Chinese shoppers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and affluent, and the type of products and services sought by Chinese consumers is changing. Services are forecast to overtake goods as the drivers of urban consumption growth, with an 11% increase annually through 2020, accounting for 51% of all growth in urban consumption compared to the annual growth of physical goods at 8%. Premium products and services will dominate, particularly those associated with wellbeing such as health foods and supplements, travel, education and real estate. Australian products in China are in demand.
Health Foods & Supplements
Data from Sogou (one of China’s largest search engines) shows that online searches in 2015 for Australian and New Zealand health supplements increased by 232% and milk products increased by 95%, compared with 2014.
Brands such as Blackmores (health supplements) and Bellamy’s Organic (milk) are popular products in China, with consumers searching directly for brand and product names resulting in a significant search volume. A decrease in search volume for brands such as Karicare, Nature’s Own and Pinnacle is likely due to proactive marketing activity by other brands, more effectively targeting Chinese consumers. Data from Sogou shows that online searches in 2015 for Australian and New Zealand health supplements increased by 232% and milk products increased by 95%, compared with 2014.
Figures from Austrade show that China is in the top five countries for visitors to Australia, with Chinese tourists spending A$8. 3 billion in 2015 - 23% of the total trip spend for international visitors. There were 1.02 million Chinese visitors to Australia in 2015, a 21.9% increase from 2014.
The number of searches for travel to Australia increased by 201% year on year in 2015.
This is also reflected in data from Sogou, revealing Australia was the most popular long-haul destination for Chinese travellers. The number of searches for travel to Australia increased by 201% year on year in 2015, compared with 35% for the US and 17% for Europe.
Sogou data insights also reveal that in researching Australia as a travel destination online, Chinese consumers focus on the reputation, convenience of transportation and the relative price of the destination compared to the US.
Australia is one of the top destinations for Chinese wanting to invest in offshore real estate. Figures from the Foreign Investment Review Board of Australia show China was the largest source country for real estate investment in Australia in the 2014 financial year, contributing A$27.7 billion in proposed investment. Australia is one of the top destinations for Chinese wanting to invest in offshore real estate.
Data from Sogou also demonstrates a Chinese preference for Australian real estate, with the number of searches in 2015 being 17% higher than for the US, four times (417%) higher than Canada and eight times (830%) higher than the UK.
Education is another growing area for Australia, with China the number one source country for Australian universities, accounting for 36% of international student enrolments in higher education. Australia also had the largest increase in Chinese online searches for overseas education in 2015. Sogou data shows the search volume for Australian universities rose by 33% year on year in 2015, compared with 9% for the US and 19% for both the UK and New Zealand.
Australia also had the largest increase in Chinese online searches for overseas education in 2015.
China’s interest in Australian premium products and services is clearly on the rise. Effectively targeting Chinese consumers with proactive marketing activity is essential for businesses who want to tap into this growth.