The ‘China Luxury Forecast 2023’ report, conducted jointly by Consumer Search Group and Ruder Finn, has been released, revealing consumer confidence across Mainland China and Hong Kong has surpassed pre-pandemic levels.
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Fifty-two percent of Mainland China respondents indicated they would increase spending on luxury items, well above the 44 percent figure from a pre-pandemic survey. In Hong Kong, 44 percent of respondents echoed the sentiment, with only 10 percent said they would choose to “spend less.”
The forecast is based on a survey conducted between December 2022 to January 2023, which polled 2,000 respondents across tiers 1, 2, and 3 cities in Mainland China, and 500 respondents in Hong Kong. Below, other key findings from the report.
Experiential luxury is increasingly coveted.
While high-end fashion remains a top purchase at 53 percent, following closely are luxury travel (52 percent) and fine dining (48 percent), suggesting consumers in Mainland China are not only interested in owning luxury – they also want to experience it.
Purchasing luxury goods online has increased significantly.
Online transactions are steadily increasing on the mainland, on par with spend at physical stores. Whereas respondents in Hong Kong revealed they are more likely to do their research online but make their luxury buys offline, consumers on the mainland said they favour the efficiency and convenience of e-commerce.
The top three channels shoppers trust are brands’ official websites (54 percent), JD.com (56 percent), and Tmall (53 percent).
New ways of engaging customers have emerged.
“Customer satisfaction with services provided under loyalty programs has remained consistently high over the years and continues to improve,” says Gao Ming, senior vice-president and managing director of Ruder Finn’s Greater China luxury practice.
Adds Ming, the most commonly received services under loyalty programs in mainland China and Hong Kong are birthday gifts and blessings. Personalised one-on-one live streaming and new product presentations are also increasingly popular in Mainland China.
In terms of influence, endorsement from local celebrities can increase purchase intentions in Mainland China and Taiwan – but key opinion leaders or KOLs are equally influential. And on the mainland, brand recall is strongest from brand websites, followed by branded social media accounts and social platforms.
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National pride is on the rise.
Pride in their own culture is growing among consumers, and this patriotic wave could impact purchasing decisions for shoppers. Ming says, “Brands can create more diversified value for Chinese consumers through the proper application of limited-edition Chinese elements, as 78 percent of mainland respondents and 59 percent of Hong Kong respondents agreed that it is important to embed Chinese elements in luxury products or services.”