Women lead China's affluent market

6 October 2014

SINGAPORE: The typical affluent consumer in China is likely to be young, female and employed in a high-ranking business position, according to a study which compares a week in the life of well-off consumers in four Asian markets with those in the US.

Agility Research & Strategy's Syndicated Study, Affluent Insights 2014, looked at the demographics and behaviours of affluent consumers in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and the US.

These were more likely to be women in China (54%) and Hong Kong (58%), while men edged ahead in the US (51%), Singapore (56%) and Indonesia (56%). And while women in mainland China tended to be business oriented, those in Hong Kong were more likely to be professionals, such as doctors, lawyers or engineers.

The study highlighted the shopping research and brand preferences of the typical affluent consumer in each market as well as their holiday destinations and favourite hotels.

Thus, for example, an affluent Chinese woman largely shares the same research channels as an affluent Hong Kong woman when looking for watches, including shopping malls and product reviews, but where online video is a third popular channel in China, magazines are more important in Hong Kong.

The differences are more evident when it comes to the choice of online shopping sites, where there was no crossover in the top five. For China these were: Asos.com, AlexanderMcQueen.com, DVF.com, Shopbop.com and Brownsfashion.com.

In Hong Kong, however, the top five were Prada.com, BodenUSA.com, Gilt.com, Balenciaga.com and Style.com.

Holiday destinations were mostly the same for each – Paris, Seoul, Tokyo and London being particularly popular – as were the hotels chosen when they arrived: Shangri-La, Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Marriott and Four Seasons.

In several senses the typical affluent Indonesian – a young, male entrepreneur – had much in common with a woman from Hong Kong. In addition to both using malls, magazines and television when researching jewellery, the Indonesian man also used many of the same websites when shopping, including Prada.com and Balenciaga.com.

Data sourced from Agility Research; additional content by Warc staff