China / Society

China's 'super shoppers' rock the wallet

By SUN YUANQING (China Daily) Updated: 2016-08-27 07:09

Do you shop online every day or every week? And do you spend £51 ($67.4) or more each time you purchase something?

If so, you might be part of a new rising power group dubbed "super shoppers".

A recent survey by Worldpay, a London-based company that provides payment products and services, looked into the spending habits of this group of high-spending, high-frequency online shoppers who are a gold mine for retailers worldwide.

Conducted online and covering 20,000 people in 10 countries, the survey found that "super shoppers" accounting for only 13 percent of the combined population of these countries, spent on an average £1.58 trillion a month as compared with £145.5 billion spent by the rest of the population in 2015.

Such people weren't found only in developed countries like the United States but also in emerging markets such as Mexico and Brazil. China stood out for the buying power of its "super shoppers" who account for just five percent of the total population but contributed to 87 percent of the country's online shopping revenue.

This was largely attributed to the rise of China's affluent middle class and the willingness of its members to spend on e-commerce sites, according to Kok San Tang, vice president of business development for Worldpay China. WeChat and Alipay were also encouraging them to shop more, he said.

"The sheer convenience of being able to shop ... and then arrange the delivery for everything from clothes and taxis to take-away food with a few swipes of your phone is encouraging Chinese consumers to do all this more and more," he told China Daily over e-mail.

The survey said that 40 percent of Chinese "super shoppers" bought clothes online the last time they shopped as compared with a global average of 28 percent. For 12 months until March, 13 percent went online for food take-aways-the highest in the world. Leading the global adoption of mobile payment methods, 33 percent of them used mobile phones to shop.

"This puts China significantly ahead of the global curve in terms of using alternative payment methods, perhaps reflecting that the rapid adoption of smartphones has encouraged some Chinese consumers to go straight to mobiles," Tang said.

The survey showed Chinese consumers were conscious of their shopping experience and up to 60 percent could leave for another store if preferred payment methods didn't exist in the first.

"From the perspective of payment, the availability of their preferred alternative payment methods can sometimes determine if one deal can be successfully completed," Tang added.

To cater to this group, Chinese retailers not only should offer the right mix of payment methods but also optimize shopping over smartphones, which is important both for the younger generation and women, he said.

"Rethink the way you market and sell to an audience that considers online shopping a regular, daily task-rather than someone who shops online just once a month. Keep the experience quick, convenient and relevant."

Commenting on the survey, Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at IPSOS, a research and consulting firm headquartered in Paris, said in a news release: "This study is the latest evidence to confirm the emergence of the so-called online 'super shopper'.

"They are not synonymous with the superrich, however. They are passionate about what they buy and sophisticated in how they shop, taking the time and trouble to research the best products and find the most competitive prices available, relishing the process as well as the output," he added.

The study found that "super shoppers" tended to use their credit cards to shop much more than average consumers.

Hot Topics