As the world copes with the impact of COVID-19, shifts in Chinese buying habits offer an idea of how global spend will be affected. From the short-term impact to longer, more structural changes in shopping preferences, how can brands best position themselves within this changing landscape?
Suya Wang is the former head of China research at the Financial Times. She has worked with Xinhua Finance, where she covered macro-economics and technology. Suya joined the Financial Times in 2009 and was promoted to research director in 2012.
Dr. Diane Wei Liang is an international best-selling author, broadcaster and award-winning business professor. She holds an MBA and PhD from Carnegie Mellon University and has appeared as a China specialist on the BBC, ITV, and Channel4.
Felicia Schwartz is a cultural insight specialist with 14 years of experience in the Greater China region. She has worked widely across consumer goods as well as retail, luxury, and technology. An advertising veteran, Felicia is passionate about people and what motivates them, hence a career in strategic planning and consumer insights. She has researched Chinese women, children, young adults, and men for clients like L'Oreal, Ferrero, Nestle, and Maserati, and delivered cultural business skills to the DIT, EDF Energy, and Jaguar Land Rover.
Younger Chinese consumers are no longer turning to advertisements to help them shop – they’re listening to each other instead. Shanghai-based app Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book) is harnessing social commerce and changing the way luxury consumers learn about products online.
Launched a decade ago, Singles’ Day has become the biggest sale of the year in China. As shopping preferences change – particularly among Gen Yers and Zers, who are increasingly adopting a digital-first approach – brands are adapting strategies to optimise their reach, impact, and profit margins.
After being cooped up to slow the spread of COVID-19, quarantine measures are being relaxed in China, and people are celebrating by going out on luxury 'revenge spending' sprees. This behaviour could eventually replicate itself across the world as more countries overcome the outbreak.
Traditionally worn by the men of the household, more and more women in China are snapping up suits to fill their wardrobes. What does this shift in fashion preferences reveal of their position in society, and how can luxury houses and e-commerce sites cater to their increasingly lavish tastes?