In-depth Analysis of the Changes in the Chinese Consumer Market

Date: 2021-08-06 Compiler:

Recently, DT Finance and China Business Data Center (CBNData) released the Portrait of Young Consumer. The report takes the post-90s as the main research object, studies the changes in the consumption habits of young people, why young people buy, what influences the decision-making of young consumers, and how young people view brands.
According to the survey of the 2020 China Pet Industry White Paper, the post-90s generation is already the largest group of pet owners. At present and in the next ten years, this group will be the main force in the pet consumer market.
Consumption concept: practicality, value, cultural identity
According to the Consumer Portrait, the most concerned factor during purchase is need of the product, which 93% of the consumers think highly of. 49.7% of the consumers consider to purchase high cost-effectiveness products. The Consumer Portrait shows that young people have a trend of backing to the nature of products and service.
Contrary to the stereotype, consumerism is not prevalent among young people,some even express clear opposition against it. In the meanwhile, the factors that might have affected young consumers' attention such as friends’ advice or recommendation is gradually less affected.
The current anti-consumerism of young people cannot simply be equated with the pursuit of practicality. In addition to material needs, spiritual satisfaction is also a factor of their concern. The Consumer Portrait shows that 30.8% of consumers will still spend more money on good appearance. Brand and characteristics can also take money out of consumers’ pocket. Young consumers obtain happiness through purchase, which is the reason behind consumer behavior.
Among the influencing factors that cause consumers to repurchase, good quality of the products and laziness of the consumer are the two key factors. 77.6% of consumers will repurchase because of good sense of use, and 56.4% of consumers will repurchase simply because they are too lazy to select again. In addition, good quality, high cost performance, and large discounts also affects repurchase.
Overall, consumers pay more attention to their own feelings during purchase rather than others opinion. Only 3.2% of consumers believe that the approval of the people around them will affect repurchase decisions, and 1.6% of the consumer is influenced by a favorite celebrity endorsement.
Cultural Identity
Most young people are tired of labeling themselves with consumption. The Consumer Portrait shows that demonstrating individuality through purchase only ranks No.5 of the influencing factors.
Compared with individuality, young consumers are more concerned about cultural identity and the resulting social circle. The analysis believes that by purchasing the same product, strangers will reach mutual recognition, share knowledge and experience on social media, offline activities, online platforms, etc., to form a community of same interests.
Regarding the cultural identity of young consumers, since young people’s consumption of brands comes from social interaction, the purpose is also to socialize. Young people are more inclined to get connected with people who have the same values, attitudes and hobbies. Different social groups form specific social and consumer circles. Moreover, the smaller the circle, the stronger the closeness of young people.
Consumer decision: Spontaneous feedback from real users is the most important
Although there are more and more channels for obtaining information, the factors that can influence consumers to really like a product have hardly changed. The Consumer Portrait shows that from the post-80s to post-00s, friend recommendation is the primary channel for concerning to purchase. Regarding the choice of purchase, e-commerce platforms are the second most important channels for the post-80s and post-00s when making purchase, yet KOL recommendations have not entered the top five channels.
The Consumer Portrait shows that more than 95% of young people will do background check before consumption, which is enough to prove that young people are becoming rational in shopping. However, as the channels for obtaining information become more abundant, young people also show different characteristics in the choice of channels for reviews.
Among the post-80s and post-85s, searching engine is where they look for reviews, among the post-90s, post-95s and 00s, the highest ranking channel is social media, for example, Xiaohongshu and Weibo. Video platforms are especially popular among post-00s, which 43.3% of them use Bilibili, TikTok and other video platforms.
Brand recognition: technology determines loyalty
The younger the consumers are, the less they care about the big brand concept. Among the post-85s respondents, 20.5% of consumers think it is not worth spending more money on big brands, 25.5% of post-90s agree on this concept while this figure rises to 29.8% among post-95s, reaches to 32.3% among post-00s. This trend shows that young people's consumption structure has changed rapidly.
In terms of brand loyalty, according to the survey, consumers have relatively high brand loyalty to products with certain technical thresholds such as 3C digital, beauty and personal care, while shows relatively low brand loyalty to low technical thresholds products in FMCG.
This trend is also confirmed in the 2020 China Pet Industry White Paper. According to the White Paper, 67.7% and 55.3% of the respondents in pet toys and leash categories respectively, chose not to pay attention to brand attributes. In the survey of consumers’ preference for cat litter brands, N1 ranked first with only 11.6% consumer loyalty rate. In contrast, Petkit and Mi reached 38% and 26% respectively in the ranking of smart product brands, and they have the highest concentration in each category of pet products.
Many pet brands have also begun marketing with celebrities. However, despite the decline in brand loyalty of pet owners, from the Consumer Portrait and White Paper, providing products with higher technical barriers is still the most effective means to increase brand loyalty.
The changes in consumer structure and consumer behavior affect branding and R&D. During CIPS, there will be concurrent events that offer methodology of coping with the changing situation, such as CIPS Design Corner, The 9th China Pet Distributors and E-commerce Conference, the 2nd E-commerce Training Camp, etc. CIPS as only b2b show to enter Chinese market, will guide you through the changing market.
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Contact: Ms. Meadow Zhang, Ms. Lisa Pang