China Insights

10 trends of urban Chinese consumers in 2017

Sandy Chen

Senior Research Director, Kantar TNS

Shoppers 14.12.2016 / 09:30

Kantar TNS consumer trends 2 col

Kantar TNS 2017 consumer trend report lists 10 fundamental changes that are happening among urban Chinese consumers.

Despite the commonly sensed gloomy economic outlook, evidence has shown that Chinese consumer confidence remains resilient. As wages continue to rise, urbanization furthered and unemployment rate kept under guard, Chinese consumers are still willing to spend and continue to unleash their spending power. However, how consumers spend and why they are spending have undergone significant changes in recent years.

Based on its extensive interactions with consumers from all over China and clients with a variety of background, Kantar TNS has launched 2017 new urban Chinese consumer trend report, identifying 10 trends about urban Chinese consumers:

I. Trends fuelled by the shift in value and psychology of consumers:

1. Something for “me” - The new consumer is not going to settle with something every “common people” use, but something unique to set her/him apart from others.

2. Small Contentment - Self-defined happiness takes over traditional definition of success (i.e., wealth and status) and becomes people’s new pursuit.

3. Self Pampering - Modern lifestyle and western value is affecting how Chinese consumers see her/himself in relation to her/his family and the social world. Although family and social obligations are important, one’s own needs should also be taken good care of.

4. Show Time - The sense of “self” is manifested by Chinese consumers’ strong desire to be visible on social media. Behind the obvious motive to show difference, also lies the desire for social approval.

II. Emerging trends as a result of consumer lifestyle evolves:

5. Health+ - A new level of consciousness on health and well-being unfolds. This is reflected in the basic necessities of life (e.g. clothing, food, shelter and transportation, etc.), from physical health to holistic view of body, mind and soul.

6. Buy Time - Time scarceness has always been a pain point for today’s consumers. Consumers are willing to buy time to free themselves from the boring and repetitive chores for hobbies/favourite activities.

7. Omnipresent Shoppers - Chinese consumers are now global shoppers and are able to shop anywhere whenever they want.

III. Trends evolved with the changing demographical structure

8. A different kind of youth - This generation of youth (90s/00s as referring to people born in 1990s and 2000s) is more diversified and digital native. Their views and knowledge are greatly shaped by the Internet world.

9. Single Nobles - Modern lifestyle, rising individual earning, and open social views foster the growing number of single nobles in higher tier cities. This group of “rich, idle and happy” single nobles has "the freedom to choose for my own and choose as I want.”

10. New definition of “aging”- People who were born in the 1960s are about to enter their retirement age. This segment of consumers have a greater level of confidence than their previous generations, financially, physically and psychologically.

These trends manifest that Chinese consumers now have unprecedented power to shape brands as they become more confident individuals. The rise of ecommerce and social media are increasingly important facilitators of the change. All of these have posed infinite opportunities and bigger challenges alike to marketers. Only when brands accurately capture the pulse of the new consumers can they weather the competition in this huge and ever-changing Chinese market.

Kantar TNS is expected to release more contents from this report. Please stay tuned by subscribing to our newsletter.

Source: Kantar TNS

Editor's notes

* About Kantar TNS Consumer Trend Report 2017

Kantar TNS captures the recent market dynamics and distils them into 10 trends based on its extensive interactions with consumers from all over China and clients with a variety of background. With real-life case analysis, the report offers brands clear guidance in fully leveraging these trends;

* To reach the author, or to know more information, data and analysis of China's consumer insights, please contact us.

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