Mark Tanner
26 February 2013 0 Comments

Half of the world’s 22 female billionaires, including four of the world’s five richest self-made women, are Chinese. These women all sway global markets with their decisions. But it’s not just China’s über-rich who are influencing the markets of the world, but a large portion of China’s 640 million women. Women have long been said to hold up half the sky in China, yet they also tend to hold the purse strings in many Chinese households. For the majority of consumer purchases, women are the decision makers, and winning them over often holds the key to succeeding in China.

The cosmetics and fashion industries are good case studies of building loyalty and purchase intent from China’s women. Below you’ll find a few examples. One consistent theme is the presence of digital marketing; from Estee Lauder reaching new regions with their online stores, to Topshop testing the market and creating a buzz online before launching high street stores. And it’s not just big foreign brands; the little guys are also using creative ways to drive sales online, as you’ll see with “MaDiGaGa”. Whether you’re selling wine, golf holidays or tickets to theme parks, digital marketing is increasingly becoming the key pillar for marketing in China. Hopefully this week’s skinny will give you some new ideas. Enjoy the read!

Chinese consumers Chinese Consumers

How China’s Urban Consumers Have Changed Since 1995: How Chinese urban consumer’s spending habits have changed since 1995- less on food as a percentage, and the biggest rises on transport, communication & medicine.

Shanghai Wives hold the Purse Strings : No kidding … 40% of Shanghai families’ wealth is managed solely by the wife, slightly above the Chinese national average of 38.4%. Remember who to target your messaging at…

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels In Beijing: Why The Chinese Didn’t Bite: Lessons from the Pretzel-flop in China. The biggest challenge was reading the market: Chinese aren’t likely to eat with their hands (just look at the environment) and the taste didn’t appeal to them. Giving them away for free attracted the migrant workers, not the middle class they were targeting. I’m surprised their MBAs didn’t teach them the importance of market research before investing?

Chinese Exports and Imports Surge: China Imports surged 28.8% from a year ago, indicating a robust pick up in domestic demand.

Untrusting Chinese Consumers have Faith in their Banks: Although Chinese consumers have limited trust local brands, 80% trust their banks – the highest rates in the world; 2/3rds of major markets have less than 50% trust in banks.

Chinese Internet Internet & Social Media

High Influence: China’s Social Media Boom: 95% of Internet users in China’s cities over 2.5 million people have registered for social media. 91% having visited a social media site in the past 6-months, making them the most active in world (30% have in Japan and 67% in the US). Social media is more important than ever to assist with product development, brand & marketing strategy, generating leads and customer care & support: McKinsey.

On the Cusp of a Boom: China had 219.8 million online shoppers last year. 79% of Chinese prefer to purchase goods online, compared to 65% globally according to a KPMG survey. Convenience is the biggest motivation to buy online, at 76%, then cost saving, 65%. 72% had concerns over authenticity of products as the largest barrier to entry, with 55% having payment safety concerns and 39% a lack of after-sales service. 46% surveyed use smartphones in store to access coupons & mobile gift cards.

Baidu Launches a Dedicated Product Search Engine: Yet another channel to sell your wares to Chinese consumers online. Given Baidu only has limited results for Taobao/Tmall listings, it seems a no-brainer to capitalize on it’s 70% share of search engine traffic. Will it be good enough to make a dent in the hugely successful established online stores?

Chinese fashion Fashion

Suited-Up Online: Why China’s Fashionista Websites Aim High (And Low): Online fashion in China is getting more diverse with sites from Shangpin to VIPshop and Yoox getting an increasing share of wallets.

Topshop Launching Digital Campaign for Chinese New Year: Top Shop are building a digital following before launching it’s first China store in May – they already have 10m Weibo fans and just launched an online video campaign targeting Chinese.

“MaDiGaGa”, Brings New Fashion Storm in China: Grandpa farmer in a frock – a good example of a creative way to sell fashion in China and raise social media profile, even for an online Taobao store.

Chinese health and beauty Health & Beauty

Estée Lauder Forges Ahead in China: 6 Estee Lauder brands now have dedicated online stores – an increasingly important channel reaching 350 cities. TV advertising is also helping attract new middle class consumers, with one campaign boosting sales 30%.

Chinese food and beverage Food and Beverage

Coming Soon to China: At-Home Toxic Food Test Kits: Chinese lack of trust in food has seen the development of an in-home food safety tester, checking for 60 chemicals in food.

China Wine Market Shows Intensifying Competition in Coming Years: By 2016, Chinese wine consumption is picked to be 250 million cases to make it the 2nd largest market in the world. That growth won’t just come from imports, with China surpassing Australia and Chile to become the 6th largest producer by 2016.

Chinese Buy Up Bordeaux’s Wines: Chinese & HK are now Bordeaux’s biggest export market, sipping and slurping through 71 million bottles of Bordeaux a year. One of the spill over effects is they’re buying up property in the region; in the past four years, 30 chateaux have been bought by Chinese investors, with another 20 in the pipeline. But for those who can’t afford to leave China, a Saint Emilion-inspired wine theme park could be worth a visit in Dalian, northern China.

Chinese entertainment Entertainment

China’s Theme Park Boom: Theme parks attracted more than 100 million Chinese in 2011. 200 million a year are expected to visit by 2020, helped along by Disney’s entry, with Chinese cultural elements incorporated into its Shanghai park.

China Film Market Set To Take Over Hollywood: The Chinese film market is picked to be the largest in the world by 2020. China already boasts the largest studio in the world, bigger than Universal and Paramount studios combined, although just 5% of Chinese films broke even in the first half of 2012 and the 34 foreign films allowed in each year account for 60% of the Chinese box office.

Chinese tourists Chinese Tourism

New Zealand Voted World’s Best Luxury Destination by Shanghai’s Affluent: The Shanghai Travelers’ Club voted New Zealand the world’s best luxury destination, in addition to awards for one of it’s airports, golf courses and boutique hotels. USA took out best airline with United, and other awards including luxury lifestyles and weddings. France won the world’s best hotel and luggage brand, the UK scooped the best Golf trips agency and Australia’s Palazzo Versace won best AsiaPac hotel.

Chinese sport Sports

The NFL’s Prospects in China: American Football was a little overambitious when it launched in China, rushing in too quickly. But it’s now taking a slower grassroots approach that it hopes will be more sustainable. The 2013 Super Bowl was watched live online by 1.4 million Chinese, up 35% from last year. It is expected more than last year’s 22 million TV viewers watched the game on the tube, broadcast on 7 Chinese TV stations. Launching a Chinese website, bringing players and cheerleaders to China, hosting Super Bowl breakfast parties in Beijing and Shanghai, celebrities performing at half time, and of course the social media build up for those commercials, is all helping the game.

Chinese luxury Luxury Goods

No End In Sight For China’s Stiff Luxury Taxes: Growth in luxury goods grew just 7% in Mainland China last year, whereas Chinese spending overseas grew 31%. Luxury goods accounted for a large portion of the $85 billion Chinese spent overseas in 2012.

Home-Grown Chinese Luxury Brands: From Acquisition To Discovery: Chinese luxury consumers are still driven by brands, but they’re increasingly likely to explore more niche brands.

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.