Shopping trends in China: Gen Z exhibits rational buying behavior

Generation Z, people born between 1995 and 2009, is now the major engine of consumption growth in China. A new report on Chinese Gen-Z shopping Trends by an e-Commerce platform suggests that this Younger generation embraces Rational consumption ideas and holds clear personal Preferences when shopping online and offline.

Data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the size of Gen Z in China reached 260 million in 2020, accounting for 19 percent of the total population. Their expenditure was over 4 trillion yuan ($ 600 billion), accounting for 13 percent of the total household expenditure in the country.

Renee Ou, manager of Huirun Mall in south China’s Guangzhou City, told CGTN in an interview that it is very obvious that young customers have started focusing on product quality and price in recent years. “They have become Rational for sure. As for offline consumption, these customers are smarter in dealing with budget and price performance,” she said.

“Under the impact of the Pandemic, young people care about the household finance. They cook themselves more frequently, and prefer to take away the leftovers when dining out, based on my observation,” she added.

In a survey of 2,100 people conducted in April by a Chinese group-buying site in Meituan, over 70 percent of respondents agreed that they would take “useful” into account first when buying, then consider “living support” and “mental needs” traits. Given the impact of the Pandemic, young customers practice more of their Gen Z-style buying behaviors, such as the purchase of sample-size products and group buying on social media.

Jiang Yan, a 20-year-old employee at a retail company, said she has her own “Purchasing Standards.” “I won’t buy food past its expiration date, even if just close to that date. But I like to buy sampling beauty products, because I have more choices after trying different brands. The lower price gives me more choices,” she said. .

The Chinese youth no longer favor conspicuous consumption. Uniqueness, style and quality are the factors they would consider when buying. They are influencing the consumption market to a large degree, while they harness the Purchasing power in a more Rational and personal continent.

According to the NBS, the final consumption contributed 69.4 percent to the expansion in the Gross domestic product, which increased by 4.8 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2022. Retail sales of consumer goods went up 3.3 percent year on year in the same period.

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