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Chinese consumers prefer experience and lifestyle expenditure

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A problem as old as humanity has been solved. We all need to know how we look with a full face of make-up; but we are too lazy to apply it. L'Oréal's Makeup Genius app allows users to try different looks without getting messy. Among the most enthusiastic adopters of this breakthrough? The Chinese.                  

一个自人类诞生以来就有的问题解决了。我们都想知道我们上完妆的脸会是什么样子;但我们又懒得化妆。欧莱雅(L'Oréal)的一款应用——"千妆魔镜"(Makeup Genius)让用户不必把脸画得乱七八糟就可以尝试不同妆容。哪些人最热衷于使用这项突破性技术?中国人就是其中之一。


This is not the only area where the Chinese shopper is leading. In 2013, China's ecommerce market overtook that of the US, according to a PwC and EIU report, and more than half of China's internet shoppers are now mobile. Yet overall retail growth has been slowing, and even ecommerce bellwether, US-listed Alibaba, is showing the strain. This week the company cut its top line outlook for the coming quarter, saying that the total value of goods sold will only grow in the mid-single digits.        



It is tempting to interpret Alibaba's caution as a sign of broader malaise. It could, however, be that e-consumers' tastes are simply changing. Chinese millennials, those born since the 1980s, are particularly influential in this regard — and this influence will grow. Those aged 16 to 35 make up nearly a third of China's population. They outnumber the same cohort in the US by five times. Although they command less aggregate spending power than their US peers, Goldman Sachs estimates that over the next decade the income of this group will grow by $3tn.      

阿里巴巴的谨慎很容易被解读为一种更大范围内出现问题的征兆。然而,问题也可能只是网购者的口味在变化。上世纪80年代后出生的中国千禧一代在这方面格外有影响力——而且这种影响力还将继续上升。中国16岁到35岁的人占总人口的近三分之一,数量是美国同代人的5倍。尽管他们的总支出能力不如美国的同龄人,但高盛(Goldman Sachs)预测,下一个十年中国这一群体的收入将增长3万亿美元。


They are not buying the same items as their parents. More young Chinese choose experience and lifestyle expenditure over tangible status goods; travel and entertainment, for instance, are increasingly popular. Expenditure on "fun" is still less than a tenth of total outlay, compared with around a sixth in the US and Japan. This suggests that companies such as US-listed online travel companies Ctrip and Qunar and mall developer Dalian Wanda — which emphasises entertainment in its shopping centres — stand to benefit. L'Oréal should, too: on a night out, virtual make-up is no substitute for the real thing. 

他们和他们的父母买的东西不一样。中国年轻人更爱把钱花在体验和生活方式方面,而不是购买彰显地位的有形产品;比如,旅游和娱乐正变得越来越受欢迎。该人群在"乐趣"方面的开支依然不到总开支的十分之一,而在美国和日本,这个比例约为六分之一。这表明,在美国上市的在线旅游公司携程(Ctrip)、去哪儿(Qunar)以及在开发购物中心方面重视娱乐体验的开发商大连万达(Dalian Wanda)等公司,很可能会获益于这股潮流。欧莱雅也应该会获益:在外出的夜晚,虚拟化妆可没法替代真正的。


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