When it comes to enthusiasm for shopping, Chinese consumers are far head of their British and American counterparts, according to the results of a recent survey.
In research firm Millward Brown’s new in-depth look at how the “Chinese Dream” differs from the “American Dream” and “British Dream,” it concludes that acquisition of material wealth is only one component of Chinese citizens’ concept of their country’s dream—but it’s an important one. As a result, the firm argues that the “Chinese Dream” has a profound effect on Chinese consumers’ shopping habits. “Chinese are both avid shoppers and dreamers,” says the report, which finds that enjoyment of shopping is much higher in China than in the United States or the UK. “This phenomenon is particularly relevant in China because of the urgency people feel about achieving their personal dreams and the Chinese Dream,” it states.
In order to learn more about the ways Chinese consumers see shopping differently from those in the other two countries, the report asked them several questions about why and how they shop. Below are four key characteristics to know about Chinese shopping culture based on the results:
Shopping isn’t a chore. The feeling that shopping is an enjoyable pastime is much stronger among Chinese consumers than Americans or Brits—68 percent of Chinese respondents said they are “happy or overjoyed” with their shopping experiences, while only 48 percent of American respondents and 41 percent of British respondents felt the same way.
They enjoy doing their research. Chinese shoppers are also “more engaged” than those from the United States or the UK when it comes to learning about products, finds the survey. After identifying three key phases of the shopping experience—“being inspired, having fun, and learning something”—it found that Chinese shoppers scored higher than both countries in almost all categories.
No surprise here: digital platforms are important components of the shopping experience. In yet another sign that Chinese consumers are incredibly tech-savvy when it comes to purchase habits, the survey found that social media, mobile, and online shopping channels are “part of an ideal shopping experience” for Chinese consumers at much higher rates than for American or British consumers. In-store experience is still more important than digital, but Chinese consumers value brick-and-mortar retail the least out of all three countries.
They have strong opinions about brands. Another factor that sets apart Chinese consumers is the rate at which they consider themselves to be “opinion formers” rather than “followers” or “reluctant shoppers.” While the majority of British and American respondents classified themselves as “opinion followers” when it comes to shopping, Chinese consumers are much more confident in the ability to form their own views about goods.