Since the 11.11 made a historical record in the world e-commerce industry, online buyers’ concentration is developing and changing. According to the 2015 Taobao Report, online buyers main categories of interest are health, “smart products”( e.g. AppleWatch), life style & personality show off, tradition & culture (such as Qipao dresses). The leading online behavior of generation Y is followed by everyone, even the elderly.
Health, a leading trend in China
Health is one of the biggest topics in people’s daily life. With the development of the Internet+ concept -which means the integration of Internet technologies with all kind of businesses-, many new medical-related companies are appearing in the market and selling their services, such as health profile online registration, doctor appointments booking or medicine distribution. In another hand, people are more and more interested in healthy food. The demand of organic cosmetics, non-GMO food, low-fat food, sugar free food is increasing sharply. People trust the buzzing trends and respect experts’ opinions. The online word of mouth is still a significant factor of trust. As the Chinese proverb says that “Rather believe it to be true than not believe anything”.
The rise of a new product category
Since Apple launched its smartwatch, many other competitors have followed and launched a series of smart products., e.g. Fitbit, Xiaomi, Huawei etc.
The leading purchase in the smart products sector are smart bracelets and smart watches. In addition to healthy food, Chinese are more and more concerned about monitoring their body condition. The demand of Smart products is increasing dramatically in Q2 and Q3 of 2015. Furthermore, people wear these products not only for improving their health, but also show as a symbol of fashion, lifestyle and distinctness.
The “personality” category
As the result of Chinese willingness to show their personality traits and uniqueness, Taobao in its report (cf figure below) created a category called personality, based on online customers’ purchase behavior. Chinese people like showing their traits to identify their personal shopping taste. And people born in the 1980s and 1990s are the core strength of Chinese online shopping.
The ones born in the 1990s, represent the generation of uniqueness, distinctness. This young customer segment is currently on top of the online purchases volume in most categories.
People born in the 1980s are getting married, having a child, are more wealthy and thus rises the sense of belonging and responsibility leading to a renewed interest of Chinese traditions. This drives people to buy more traditional products and come back to their roots, leading to an increase of various cultural products, such as Qi-paos, Suzhou embroidery crafts, or new Chinese style furniture purchases
An All-generational trend
The last category described by Taobao report is not a type of product but a trend followed by all generations. The proportion of online young consumers rises, and the consumption behavior of middle aged and elderly people is mimicking the former. People under 28 represent the majority online consumers, and because of the massive development of social media across every segment of the population, especially Wechat, elderly people are catching up fast. Some of them use Wechat even more frequent than younger people, and online consumer behavior is quite standardized.
China’s getting young again !
2015 is a new step for Chinese online shopping with the young generation, born in the 80s and 90s, from middle and upper class representing the core of the Chinese online society. Internet accompanies the growth of people of this generations, online shopping has a stable and healthy development, and the popularity of smart phones lead the exponential growth of M-commerce
While it is known that the global population of China is aging, and the government recently gave up its one child policy to face this issue, it appears clearly that the online shopping behavior of the same population goes against this trend, getting “younger” day by day.
2016 is gonna be exciting !