What is new with Chinese consumers?

What is new with Chinese consumers?

Written by Grace

Insights into Chinese consumer preferences are invaluable for foreign companies without deep reservoirs of local talent or experience to draw on. Knowing the latest shifts among the customers in this rapidly developing nation is a colossal advantage that can boost profits and reduce risk. Here’s what Duhno found out modern Chinese customers are searching for.

1.Hyper Healthy

With more secure incomes, many Chinese consumers are looking beyond day-to-day financial security and are looking for a life-upgrade. Healthy living is a big part of this trend, and whether it’s sleep or eating habits, all the signs indicate a shift towards physical and mental wellbeing as a key priority.


According to Mintel China & North Asia Consumer Trends:


  • 45% of Chinese consumers claim that living a healthy lifestyle is now their biggest concern
  • 32% now say they’re spending more than six-months previously on fitness-boosting health supplements
  • 24% of Chinese consumers have used digital applications or electronics (like smart watches) to monitor their health


Health and fitness aren’t just considered good for their own sake, research shows that Chinese consumers use their healthy new lifestyles as a way to express themselves and build their social lives.


More and more aspire to be seen as role models of wellbeing among their peers, and they actively discuss their experiences of products and services relating to their passion in their friendship group. Learning from this experiences, at Duhno we advice curators of brands (supermarkets, e-commerce shops...) to create Virtual KOL they own. Those will engage with their audience and get close to them. 

2.Experience express

Companies looking to understand the latest movements in Chinese consumer trends should pay attention to a new emerging preference for luxury experiences rather than high-end products alone.


Rather, the new focus on lifestyle consumerism exhibited means that products now play a different role; they’re part of a lived-story that younger Chinese people live and share with others. Paid activities and experiences join products in helping consumers project an enviable life to their friends.


  • 80% of Chinese consumers believe that leisure activities should add ‘adventure’ to their lives

  • 49% use social networks to keep up with the latest lifestyle trends and fashions

  • 45% are more interested in luxurious experience than elite branded products

  • 25% have travelled solo domestically for a holiday

  • The average Chinese consumer posts an update on their lives on social media 3.5 times per week


If a product fits with the lifestyle they want to live and share, it may earn a valuable place in that ecosystem.


There’s no sign that experience led spending is slowing down; in the last twelve months, 52% of Chinese consumers report spending more on experiences like travel, eating out, or attending events than in the previous year. That’s well ahead of the United States, where the figure is a comparatively modest 26%.


By introducing characters in your brand, you are creating the link with the consumers for conversational marketing which is one of the elements of experience delivery. At Duhno, we think that brands need to consider the experience along with the sales and reinforce the connection with customers.

3.Different aspirations

As the financial situation of the Chinese middle class improves, many citizens have felt more comfortable taking their foot off the gas to enjoy their lives rather than save for a rainy day.


At the same time, there’s been a shift away from traditional views of the individual in society, with a diverse range of ideas about work and family life gaining more widespread acceptance.


  • 63% of Chinese women in the workforce believe that having a baby would have a big impact on their professional development

  • 40% of would be reluctant to have children

  • 30% of Chinese people surveyed don’t view marriage as a necessary part of a “complete life”


And just as the online world has transformed the way the Chinese population consumes media, it’s also become a new avenue for young Chinese people to discover and live out non-traditional career paths.


28% of Chinese consumers are “very interested” in becoming an internet celebrity in a pattern familiar to Western companies accustomed to influencer marketing and viral content.


However, even if that’s an unreasonable expectation for the majority, it still shows how seriously the online realm and social media is taken in modern China. Even for those users who don’t achieve internet fame, 47% of Chinese users say they have shared their thoughts and feelings on social media in the last six months.


At Duhno, we advice brand to differenciate themself from this massive amount of user generate content and start to create content that stand out. We focus our content development around mascot, spokescharacter and Virtual KOL in order to have attractive ways to engage with users/consumers, such as illustration, comics or short video.

4.Peers, brands, and online purchasing

Just as in the West, Chinese social media is filled with young people looking for information about the world, sharing their views, and ultimately developing their identity in collaboration with their friends and trusted brands. 


This new digital habitat has huge opportunities in store for those companies able to navigate the unforgiving waters of social media, as this evidence proves:


  • 32% of Chinese consumers surveyed said that the social media responses of luxury brands to consumers (whether comments, criticism or questions) were important to them

  • 38% of Chinese consumers claim that top bloggers and live-streamers are set trends

  • 44% associate sincerity with aspirational brands

  • 46% would like KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) to recommend more products that they feel offer value for money

  • 65% of Chinese car buyers have looked for online reviews from fellow consumers on online forums and user review sites specializing in the auto industry


It’s clear that Chinese consumers expect top brands – especially those they view as aspirational – to actively engage with them online. In return, active Chinese social media users are likely to reward such proactive companies with recommendations and valuable organic exposure. 


At Duhno, we suggest companies to invest in branding. Building solid assets of brands takes ressources (time, money). We offer our custmers with different ways of building brand assets. Mascot, spokescharacter or Virutal KOL are to be considered as long term brand assets that can influence and provide nice contact point with consumers in the long term. They are also a great source of potential for branded content.


With the new generation of consumers arriving (Melenial, Gen-Z, centinial), at Duhno we suggest brand to invest in branding this year. Building new and up to date solid assets in front of this new generation is the key for the long game. We beleive that the key experience is to facilitate conversational marketing. And the first step toward that direction is to own a mascot, spokescharacter or a Virtual KOL that can engage on many diffrent touch point with the audience. These brand assets can then lead to outstanding and differentiated contents like illustrations, comics or short videos. 


Contact us to know more.