China may be returning to a state of ‘normality’ following COVID-19, but after spending months in lockdown, certain crisis-time consumer habits seem to be sticking around – one of the most visible being a mass shift to e-commerce. So, how do people want to browse and buy online post-pandemic?
Jack Porteous is the client services director for Samarkand, a specialist e-commerce technology and logistics company with offices in London, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. It provides a gateway connecting Western brands and retailers with the Chinese e-commerce market.
Pearl Zhu has eight years of comprehensive experience in brand partnership and marketing strategies in the media and retail industries across the UK, US, and China. She was the associate director of brand partnerships with CMC Inc., a leading media group in China, before joining the China-Britain Business Council.
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.
An online community for Gen Zers, Bilibili’s offering centres around anime, comics, and gaming – a low-cost membership grants early access to anime releases. With an interactive interface and the likes of karaoke live-streams, the network provides a niche platform for young people to connect.
With store closures, reduced custom, and an abundance of excess stock, the luxury industry is feeling the impact of the pandemic. Alibaba hopes that Luxury Soho, a platform to sell excess stock at discounted prices, will lure Chinese Gen Zers into post-COVID-19 spending.
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?
What’s so different about the paths to purchase taken by Gen Yers and Zers? How are stores demonstrating their commitment to hygiene for a post-pandemic world? Why is stockpiling becoming a common shopping strategy? And how people are using their spending power to show solidarity?