During the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey conducted by Kagan there has been an acceleration of already existing digital trends in China including; over-the-top video viewings, social media such as WeChat and Weibo as well as e-commerce usage. As a result, there are an increasing number of Chinese retailers aligning their digital efforts towards growing customer demands.
A summary of the insights obtained from the survey
- Live TV, video watching increased: 67% of adult internet users in China reported spending more time watching live TV during the COVID-19 crisis while 56% spent more time watching OTT video.
- iQiyi along with Tencent Video remained most popular in OTT video
- There seems less willingness to return to cinemas as only 16% of respondents were keen to spend again on movie theatres immediately after lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.
Social Media, Super Apps
- Social media use increased: 66% of adult internet users in China reported spending more time on social media.
- WeChat (97%) and Alipay (95%) were the most popular one-stop apps that offer multiple services through mini-apps.
- Mobile payments emerged as the most popular activity among super app users (87%), followed by booking services such as grooming, pet services, medical appointment, etc. (78%).
- 66% of respondents reported that they spent more time shopping online.
- 68% of respondents used their smartphones for e-commerce activities in the past three months, an increase of 55% from 2018.
5G and other new technologies
- 93% of internet users in China expressed an interest in replacing their internet service with a 5G network.
- 76% of respondents expressed concerns about their personal data being collected and compromised through IoT connections. This follows a general trend of Chinese consumers becoming more aware of how their data is being used.
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In order to fulfil and retain consumers in the offline retail sector it’s ever more imperative to provide a digital service to engage with a Chinese consumer who has a greater appetite for convenience, immersive experiences and new technology.