This week in the news, Chinese consumers spend most of their time on only five websites, a study by KPMG uncovered the most popular online purchases by Chinese shoppers, smartphones and social media are changing the way Chinese shop, Bentley debuted its new hybrid luxury car at the Beijing Auto Show, and China’s e-tailers are battling for the online-to-offline market.
One of the findings from the newly released BCG report on Chinese consumers is that they visit very few websites despite spending a lot of time online. The Chinese online landscape has become increasingly crowded and knowing where these consumers are spending their time is important. BCG found that most of the respondents spend 50 to 80 percent of their time online making repeat visits to a few websites that are their personal favorites. More than 40 percent of their collective online activities were spent on the following top five sites: Youku, a local video-streaming website; Sina.com, a news portal; QQ, an instant messaging service; Taobao, an e-commerce site; and Baidu, a search engine.
According to a recent study from consulting firm KPMG, over 50 percent of the Chinese shoppers surveyed bought cosmetics online, by far the most popular category. This is followed by women’s shoes, apparel, bags, and accessories. Cosmetics was the top category bought by online consumers from tier 1-4 cities, with the largest number from consumers of tier 2 cities. In fact, online consumers from tier 2 cities were the leading buyers for the top 5 product categories in the survey. The survey found that men are more likely to spend on higher-end status items, and on average men spend more online for apparel and shoes than women. The highest average spend was for men’s shoes, closely followed by luggage.
A new survey by DigitasLBi shows that smartphones are changing the way people shop worldwide, and Chinese consumers are leading the way. Worldwide, the survey found that 34 percent of smartphone users had made a purchase using their phone, and 72 percent had used their smartphone while inside a store. Among Chinese shoppers that were surveyed, 76 percent had made a purchase using their smartphones in the last three months. That is more than double the 35 percent of respondents in the United States, Germany, UK, and Singapore who had made a smartphone purchase during that time. Furthermore, social media has influenced the purchasing decisions of 82 percent of Chinese consumers surveyed, and they are more likely to buy products from the brands they follow on social media.
The 13th Beijing Auto Show, also known as Auto China 2014, has kicked off and will run until April 29th at the China International Exhibition Center. Over 1,000 autos are on display from more than 2,000 automakers. China is the world’s biggest auto market, with nearly 18 million vehicles sold last year. Luxury automaker Bentley has revealed its first hybrid car in Beijing. The car, which is based off of the company’s Mulsanne model, was introduced alongside three additional designs. The new hybrid model runs off of both petrol and electric power. The vehicle is able to be driven for 30 miles on electric power before needing to be recharged or fueled. Bentley claims that this dual approach to power reduces emissions by 70 percent and increases output by 25 percent.
The growing online-to-offline (O2O) market is drawing the interest of China’s largest e-commerce services. The trend blurs the distinction between online and offline consumption, and is gaining steam. According to Chen Yougang, a partner at the McKinsey consulting firm, it will soon be crucial for businesses to maintain an O2O presence. China’s largest e-commerce operator, Alibaba, joined the race last month by purchasing 25 percent of the department store operator Intime Retail for HK$5.37 billion. Tencent, Alibaba’s fellow e-commerce giant, is also negotiating with a high-ranked shopping center firm “to expand its business empire from the online to the offline market.” JD.com also has plans to work with over 10,000 convenience stores in major Chinese cities.
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