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Chinese mobile shoppers want convenience, peer recommendations: study

July 3, 2013

Making the right call

Making the right call

A whopping 84 percent of Chinese consumers show a higher tendency to buy a product from their mobile device if it has a favorable online review, according to a new study from Draftfcb China.

Draftfcb’s China Mobile Shopper study looks at the growing opportunities for marketers to tap into Chinese consumers via mobile because consumers find it convenient. In contrast to the 84 percent of Chinese consumers who were influenced by an online review, only 66 percent of the average global consumer group said the same.

“[The] biggest piece of advice for marketers in China: mobile is the behavior and technology to leverage in China for brands and retailers,” said Janet Rose, senior vice president and group director of strategic planning at Draftfcb, Chicago.

“Mobile should be the first lens through which marketers think since it is a key part of Chinese consumer identity,” she said.

Mobile opportunity
The report found that 57 percent of Chinese consumers would buy anything via their mobile devices. This is slightly higher than the 49 percent of global consumers who replied with the same answer.

In addition to a greater desire to buy more products, Chinese consumers also devour more content than the average mobile users.

In fact, the average mobile user in China uses their device to access 4.9 activities. That number drops in the United States to 4.7 activities and 4.4 activities in India.

Chinese consumers are also looking at popular categories that marketers want to leverage mobile with. such as groceries, clothing, health and beauty and casual dining and fast food.

The study also points to Chinese consumers as being comfortable while interacting with content from their mobile devices. Sixty-seven percent of consumers in the study said that looking at products on their mobile devices was just as satisfying as seeing them in a store.

According to the report, marketers who embrace mobile in China have the opportunity to double or triple mobile sales in the short-term.

Additionally, marketers should be using mobile for both acquisition purposes as well as driving incremental revenue.

“Our study shows that both sales and loyalty are opportunities for marketers in China,” Ms. Rose said.

“Since the consumer in China tends to see the world through their mobile devices, both are areas of opportunity,” she said.

New access
One of the largest problems for marketers in China traditionally has been finding new ways to reach all of the country’s citizens – many of whom live outside of main cities.

However, mobile makes shopping more accessible and always-on to these consumers.

In particular, it is consumers in Gen Y who live outside of top-tier cities that are embracing mobile shopping, per the report.

To some extent, mobile is replacing customer service and the role of sales associates for Chinese consumers.

In fact, 77 percent of Chinese consumers in the study said that mobile removes the hassle of speaking to a salesperson in-store. Sixty-six percent of global consumers said the same.

Furthermore, reviews play a critical role in persuading a consumer to shop from their mobile devices.

A whopping 84 percent of consumers show a higher tendency to buy a product from their handset if it has a favorable online review. These consumers also citied convenience as more important than price in the purchase decision.

Only 66 percent of the global average consumer said the same, pointing to the need for retailers to personalize and customize the shopping experience across mobile sites and applications.

“Because of mobile’s critical role in consumer identity and behavior in China, we expect its impact to continue to grow,” Ms. Rose said.

“As Chinese consumers become even more mobile-proficient and mobile technology-enabled, we expect China to play a significant leadership role in shaping mobile shopper and mobile consumer,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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