Eye on AsiaHong Kong is one of the most famous shopping havens in the world. Every holiday, shops selling luxurious products and gold are bursting with groups of special Asian customers. Their countrified clothing and impolite behaviors now has become their strong economic strength. Data from the Wall Street Journal in 2008 has proved these customers’ amazing purchasing power. Who are these customers? Why, shoppers from mainland China.

Eye on AsiaHong Kong is one of the most famous shopping havens in the world. Every holiday, shops selling luxurious products and gold are bursting with groups of special Asian customers. Their countrified clothing and impolite behaviors now has become their strong economic strength. Data from the Wall Street Journal in 2008 has proved these customers’ amazing purchasing power. Who are these customers? Why, shoppers from mainland China.

It seems that taking money from these customers’ pocket is very easy. They love shopping in Hong Kong, Macau, and foreign countries because of their high-quality products and good service. At the same time, the international goods freeing tariff are sold in a much lower price than in mainland China. However, it does not mean that they will pay for anything arrayed in your shops. If one wishes to share this market, it will be better to understand their minds first.

ShoppingWhat are they thinking?

Chinese customers care about where these products are from. Chinese men love exclusive wines and cigarettes from western countries, which can be enjoyed by themselves or sent to their friends as gifts. In addition, they prefer alcohol such as XO Cognac and wines over spirits. Women like food and skin care products from South Korea and Japan as those ethnic groups tend to share similar taste and skin with the Chinese and their products are considered safer and healthier due to less additive. Another reason is that Japanese and South Korean soap operas are popular amongst Chinese women. Youth enjoy shopping for high technology products from America, such as the iPad, iPhone, and the latest video games accessories.
Customers are drawn to images portrayed by international brands. Chinese customers prefer shopping for popular, designer goods..such as Dior, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton.

Finally, Chinese customers, especially women, favor products in quantity discount. They generally want to buy an ocean of gifts for their friends and relatives. With a big quantity discount, they can choose all the presents from one shop.  

Who Moved My Cheese!– the Barriers between Shops and Customers

Language is the most serious barrier for Chinese shoppers. Unfortunately, the Chinese with the strongest purchasing power usually cannot speak English. Salesclerks must communicate with them by gestures or other body languages, which heavily reduces their interest of purchasing. Hence, shops lose the chances of taking money. The second problem is caused by travel agencies. Those rich customers usually are tourists with agendas arranged by travel agencies. Travel agencies bring customers to the shops they have business relations with. Tricks like that usually restrain customers’ desire of shopping because those shops offer higher prices to them with no discount. It is also unfair to other shops. Their chances of sharing this potential market are stolen.


Eye on Asia - HaileyHailey Ao Zuyu
敖祖禹

US/China Cultural Industries Internship Program
Seattle Chinese Times / Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College
中美文化交流實習計劃
西城時報/北京師範大學-香港浸會大學聯合國際學院

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