even enters the store, and it is becoming increasingly important to bring CRM to the frontline.
Sammie Liu oversees consumer insights at SILK CRM, a social CRM provider for Luxury brands catering to Chinese consumers. She is the former researcher on Chinese outbound tourism for the Dept of Cultural & Creative Arts at the HK Institute of Education
image credit: tiffany wan