Chinese consumers build connections with Australia and New Zealand

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Chinese consumers build connections with Australia and New Zealand

Related tags New zealand

As China’s total combined online cross-border e-commerce market reached an estimated RMB 626 bn (€83.8 bn) in 2016, consumers are choosing to make their online purchases from Australia and New Zealand.

Oceanic ties

Market intelligence agency, Mintel, revealed that New Zealand is a favourite for online Chinese shoppers when it comes to purchasing baby products, with 22% of those buying imported items doing so digitally. Australia also comes in at a close second choice; with 20% of Chinese buyers purchasing baby products.

In total, a third of Chinese consumers asked who have purchased imported goods, have bought these products online from Australia and New Zealand-based sellers.

Beauty and personal care ranges, in general, are a popular choice for Chinese shoppers, with 11% of those surveyed having bought imported goods from the Oceanic region.

Of the top online purchases from New Zealand, 9% of Chinese consumers have bought beauty and personal care products.

Promoting ethical lifestyles

Australia and New Zealand are the preferred choices, as they “both have reputations for their strong focus on natural ingredients”,​  said Laurel Gu, Research Director from Mintel at  Big Conversation in Sydney on 28th March 2017.  

“On top of product quality – something that is already associated with Australia and New Zealand – the key to grabbing Chinese consumers’ interest is convenience and customer service,”​ Gu added.

Rising disposable incomes

Today, Chinese shoppers are most likely to purchase imported products online. Of those asked, 73% of Chinese consumers had bought imported items from domestic shopping websites in the past six months, and 56% of those had purchased items in physical stores in mainland China.

“Along with rapid urbanisation and higher disposable income, Chinese consumers are now among some of the world’s biggest spenders,”​ added Gu.

“Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated while remaining influenced by the reputations of source countries,”​ Gu explained. “We see a lot of growth opportunity for brands in Australia and New Zealand to target Chinese consumers.”

Southeast Asian preference

Shortly behind the popularity of the Australian and New Zealand regions, the country’s neighbouring areas including South Korea and Japan are highly popular online shopping areas for Chinese consumers.

When it comes to purchasing beauty and personal care products, South Korea leads the way, with 45% of Chinese buyers opting to buy imported goods from the home of K-beauty.  

Building future relationships

Research director, Laurel Gu, emphasised how Chinese consumers are increasingly favouring Australia and New Zealand as their desired travel destinations, which “has resulted in Chinese consumers associating quality, safety and naturalness with the region”.

Mintel research reveals that 24% of Chinese consumers have previously visited Australia or New Zealand, while 30% intend to visit the area within the next year.  

As a result, “manufacturers from these two countries are now in the sweet spot to capitalise on this interest by targeting Chinese travellers and leveraging their power to help build brand awareness through, for example, word-of-mouth promotion,”​ Gu continued.

“Brands in Australia and New Zealand could consider selling their products via China’s leading domestic shopping websites, providing Chinese-language customer service, offering fast delivery services, as well as implementing the usage of third-party payment systems,”​ Gu concluded.

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