Consumer attitudes in the Greater Bay Area

Jun 04, 2021
The Greater Bay Area includes nine cities in southern China and two autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau. Among the total 11 cities, Guangzhou (15.31 million) , Shenzhen (13.44 million) and Dongguan (8.46 million) are the three most populated cities. Hong Kong, as the global financial centre, has the 2nd greatest GDP (365.7 billion USD) right after Shenzhen (390.33 billion USD) with a population of 7.5 million people. The total Greater Bay Area takes up about 5% of China’s population and contributes 12% of its GDP.
Being one of the wealthiest regions in China, the GBA’s consumer market is a market no one can ignore. The GBA is one major migrant worker market, attracting lots of young and well-educated professionals and students working and studying there. Among the talent pool of GBA, over 25% has international study experience, over 30% are holding a post-graduate degree and above. This highly educated young professional working force in GBA also shows a unique attitude as consumers. According to recent survey done by Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in 2019 studying the consumers in the 9 mainland cities in GBA, consumers are tech-savvy, preferring online shopping, likes to use easy and convenient mobile payment methods and pursuits a smart lifestyle to increase their everyday enjoyment and upgrade their personal image. According to the survey, 46% of the GBA consumers are spending more on upmarket clothing and footwear and high-end skincare/cosmetics/perfumes products. Imported skincare/cosmetic brands have high awareness and penetration rate in the GBA. Furthermore, close to 1/3 of respondents increased spending on imported red wine/liquor, jewellery and professional sporting goods. More people (45%) have increase expenditure on personal electronic products and imported organic food, 44% on smart household products and 415 on health food/supplements. These figures indicate that consumers in GBA are seeking a high quality life, caring personal image and health very much. And consumers in the top three most populated and developed cities (Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan) showed a stronger purchase desire on upmarket clothing and high-end skincare/cosmetic products. They are also frequent visitors to Hong Kong every year to shop on these products. Online shopping is the dominant way of purchase among consumers in GBA given the wide Ecommerce choices available in the region. Consumers in the GBA can enjoy both mainstream EC platform like, TMall, Taobao and international EC platforms in Hong Kong like amazon, various foreign brands’ e-boutique shops. Another survey done by KPMG on consumers in GBA shows that brand websites were the most common information channel for both HK and mainland consumers to search product information. Barcodes and QR codes were widely used by brands and merchants to facilitate online purchase and logistics.
In conclusion, consumers in GBA are increasingly updating their personal image and life quality through purchasing high-end imported brands and products. At the meantime, they’re also very health conscious and tech-savvy. They’re resourceful in buying online and smart in leveraging the advantage of geographic closeness to Hong Kong. A smooth online shopping experience is crucial to win their heart.
Benjamin Sun
Benjamin Sun