China Online Shoppers

by Benjamin Sun  
June 14, 2015
Benjamin is a digital marketer and researcher with extensive knowledge in Chinese digital marketing.

Many Australian businesses enter the Chinese market without knowing enough about Chinese consumers. As a result, they attempt to enter the Chinese market based on assumptions of their target consumer instead of a fact-based strategy.

Here are four things you may not have known about Chinese online shoppers.


1. Chinese consumers like apps

Foreign retailers should take advantage of Chinese consumers’ for apps by selling through apps or e-marketplaces with apps.

About 60 per cent of online shoppers have two or three shopping apps on their mobile phone or portable device, according to iResearch. Women are more likely to have four or more shopping apps.


2. Online shoppers are more likely to be male and well-educated

Although there are generally more male online shoppers compared to females, this difference is more pronounced when it comes to those who shop on their mobile device. Men make up 57 per cent of mobile shopper whereas women make up 43 per cent. The gender disparity of the general internet-using population in China as well as the country’s male-female imbalance due to the one-child policy contribute to the greater number of male shoppers.

As mobile shoppers tend to have a higher education degree and higher income than those who shop on PCs, mobile-friendly websites and apps are even more important for brands looking to target wealthier demographics or market luxury products.


3. Most common online purchases are diversifying

Although fashion is a traditionally common online purchase, retailers from other fields can be confident Chinese shoppers are interested in buying a wide variety of products online.

About 67 per cent of online shoppers often buy clothing shoes, hats, bags, and outdoor items but there’s a large demand for household articles (28 per cent), major appliances (27 per cent) and small appliances (27 per cent) is strong.


4. Shoppers want a bargain

Australian retailers should market their products according to the values of Chinese online shoppers. The most important factors that influence Chinese shoppers are the quality of goods (48 per cent), price (47 per cent), and website account safety (46 per cent). For Australian businesses, this can mean marketing your brand as Australian-made, affordable for its features and standard of quality, and trustworthy.

The safety of websites is paramount to shoppers as more than one in 10 web users has been a victim of fraud online, according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). Assuring consumers your website is safe can be especially challenging for foreign businesses if their brand is unknown and in a foreign language. To overcome these trust issues, translating your website, localising your content, joining a reputable Chinese e-marketplace, or displaying a Chinese-hosted site with the required state-issued license are methods Australian businesses can use to gain the confidence of consumers.


Chinese online shoppers have different habits and values compared to Australian shoppers. By catering to the needs of China’s online shoppers, Australian businesses can improve their chances of breaking into the Chinese market successfully.




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