Consumer Insights This Week: What Drives Chinese Consumers’ Overseas Investment. A Brief Summary of Recent Research.
That Chinese consumers have become more sophisticated, looking for premium services and experience, increasingly spending overseas, and are becoming more digital-savvy, health conscious, and active on social is not a new thing but has been around for many years. Indeed, the trend has become more prominent in the recent years, but the underlying reason could be very illusive when Chinese consumer is evaluated as a whole, because China is a stratified society in terms of geo, age, social, class, etc.
But it is still somehow clear that the trend is, to a large degree, driven by the arising force of the millennials and people referred to as the early 90’s in China. This generation Y, especially those from upper-middle class families in the more developed coastal areas and provincial capitals, is more engaged in international traveling and education, very digital-savvy, open to innovations and technologies, and is the major force that created the online sub-culture – very different and sometimes isolated from the mainstream culture. They are exposed to a complex network of censored, uncensored, reliable, and unreliable information online but are found to be most influenced by influencer/opinion leaders either in their personal network or in the overall web environment.
Another thing that is intriguing is that Chinese consumers are becoming more health conscious, which could be a world-wide trend, but what is peculiar to this market is that Chinese consumers are also dealing with health and environmental crises that threaten their overall welling-being and the well-being of the next generation in China’s industrialization process. Such crises include air pollution, food & water quality, and various kinds of chemical pollutions. These problems could have been existing for a very long while and could also be found in other developing/industrializing countries and in the history of developed countries, but they were used to be more limited to rural areas and/or were not publicized enough to catch any attention. Thanks to the digital and social advancement and the more resourceful, individualized, and health-conscious generation Y, such awareness regarding to health and living environment is surging. Health and environmental crises, coupled with the living expenses in big cities, de-urbanization would be a natural product, but in China, it would be much harder to live in the rural area, which is not the typical countryside in the view of developed countries, because resources with regard to health, education, entertainment, professional growth, etc. are highly concentrated in certain metropolitan areas in China.
Instead, investing oversea, even if it is just for the next generation or next, next generation for their well-being and also personal growth (education, career), is predictable, and the price is pretty attractive compared to that of Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen etc. Also, as research has found that Chinese people are, and very likely will always be, family focused, with family event centered around the next generation. Chinese parents are buying house in/near school district for child education. And the generation Y, while the practical needs are perceived and/or for investment purposes, are capable of paying off a house with the help of the always-supportive and economically-more-established Chinese parents, and/or grandparents, in the family.
Although we believe it is not without difficulties when it comes to targeting Chinese consumers, the behavioral intention could be very strong, as could be predicted from the attitudinal and practical dimensions. The next step would be evaluating your target segment in the massive Chinese consumer population, improve your product and find PMF (product market fit), studying the target’s media usage and exposure and how they may navigate through the different phases of your sales funnel. In OODDA, rather than make simple assumptions, we help you drive insights through quantitative and qualitative research on Chinese consumers and use that to guide your integrated marketing strategies.
Have you considered doing business in China but don’t know where to start with? OODDA marketing team are equipped with solid cross-cultural understanding, bilingual skills, technical knowledge and vast experience in Chinese consumer markets that can offer you a hassle-free, one-stop solution to see your business grow in China! Learn More