Changes in Consumer Behavior: The Impact of Social Media in China

Social media has taken the world by a storm with China leading the global social network market with almost 725 million Chinese internet users that have access to these networking platforms.

With Chinese consumers spending an average of 27 hours on the internet each week, it is estimated that the digital economy of China will flourish in the coming years.

Here’s how the emergence of social media platforms and digital markets has impacted the behavior of local consumers.

Social Media Takeover

We’ve already established that China is the top user of social networking sites in the world. Ironically, internationally-acclaimed social media platforms like Facebook Twitter and YouTube are blocked in the country.

It is a security measure taken by the government to protect sensitive information from crossing borders. Most of the population relies on VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to get access to these blocked sites.

Local social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo have taken over the digital space and greatly influenced Chinese consumers. Statistics show that up to 902 million users logged onto their WeChat accounts daily in September 2017.

It presents a big opportunity for local and international brands to capitalize on the digital connectivity of the locals. Using Chinese stars and idols has shown to boost the fan economy where locals are easily swayed by celebrity endorsements and rush to purchase goods and services that achieve a significant social buzz.

This is supported by the fact that a famous fashion blogger, Becky Li, was able to sell 100 Mini Coopers cars in under five minutes through her influence on WeChat.

The Trend of Online Shopping

Chinese consumers are shifting towards online shopping as e-commerce boosts the economy in the right direction.

Brands can use digital advertising strategies to capture the current estimated 700 million online shoppers who are expected to increase to 900 million in the year 2022.

Local consumers have revealed that they like the option of shopping from home, at their convenience. They appreciate online sales and promotions; and prefer comparing prices to choose the best bargain.

The Ease of Electronic Payments

The Chinese population is ready to embrace internet payment services as seen by the 46 million electronic red envelopes sent to friends and families as monetary gifts on the 2017 Lunar New Year.

Local consumers actively use mobile payments to pay for online shopping even though there is a great concern for secure transactions. They are seeking short-term loans and unique payment plans offered by e-commerce websites to shop during holiday sales.

Increasing Trust in Digital Advertising

The rise in the digital economy shows widespread adoption of internet technology and e-commerce websites in China. About 62 billion US dollars were spent on digital advertising in China this year alone. This expenditure is estimated to increase to 108 billion US dollars by 2022.

Brands understand that they can attract consumers through compelling and engaging content that will influence them to purchase goods and services. It is up to international brands to come up with well-researched market strategies to capture the interests of specific market demographics.

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LIMPID provides Chinese language translations and internet services to more than 50 cities worldwide. Contact them today and step into the Chinese market with expert services including e-commerce translation, software localization, Chinese voice-over translation, and mobile app localization.

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