The Chinese customer journey

In recent years much has been said about the Chinese consumer, the explosive growth of the e-commerce market and how it is an interesting market with lots of opportunities. Yet, less is known about the Chinese consumer’s buying behaviour. How and why they buy, but also how their buying experience differs from our markets.

In the Western world, e-commerce has always revolved around making shopping more simple and efficient. When we use the internet for shopping our primary incentive for going online is the convenience it brings. It is faster than going to the store and does not consume as much time to get your items. For this reason, the way the customer journey is tracked and shaped in the West is focused on trying to make online shopping even more convenient. E-commerce companies do this by making their website as accessible and logical as possible in order to generate more and faster sales.

A happy online consumer.

In contrast, when you compare this to the Chinese market you will notice one big difference. The Chinese consumer craves a more immersive experience, instead of just being an easier alternative to offline shopping. The entire shopping experience is based on trying to entertain the consumer and creating that feeling of offering something ‘extra’. Because of this, the platforms are optimised in a way that they add more entertainment to the Chinese consumer’s shopping experience. Online shopping is in addition to being a solely pragmatic experience also a social happening. This unique way of approaching customers through the web is something e-commerce players in the West can learn a lot from.

An example of this is the way the Western search process is constructed and optimised as opposed to the Chinese search process. In the West, the optimisation is focused on making the search easier. The search engines are structured in such a way that whichever keywords you use will always lead you to your desired items. In turn making shopping faster and more convenient. On the Chinese e-commerce platforms, the optimisation is done by making the experience more immersive, to make online shopping a really fun and entertaining journey. One in which you might not know what you are looking for but are entertained and tempted into finding new products.

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