BEIJING: Well-educated, younger consumers will be the main target group for Amazon China as it seeks to expand its foothold in the country, especially in tier II and tier III cities, the US internet giant has revealed.

In a recent briefing about consumer trends it had identified in 2014 and its predictions for online shopping in 2015, Amazon noted that 80% of online consumers in China are aged under 35 and more than 90% are educated to at least university level.

The company also said 40% have a monthly income of more than 5,000 yuan (about $815) and that almost two-thirds (65%) of its total sales come from second and third-tier cities, IGD Retail Analysis reported.

As it seeks to build on this base, Amazon said it would improve its innovation and localisation in China, supported by increased investment in advertising, logistics and staff training.

Sales traffic derived from social media increased 35% last year, Amazon said, and this contributed to 81% overall sales growth. The peak shopping times for Chinese mobile shoppers were between 11am and 1pm, and 8pm to 11pm.

Turning to what it expected to be the top five "hotspots" of online shopping in China in 2015, Amazon identified smart digital devices, health products, fashion, overseas shopping and entertainment.

The number of smart digital devices sold on Amazon China increased 33 times in 2014, particularly smart bracelets, smart watches and smart Bluetooth devices.

With the country plagued by poor air quality, Chinese consumers boosted sales of air purifiers by 50% last year while monthly sales of masks increased a huge 336%.

Fashion is likely to continue its online popularity this year as the number of international fashion brands on its site increased almost a third (30%) in 2014 while sales of 55 exclusive international fashion brands grew 17 times.

Finally, the company expected Chinese consumers to conduct more of their online shopping directly from overseas, especially from the major cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou. Sales of new media and popular Chinese TV dramas also will feature highly this year.

Data sourced from IGD Retail Analysis; additional content by Warc staff