Online shopping is one of China’s most beloved pastimes – literally! A recent KPMG survey found that 77% of Chinese consumers said that online shopping was their favorite leisure activity. Chinese consumers also spend more of their income online than consumers anywhere else across the globe, approximately three times as much as consumers in the US. Obviously, eCommerce is a big deal in China and if you sell online, it’s a great idea to market your product there. Exporting to China can bring huge gains for your business, particularly if you’re selling the type of product that young Chinese consumers love.
So, without further ado, here are the top 10 foreign products trending among Chinese consumers:
1 – Technology
Chinese consumers import a lot of foreign technology and electronics, making this a huge section of the Chinese eCommerce market. Apple is one of the ten most popular brands among Chinese millennials and many competitors rank highly too. Chinese consumers in their teens, twenties, and thirties are generally on the cutting edge of new technologies, including wearable tech, so these products tend to sell fast online.
2 – Fashion
Foreign fashion brands are extremely popular in China, particularly among younger consumers. In fact, non-Chinese fashion brands including Zara, Converse, and Uniqlo are some of the most popular brands for Chinese millennial and Gen-Z consumers. It is becoming increasingly normal to see international brands marketing their products via Chinese social media using Chinese celebrities and influencers, thanks to the booming popularity of foreign fashion brands among younger audiences.
3 – Sportswear
At the intersection of fashion and function is sportswear (often more stylishly described as “athleisure”) which is a beloved and prosperous foreign market. Younger Chinese consumers are buying sportswear online in droves, which is demonstrated well by the huge popularity of brands like Adidas and Nike in China. In fact, more than a quarter of sportswear purchases in China are made via eCommerce. Foreign brands are valued as being high quality and authentic, which explains the ever-increasing number of eCommerce sales of non-Chinese sneakers, yoga pants, and tracksuits.
4 – Food
Foreign food products tend to do well in China, and eCommerce is a great way to sell them. Young Chinese consumers have marked KFC out as one of their favorite brands from any industry, demonstrating the huge popularity of this market area. Fast food restaurants, fine dining, and individual food products from international brands are all very popular among younger consumers in China. Many young Chinese consumers are buying these products online, both individually and in the form of monthly subscription boxes.
5 – Beverages
It probably comes as no surprise that foreign beverages are well-loved in China too. Pepsi is a huge hit in China and is one of the most popular brands among local millennials. Imported wine is a big deal in China and Chinese millennials generally use the internet to find the best wine options, so this is a popular eCommerce import. China has a large market for beverages in general, with a wide variety of different flavors and styles, so foreign eCommerce businesses can successfully sell a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to Chinese consumers, particularly those who fall in the millennial and Gen-Z age bracket.
6 – Beauty
Young people in China are flocking towards foreign beauty brands. A large section of the market is taken up by Korean products, or K-beauty, and luxury beauty brands are popular too. That said, other international and non-luxury brands are still making good money selling into China via eCommerce. Perfume imports topped out at $257 million US dollars in 2017, lip and eye make up imports were worth $440 million and $131 million respectively, and other beauty and skincare imports, like sunscreen, were worth $5,131 million. Beauty eCommerce is a great entry point into the Chinese millennial and Gen-Z market.
7 – Jewelry
Luxury shopping is back in a big way in China thanks to the younger generation. Jewelry is one good example of this. Thanks to recent drops in jewelry import tax, foreign jewelry brands are set to do very well in China, with the share split among mid- to high-end luxury brands and more affordable fashion sellers. It seems that shoppers under forty are happy to pay more for quality jewelry while also purchasing many fashion pieces at lower prices. As a result, exporting jewelry to China can offer big gains for international businesses.
8 – Health supplements
Foreign health supplements generally sell very well in China. Products like vitamins and dietary supplements are commonplace and young Chinese people take these products very seriously. The Australian vitamin brand Blackmores recently doubled their full-year profits to a staggering $100 million after increasing their direct sales to China, and this increase will surely continue for other foreign suppliers in the health market.
9 – Baby formula
A decade ago, tainted baby formula led to the tragic deaths of six babies in China, and many more infants fell ill as a result. Despite heavy regulation following this incident, many Chinese parents are still wary of using Chinese infant formulas. Research by McKinsey and Co. found that over half of the people surveyed preferred to buy baby formula from foreign brands. Many parents still feel that it is better to be safe than sorry, which has led to huge growth in this specific area.
10 – Homeware
70% of Chinese millennials aged between 19 and 36 own their own homes. This is more than double the average rates in the US and UK, so it’s no surprise that homewares are extra popular among this young Chinese consumer base. Foreign furniture and decorative items are now in particularly high demand among younger buyers in China. This means that selling high-end home accessories into China can be a highly profitable business option for foreign eCommerce sellers.
Chinese millennials are leading the eCommerce market and foreign products are big business. These ten product areas are the most popular, focused primarily on quality products, luxury brands, tech, and aesthetics. If you want to export your product to China, our team at Floship can help you. Floship will help you to store and ship your products to China so your customers are always happy.
Are you planning to export to China? Contact us today to find out how we can help you.