Have disposable income, will buy imported goods

February 8, 2022

BEIJING – Fancy imported products? If you are in China, you don’t even have to visit exclusive stores to buy them anymore. Online shopping will suffice.

A growing number of Chinese consumers have been doing just that this Spring Festival. They browsed websites and apps and filled their online shopping carts with fresh produce, alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, jewelry, gifts, and more.

Shopping in the run-up to major festivals and family celebrations has long been a tradition in China, not only for personal consumption, but also for giving precious gifts to relatives and friends.

In keeping with this tradition, I shopped on some cross-border e-commerce platforms such as JD Worldwide and Tmall Global to host the Spring Festival this year. To ring in the Chinese New Year (of the Tiger) and lift my spirits from the shadow cast by the COVID-19 pandemic, I used apps to buy Chilean cherries, Norwegian salmon, New Zealand milk and French red wine. I’m not a shopaholic, I swear.

It took no more than a few days for all of these goods to arrive in good condition at my doorstep, and they all looked (and tasted) authentic and seemed to be worth the price I paid for them.

Looking back, I now understand the effect cross-border e-commerce players have had on me and, presumably, other Chinese consumers looking to add an exotic touch to their Spring Festival shopping. The promotions of a wide range of genuine and high-quality overseas products and fast delivery services were indeed irresistible.

Chinese consumers show growing demand for high-end brands and high-quality imported products like toothpaste, mattresses, clothes and handbags, said Zeng Bibo, founder and CEO of Ymatou, a commerce platform cross-border electronics based in Shanghai, in the approaching the Spring Festival.

Zeng also said that the post-90s generation favors niche and designer brands and are also big fans of e-commerce via live streaming.

China’s cross-border e-commerce industry has grown rapidly. The value of China’s cross-border e-commerce imports and exports was 1.98 trillion yuan ($312 billion) in 2021, up 15 percent, the General Administration of Customs said.

According to a report by JD, the three top-selling categories of imported products are beauty and makeup, health care, and mother and baby products. Consumers prefer to buy products from the United States, Japan, France, Germany and Switzerland on JD.

Female consumers who purchase imported goods outnumber male consumers. The younger generation under the age of 30 is the fastest growing consumer group for imported products, according to the report.

Nowadays, imported goods are no longer restricted to residents of first- and second-tier cities, as the disposable income of residents of third- to fifth-tier cities increases, which stimulates demand from these places, part of which is satisfied by convenient and practical means. effective e-commerce channels, experts say.

Chen Tao, an analyst at Beijing-based online consultancy Analysys, said e-commerce platforms hoped to seize opportunities emerging from Chinese consumers’ consumption upgrade and Lunar New Year shopping.

Chen said Chinese consumers have a growing demand for diversified, personalized and niche products made overseas.

“People in small towns and villages tend to celebrate the Spring Festival by purchasing imported goods and have better access to various types of special purchases due to the increasing penetration rate of e-commerce in these lower-level areas” , did he declare.

Last year, the per capita disposable income of urban dwellers was 47,412 yuan, up 8.2 percent in nominal terms and 7.1 percent in real terms, while that of rural residents was 18,931. yuan, up 10.5% in nominal terms and 9.7% in real terms. in real terms, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Consumers in third-tier cities and below, counties and rural areas make up about 70 percent of China’s population, indicating huge untapped consumer potential, said Pan Helin, executive dean of China’s Health Research Institute. Digital Economy from Zhongnan University of Economics and Law.