E-Commerce consumption habits in the food industry in China

A glimpse into the shopping habits of Chinese consumers

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As we are the most visible online marketing agency in China, our team of experts is perfectly skilled to answer any of your needs ! We have been following all the latest trends in E-commerce in China. We also developed several case studies, you can check some of them below


The digital market

In the past years, Chinese food shopping habits have changed and evolved dramatically. Nowadays a company willing to enter the Chinese market must be able to understand how Chinese buy and which channel are their favorite if they want to be successful. Understanding the preferences and mindset of consumer groups is crucial to successfully expanding a food brand into China and here are the key points to better understand it. Internet is nowadays the main source of information when it comes to check food brands information. According to a recent study which focus on the Chinese consumers food consumption, Internet is the main source of information when a customer is looking for information on a food brand. Without any surprise, nearby two third of the respondents said that they check on Baidu. Then for 20% of the respondents, friends and relatives are the second favorite source of information. In third position we have the social media which account for 9%. Curiously, age doesn’t create a real difference in term of results. The biggest difference concerns the friend circle. The youngest generation and people aged between 25 and 34 are the more inclined to use other’s feedback to check food brands. They are the one who consider the most their friend circle and social media.

USA and France take the lead

These two countries are seen as those with the best reputation for exported food. Then, there’re hardly anything to choose between Japan and Italy. Dairy products and snacks are the 2 kind of imported products the most purchased by Chinese consumers. More than half of respondents who buy imported food buy at least one of these 2 items. 60% of respondents who buy imported food do so online. Why do they prefer to buy online? Because it’s more convenient for 70% of them and because they can find better prices than in an offline shop. Friends and family recommendations as well as online information are for 67% of the panel a motivation to buy imported food online. Then, the conclusion of this study is very obvious; if you want to be able to reach the Chinese customers you can’t give Internet a miss both for communication and sales.



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How do Chinese consumers purchases food nowadays?

94 % of the panel has already purchase food online. Tmall, JD and Yihaodian are the favorite online platforms used to buy food. The corporate brand’s website arrive at the fifth position. Nearly 9 out of 10 respondents trust food safety purchased on ecommerce platforms.

What about the imported food purchases?

More than 85% of the respondents buy imported food. People above 45 are the most timorous when it comes to buy this category of products. 72% are used to buy imported food whereas they are 91% between the age of 35 and 44 years old. Imported food is bought by 74% of the respondents as a gift.

What are the important criteria’s for Chinese to buy imported food?

Safety is the most important criteria for 80% of the panel. In fact, for a country shacked many times by food scandals it’s not a surprise at all. Thus, brands shouldn’t overlook safety messages when promoting their products in China. Quality reach the second position and is seen as an important buying trigger for 66% of the panel, while 2 respondents out of 3 who buy imported food are impacted by the brand. For the years to come, the demand for high quality products and particularly among younger generations, will for sure present huge opportunities for companies.