Mark Tanner
9 January 2013 0 Comments

Happy New Year and welcome this week’s skinny on China. So far, 2013 has been a tad frosty in the Middle Kingdom, contributing to China’s coldest winter in 28 years. It’s minus 15 degrees Celcius (5 Fahrenheit) in Beijing as I write, although I’m sure that gets little sympathy from our friends sweltering in Australia.

With the fireworks, 2013 began with a new Weibo record – 729,571 posts a minute as Chinese blogged their New Year wishes, up 52% on the previous record set over the 2012 Chinese New Year. Looking back on 2012, below you’ll find the top-10 Weibo posts of the year according to Ogilvy and, looking forward, you’ll find some emerging trends for Chinese consumers in 2013. 2013 is shaping up to be a good year to sell to Chinese consumers, with 72% of Chinese retailers expecting higher sales in 6 months. Hopefully you’ll find something below that will help you achieve that as well. Enjoy!

Chinese consumers Chinese Consumers

6 Reasons Why China’s Smaller City Consumers are a Pot of Gold: Some pretty compelling reasons why China’s ‘smaller’ cities should be part of your marketing strategy. Our view.

2013 Chinese Consumption Trends: MEC and CIC’s report on 10 trends for Chinese consumers in 2013 – in short, their habits are becoming more like western consumers, but with Chinese characteristics. A long read, but well worth it. Here is the summary of the 10 trends that are picked to be hot with Chinese consumers this year… (1) Pay for safety: product safety & insurance; (2) Go micro: shorter, easier promos and payments, shorter versions of books, movies, etc; (3) Culture consumption: highbrow arts, food & travel and then microblog about it; (4) Spending on the young: gadgets, education and shared parent-child activities; (5) Spectacular singles: convenient food & products for singles, apps for singles and spending on enjoying themselves; (6) Charity is the new fashion: Socially aware, getting sponsorship for causes through activities and lots of ‘charity’ through microblog marketing; (7) Emotional consumption: retro and nostalgic products hot; (8) Gray hair craze: the elderly segment is getting larger, wealthier, more adventurous and tech savvy; (9) Super 3rd party: agents to run your errands, carpooling and shared gardens; and (10) Crossover economy: online & offline and celebs working together. Implications: Integrate Online & Offline, Strengthen your mobile strategy, be trustworthy, use gamefication to attract customers (the wildcard) and ensure you make best use of social commerce for each step of the purchase process.

Five New Trends of Chinese Consumers: Another article on Chinese consumer characteristic trends, this one from Forbes: 1) Value Seekers – rich and poor search hard for good value; 2) High earners are becoming increasingly sophisticated, looking for products that show off their unique taste; 3) Loyal brand enjoyers – although not as loyal as the west, they’re increasing picking a brand and sticking with it; 4) Pragmatic masses – 400m inland Chinese consumers generallly make purchases on pragmatism, not emotion; and 5) Self indulging youths – young Chinese are showing more western habits, seeking individuality and brand loyalty.

Letters from America: U.S. Companies Selling to China – The Initial Evaluation Steps: Rising wealth of Chinese consumers & love of western products should mean exporting to China is a good bet, but here are some important considerations to make first.

Chinese Food and Beverage Food & Beverage

Cafe Outlets in China Double over past five years as Chinese Consumers Develop a Taste for Coffee Culture: Cafes in China grew 100% over five years, and now number 60% of the 50,984 tea houses, which only grew 4% over the same period. 69% of those visiting cafes drank coffee. Just 5% of Chinese surveyed claimed to not have visited a cafe over the past 12 months.

Chinese Consumers choose Sweet over Savoury Snacks: 1.34 billion sweet tooths.

Italian Winemakers take on France in Chinese Market: Watch out Bordeaux, the Italian wine makers are coming to eat your lunch in China.

Chinese Internet Internet & Social Media

The Top 10 Brand Weibo Posts in China of 2012: 2012’s top brand weibo posts according to Ogilvy. May inspire some good ideas for your own campaigns. I especially liked number 9, another Weibo gem from Durex.

How Do China’s Online Retailers Differ from Major Online Retailers of the United States?: Nice overview of eCommerce in China with some thoughts from those in amongst it.

China’s Taobao and Tmall Top 1 Trillion RMB: Taobao and Tmall exceed 1 Trillion Yuan for 2012 online sales ($159 billion) by November 30. That’s $122 for every man, woman and child in China.

Chinese social responsibility Social Responsibility

PepsiCo China Honored for Social Responsibility: Pepsi plays it well tapping into Chinese consumers’ increasing concern for environmental products. Good example to follow.

Chinese education Education

Smaller U.S. Colleges Try to Crack Chinese Market: Smaller US colleges trying to crack China market. Some Chinese not put off by bible classes, teetotaling & sex-separated swimming as they see it as a part of US culture.

Chinese Luxury Goods Luxury Goods

Instant Gratification: China Luxury Buyers Getting More Impulsive: Chinese consumers seek instant gratification when buying luxury goods, with 37% deliberating for less than 24 hours before purchasing (up from 24% in 2010).

Don’t Underestimate China’s Luxury Market: Don’t base your Chinese luxury consumption forecasts on the current blip; it’s onwards and upwards in China.

That’s the skinny for the week!

If you’ve missed earlier news or need to learn more, there’s a library of information about Chinese consumers in prior China Skinny Weeklys right here. You can have this delivered to your inbox each week by subscribing for email updates, or if social media is more your thing, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS feed.  If you have any feedback or suggestions for future articles, please let us know.