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New research reveals Chinese online shopping habits

New research reveals Chinese online shopping habits


Image: WWD
Image: Hook-Network

A new survey has revealed the online shopping habits of Chinese consumers, proving they also spend a disproportionate amount of time on five of the country's dominant websites...

Deemed as one of the most important emerging markets for fashion, it has been revealed that Chinese consumers spend almost no time on the official e-commerce sites of brands, instead they seek product information on social media platforms and spending, according to a study in online shopping habits released by the Boston Consulting Group.

In contrast to other nationalities, the Chinese tend to spend roughly 0.5% of their time online on official branded sites – and typically trust product information from official sources far less than recommendations from friends, information found on popular social media platforms such as Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter, and reviews from consumers posted online.

More than 40 percent of the online activities of those surveyed were spent on five sites, including Youku.com, an online video portal; Sina.com, an online news site; QQ, an instant messaging service; Taobao.com, the consumer-to-consumer e-commerce platform owned by Alibaba, and the search engine Baidu.

It is "critical for brands to identify the most relevant parts of those popular sites for reaching shoppers," said the BCG study, titled "The Chinese Digital Consumer in a Multichannel World."

It also found that when shopping for apparel online, most consumers searched and purchased in one session. Yet for cosmetics, shoppers conduct price comparisons in the offline and online world, only making the purchase online if the price is cheaper. "Companies in such categories benefit from providing more seamless online-offline integration," the BCG study said. 

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