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Mom & baby products see steady growth

By Fan Feifei | China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-04 07:25
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Visitors select baby products at a mother and children products fair in Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan province. [Photo by Liu Xu/for China Daily]

Rising needs of young parents pursuing high-quality lifestyles boost the sector

China's maternal and infant market is expected to see steady growth over the next decade, with online buying playing a vital role in bolstering consumption, due to rising demand from young parents pursuing high-quality lifestyles amid the consumption upgrade.

The implementation of the comprehensive second-child policy starting from late 2015, which allows all couples to have up to two children, has led to a steady growth in population, experts said.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, there were 14.65 million babies born in 2019. The increase in population has brought about an increase in the demand for maternal and infant products, stimulating the development of the related market.

A report from Chinese research firm CBN Data and Tmall Baby showed that the online maternal and infant market has maintained growth in the past three years, which is mainly attributed to the post-1995 generation getting married and having babies.

However, the post-1980 and post-1990 generations still dominate the online maternal and infant goods sector, with baby clothes and diapers being the most important categories of online consumption.

It is noteworthy that the consumption growth from third-to fifth-tier cities is higher than that from first-and second-tier cities, showing huge potential. The per consumer transactions of maternity dresses, toys and baby strollers are improving significantly.

"The size of China's mom and baby products market continues to grow, in part because of the implementation of the second-child policy. Although the future of the market has significant opportunity, there are many challenges," said Brady Ni, vice-president of market research firm Nielsen China.

"With the rise of New Retail, or the integration of online and offline sales platforms, it is foreseeable that retail competition will grow in intensity. In the face of increasingly discerning consumers, brands must stand out from the complex competitive environment by improving product quality, creating a pristine reputation, and building brand awareness," Ni added.

Chinese online retailers are looking to cash in on the consumer craze for mother and infant goods, launching tailor-made commodities and cooperating with various overseas brands to cater to their diversified and personalized demands.

E-commerce giant JD is banking on the consumer-to-manufacturer or C2M sector to expand its presence in the maternal and baby products market.

The model leverages online retailers' big data and customer analysis capabilities to optimize a brand's products specifically to meet the unique demands of the Chinese market.

JD has cooperated with a baby diaper brand to seek insights from consumers. Using data analysis of online searches and comments, JD found that users often search specific keywords like "diaper rash", and look for diapers that feature better skin care function.

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