China is one of the most digitally advanced markets in the world, and a rich trove of consumer data offers exciting marketing opportunities for brands both online and offline.

E-commerce will increase from 23% to 31% of purchases in China by 2020 and is expected to reach over 15 trillion RMB in sales by 2022, according to data from Boston Consulting Group released at the eCommerce Accelerator event run by Edge, an Ascential company, in Shanghai recently.

Delegates heard that, with e-commerce now a non-negotiable sales channel for many consumer brands in China, most consumer-facing advertisers in the world’s largest consumer market are now also in a position to use this data to create massive CRM databases.

This will allow for sophisticated consumer modelling, deeper insights and more effective marketing. (For more, read WARC’s report: China’s data-rich online platforms offer opportunities.)

China is now extremely data-rich after social media made deep in-roads among Chinese consumers, with Chinese players Toutiao, Weibo and WeChat offering a wealth of consumer insights.

In addition, there is richer data available across all first, second and third party sources. And more than 70% of purchases in China can be captured by CRM, with data elements such as ID activatable directly by publishers, revealed Josh Ding, principal at Boston Consulting Group.

The consumer purchase journey in China – involving discovery, research, purchase, payment, delivery and after-sales – is increasingly intertwined across offline and online activities.

Furthermore, the average consumer typically hits seven different touch points before the final decision is made, which is forcing brands to pay more attention to omnichannel brand experiences to capture consumers with a huge number of shopping options.

This is particularly the case for the retail category, where customers bounce between online and offline platforms at all points of the customer journey.

BCG’s consumer survey and analysis for consumer’s purchase pathway for apparel, for example, shows that 93% of purchase behaviours are digitally influenced, making digital platforms more critical than ever for brands operating within the category.

Sourced from WARC