Time to check your marketing strategies in China

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Author: Azoya


Cross-border online shopping has become the safest and most effective way for overseas retailers to expand to the Chinese market. For them, understanding the market and customers is essential to making a successful marketing strategy. In this article, Azoya reveals the most important facts about China’s cross-border online shoppers.


Consumers are affluent and willing to buy


Compared with general online shoppers, Chinese cross-border online shoppers are older with better educational credentials and higher incomes, hence stronger purchasing power. On the other hand, the majority of them are married employees with kids with stable jobs and lives and are very willing to spend.


Mainly males

Males make up 64.8% of Chinese cross-border online shoppers, while females accounted for 35.2%. The proportion of males was higher among cross-border online shoppers than among online shoppers.


This fact means that overseas sellers need to focus their marketing budget more on male consumers, which can be reflected on ad production and campaign design.



26-40 year-olds make up almost three quarters (74.7%) of cross-border online shoppers. Compared with general online shoppers, cross-border online shoppers tended to be older. The proportion of 31-40 year-olds is higher among cross-border online shoppers than among online shoppers.


This demographic trait means that overseas retailers should be careful in merchandising. Choosing categories and items that are popular among older demographic is always a safe approach.


Highly educated

74.6% of cross-border online shoppers hold a bachelor degree or above and less than 5% of them are high school graduates or below. This indicates that they are better educated than general online shoppers.


Advertisers targeting this group need to be really cautious and creative. They are hard to impress and therefore require more endeavor in creative marketing. Partnering with a local expert who understand consumers’ interests is an effective way to avoid pitfalls and attract consumers’ attention quickly.


High income

More than one quarter of cross-border online shoppers earn more than 10k per month, which averages 11,043.9 Yuan per month, far surpassing those of general online shoppers.


Overseas retailers can be more aggressive in pricing strategies. Products with higher value will significantly reduce the marginal shipping costs.


Company employee

Company employees make up 55.6% of cross-border online shoppers, most of whom are junior employees.


Married with kids

66.5% of cross-border online shoppers have kids, among whom 56.1% had one kid.


Retailers should consider more child and baby related categories when they’re making merchandising decisions, due to the lucrative opening in the market.


Mainly in Southeastern Coastal Region

Cross-border online shoppers are concentrated in the Southeastern costal regions. Guangdong and Shanghai accounts for one quarter of total cross-border online shoppers. The top 5 provinces/cities (Guangdong, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Beijing and Shandong) are developed regions in China.


This phenomenon urges retailers to spend their budgets in focus areas like these metropolitans. For example, advertisements can be put in public space like metro systems; with the amount of traffic, mainly made up of the demographic of middle class consumers, a placement at popular public transport stations can be extremely effective to sales.


Consumers learned about and visited cross-border shopping sites mainly via shopping guide sites

Consumers still need guidance during cross-border online shopping. They learn about and visit cross-border shopping sites mainly through shopping guide sites. In addition, visits to cross-border shopping sites are also targeted as a fairly large proportion of them access cross-border shopping sites by searching keywords, typing in URL and clicking ‘My Favorites’.


Collaborating with Chinese leading guiding sites is an essential way to promote your products. Because of the abundance of fake products and plagiarizing brands, Chinese consumers place great value on trustworthy recommendations from these internet shopping guides.


For European retailers in the China market, these facts will help you build a smarter marketing strategy.


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