Last week, we spoke about how Chinese consumers are unsophisticated in some ways, and the most advanced globally in others. We only need to take a look at smartphone habits to see one of the areas where they are advanced.
The average Chinese Internet user spends almost 3 1/2 hours a day on their mobile. Yet, it is not how long they’re spending, but what they are doing in that time that sets them apart.
Chinese are the most enthusiastic mobile shoppers in the world. They can now browse and buy over a billion items just from their Taobao app. Over 150 million consumers use the app daily – 41% of those who have it on their smartphone. They open the app more than seven times a day, browsing 18.9 products on average. And they are engaged; 5 million product listings are shared every day, 20 million reviews are written and 2 million queries are answered by vendors.
But China’s mobile commerce phenomenon is old news now – mobile spending has gone far beyond just shopping on Taobao and other ecommerce platforms. Countless things are now paid for online and offline with smartphones. The average WeChat Pay user makes an estimated 54 transactions a month through the system. Including the 11 Alipay transactions, that’s almost double the number of purchases the average American makes on their debit and credit cards combined. Whereas China’s GDP growth may have been driven by minerals a few years ago, it’s now being propelled by mobiles.
Mobiles are not just helping consumers find products and pay for them, they’re also driving the phenomenal growth of experience-based services. 75% of all movie tickets sold in China were booked online by mid-last year, with Meituan Dianping estimated to have provided ¥58 billion ($9 billion) worth of discounts and subsidies for restaurants and movies in 2015. And once they’ve booked their night out, they’re using their smartphone to get to the cinema or restaurant.
Whilst the Uber ride sharing concept may have started in North America, Chinese now dwarf the Americans and Canadians for ride sharing app usage, even on a per capita basis. Around 70% of all rides globally are taken in China, versus around 10% in North America.
In short, mobiles are close to the top of the hierarchy of needs for most Chinese consumers, and play a significant part in the stages of their customer journeys. They should be an integral part of every brand’s plan to reach, educate and engage shoppers. China Skinny can assist with that. Go to Page 2 to see this week’s China news and highlights.