Understanding the preferences and mindset of different consumer groups is the key to running a successful consumer business, particularly in China
Empowered by rising disposable incomes, Chinese consumers have become increasingly savvy and are expecting more in product quality and customer service. Their needs and wants are evolving at a much faster rate compared to the consumers in the West.
Chinese consumers are price sensitive but brand conscious. Price is often the determining factor for Chinese consumers when they make purchase decisions, but they also have a fondness of luxury brands. Why the duality? In the Chinese culture where face and social status are crucial, if a brand can signal a higher social and economic status, Chinese consumers would be happy to pay a premium. If it does not, they become very price sensitive.
Despite the rapid rise in the country's economy, China's regions are developing at different rates. Consumer trends vary among different regions and groups. Understanding the preferences and mindset of these consumer groups is essential in running a successful consumer business in the country.
China, the largest eCommerce market in the world, is now setting the benchmark for present and future global retailing. This is driven by its mobile-first consumer behaviour, innovative social commerce model, and a trusted digital payments infrastructure.
This China report builds on the findings of PwC's Total Retail Survey 2017 to identify nine key trends that are shaping the recovery and growth in the retail and consumer products sector in China.
As we transition to a digital economy, both CEOs and consumer share many similar sentiments. Job losses due to advances in technology emerged as the top concern for CEOs and consumers. Over 61% of both parties also agree that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation will affect trust to some or a large extent. Likewise, consumers agree with CEOs on breaches in data privacy and ethics as the biggest threat to stakeholder trust.
But business leaders and consumers don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to implementation. While 35% of the public agree that businesses have increased their focus on operating in a way that takes them and their community into account, only 9% of consumers strongly agree with the notion.