China leads shopping revolution

12 June 2014
SHANGHAI: Chinese consumers are more open than the rest of the world to new shopping options made possible by data and technology according to a new report.

The Truth About Shopping study, from McCann Worldgroup's consumer intelligence unit, was based on a survey of over 10,000 people in 11 countries (Brazil, Chile, China, Mexico, France, India, South Africa, Spain, the UAE, UK and US) supplemented by additional qualitative research in these and other countries.

This found that Chinese shoppers tended to be enthusiastic to a greater degree about the promise of mobile, online and shopping technology – the "science fiction" element.

While Chinese consumers and 71% of consumers globally worried about the amount of information that online stores know about them, Chinese consumers tended to be more focused on the benefits that sharing their data would bring.

So, for example, 47% of people globally said they could see themselves potentially using fingerprints or retina scans as payment authentication in the future but this figure rose to 57% in China. And among the countries studied, China ranked among the highest in embracing wearable technology as a form of payment.

The report suggested that because of the rapid and massive changes in China over the past 25 years, consumers there were less inclined to distinguish between old forms of store shopping and new blends of online and in-store experiences. Young women, for example, are more inclined to go online for beauty tips than to ask their mothers.

Chinese consumers had also enthusiastically embraced a new mobile-based shopping etiquette, which has made it acceptable for many people around the world to shop in the middle of dinner.

This merger of mobile commerce and new shopping "manners" catered especially well to Chinese shopper attitudes, said McCann, which embrace impulsive purchases that can be made spontaneously, and quite literally "at the touch of their fingertips".

Additionally, the Truth Central study found that more than half of Chinese shoppers said they trusted online stores with their credit card details more than they did their friends or even their children. The study said this reflected the high level of trust that Chinese consumers have in brands and services, as well as their passion for both shopping and technology.

Data sourced from McCann Truth; additional content by Warc staff
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