More than half of luxury consumers in China use their mobile devices to research high-end products, with more than half of them (58%) aged 18 to 30, according to new research from social media giant Tencent and Boston Consulting Group.

It predicts that China’s personal luxury goods market (including overseas purchases) will grow by 6 percent annually to reach $187bn by 2024 and that more than two-thirds (70%) of the growth of global luxury spend will come from China by the same year.

The study, based on surveys of 2,620 Chinese consumers who purchased luxury products over the past 12 months, also revealed that there is no one dominant platform for discovery in China, Jing Daily reported.

But social media platforms, branded online collateral (such as digital magazine or video content) and key online influencers all play an important role on the luxury path to purchase.

Chinese consumers are also younger than luxury shoppers in other countries, with an average age of 28 – ten years younger than the global average. And more than half of Chinese luxury shoppers are under 30-years-old, with about a quarter (26%) aged 18 to 20.

An estimated 12% of shoppers read about luxury brands from influencer posts on Chinese social media, but branded marketing properties are powerful too: 12% also engage with the social media platforms of specific luxury brands.

Meanwhile, 11% receive luxury information from brands’ official websites, apps and mini-programmes (a specific WeChat feature). Around 8% discover products through via brands’ digital advertising and 7% from third-party e-commerce sites.

While a large part of product discovery and research is carried out online, Chinese consumers still mostly prefer to make their luxury purchases offline and 58% of the survey’s respondents do this.

However, e-commerce customer experience remains crucial as the number of online transactions continues to grow at pace. About half of online sales are processed via China’s dominant e-commerce players, including Alibaba’s Tmall, Luxury Pavilion and’s TopLife.

Nearly a quarter of them go through a brand’s own online shopping portal, reflecting the popularity of owned media in the path to purchase, with social commerce via China’s biggest social media platforms making up 11% of all online transactions.

Sourced from Jing Daily, Asia Times; additional content by WARC staff