China’s fashion-savvy shoppers pay careful attention to the latest trends. They have a considerable influence online as the consumers of the country are making use of digital sources to research and purchase their favorite clothing and apparel products. A study on the shopping habits of consumers in the Asia-Pacific region conducted by the market research firm AIP found that consumers in China are among the most active when it comes to buying and investigating clothing purchases online.
The Chinese are indeed slower in their decision making processes and it is a natural thing for them to take time before taking any decisions. This is particularly the case for online purchases. The Chinese engage in a very long process before they order anything online, from Taobao to TMall, and they pay careful attention to the products. First of all they look to the photos displayed in the sales ads, which gives them a first impression of the product. Then come the features, and all the details about the product. The seller better put a coherent and sales-oriented description for products if they want the Chinese to buy. The Chinese go through all the details! They will also read everything on the description of the product before they take make their decision.
Booming fashion ecommerce in China
According to the survey published by AIP, 58% of internet users in China preferred to purchase clothes, apparel and accessories online, more than 30 percent higher than the internet users located in Singapore, which is the next closest market studied. The Chinese are very connected and the digital industry has really boomed in the last few years.
The growth of e-commerce marketplaces and digital Chinese companies like Alipay or WeChat pay reflect how the market is progressing in China and becoming international in a very short space of time. Chinese consumers are embracing cash-free lifestyles as an increasing number of people use digital mobile payment tools to order anything, from food, to calling taxis, and definitely buy clothing. After interviewing more than 8,100 respondents, the report said that more than 12 percent of college students reported they don’t bring cash with them when going out and 30 percent of interviewees aged between 23 and 29 bring less than 100 yuan ($15).
While 78 percent of respondents said they have used mobile payment tools to shop online, the trend is also growing increasingly popular in brick-and-mortar clothing shops. About 40 percent of interviewees have paid offline bills with mobile payment tools. And thanks to the online food-ordering platforms offering huge discounts to consumers, mobile payments tools are also becoming increasingly popular in the catering industry also. About 71 percent of interviewees said they used mobile payment apps to order or pay restaurant bills at least once. This trend will definitely prove beneficial for the the global digital industry and especially the fashion industry as the mobile payment infrastructure can be utilized by brands entering the market.
A promising future
These findings match with additional e-commerce research conducted by the American firm Visa in 2015. In the study led by the company, which examined the digital share of purchases made in selected categories among shoppers in the Asia-Pacific region, China lead all other countries when it came to fashion purchases, with around 62% transactions via online marketplaces.
As companies look for ways to capture more of this online fashion spending in China, blogs and social media are likely to be important marketing tools. In terms of the leading sources of fashion information in AIP’s survey, social media and blogs were the most popular in China, they were mentioned as key aspects by 70% of all respondents.
Some of the biggest fashion ecommerce companies in the industry are trying to surf this trend, like Moonbasa who has launched its e-commerce platform in the last few months, in order to promote US apparel exports to China. The Chinese fashion industry is escalating and this trend of mobile payment will keep developing in this way, China is set to become the most important e-commerce market for fashion in the world.
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