China’s Gen Z consumers demonstrate highly personalized online shopping habits

(People's Daily Online) 15:53, March 07, 2022

As a generation of Internet natives, China’s Gen Z, a typical consumer group consisting of youngsters born during the period between 1995 and 2009, has come to demonstrate a number of personalized online shopping habits in recent years.

People make a selection from a variety of “mystery” boxes inside a shop on the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street in Shanghai. (People’s Daily Online/Wang Chu)

Gen Zers will typically look to social media for product recommendations and compare deals to see which e-commerce platform offers the best price. However, that doesn’t mean that they will always blindly follow trends. Instead, they make rational consumption decisions to select suitable products.

“Before purchasing products, I will read professional product reviews from bloggers on social media platforms such as Weibo and Xiaohongshu,” said Wang Sha, a 24-year-old postgraduate student at the China Agricultural University.

Wang said although she follows some beauty and fashion bloggers, she will take into full consideration her own conditions, such as skin type, stature and personal style, before making a purchase. “I am rational when it comes to spending,” Wang added.

According to a recent industry report on Gen Z’s online consumption, over 70 percent of young people tend to get their information about brands through reviews and recommendations posted by bloggers on “we media” platforms.

Meanwhile, integration of purchases and socializing is another feature of Gen Z’s consumption. The report showed that more than 62 percent of young people like to recommend their favored brands to their friends.

Gen Z consumers prefer custom-made and exclusive products and services as they pay comparatively more attention to individuality, cultural values and the creativity of products and services, said Li Yongjian, a researcher at the National Academy of Economic Strategy under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Li added that Gen Zers are usually willing to spend money on meeting their social needs, individualized experiences and interests. Experts said that Gen Z consumers make purchases to make a personal statement about who they are.

Driven by the increasing purchasing power of young people, they prefer high-quality products and online customer services. “We make purchases for quality products rather than for marketing or advertisements,” said Li Siwen, a junior student at Renmin University of China. Besides, 46.3 percent of young people in China hold the view that comprehensive, thoughtful and accessible services are an indispensable part of the shopping process, as the report showed.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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