Stimulating shopper appetite, boosting consumption(3)

2022-11-14 08:34:23China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

A livestreaming e-commerce anchor promotes a leather and fur garment at the e-commerce industrial base of Haining (China) Leather City in Haining, Zhejiang province, on Nov 3. (Photo by SHEN DA/FOR CHINA DAILY)

The country has rolled out a raft of measures to promote consumption recovery, including boosting consumption in key fields like automobiles, green and intelligent home appliances as well as catering and accommodations.

"Pursuing high-quality development as our overarching task, we will make sure that our implementation of the strategy to expand domestic demand is integrated with our efforts to deepen supply-side structural reform," said a report delivered to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

With economic activities generally perking up, China's consumer market warmed up in the third quarter. The country's total retail sales of consumer goods, a vital consumption indicator, rose 3.5 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, reversing the 4.6 percent decline logged in the second quarter, the NBS said.

In the January-September period, total retail sales of consumer goods reached 32.03 trillion yuan, up 0.7 percent year-on-year, the NBS said. Online retail sales rose 4 percent year-on-year to 9.59 trillion yuan in the first nine months. E-commerce has further demonstrated its role in driving consumption growth.

"Even with the changes in consumer behavior, the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of global macroeconomic conditions, Singles Day continues to be a priority for Chinese retailers," said Kelly Liu, head of retail practice from consultancy Bain &Company Greater China, adding the engagement is now being driven more by customer loyalty.

In addition, Chinese consumers are increasingly shopping across multiple platforms, as 69 percent of respondents said they planned to visit three or more platforms, up from 56 percent in 2021, according to a report from Bain &Company published before Double Eleven.

Strikingly, 37 percent of interviewees planned to use five or more platforms this year. The company polled some 3,000 Chinese customers on their attitudes toward the annual shopping gala.

China's retail sector has entered a "fight for loyalty" stage, with its focus shifting from headlong growth to retaining customers and building profitability — all while taking a more integrated approach to online and offline channels, the report said.

As the event matures, it has become more of a component of a larger strategy that engages with consumers on an ongoing basis year-round across platforms, it said.

"China boasts a sizable consumption market, with immense development potential and resilience. The top priority to stabilize economic growth lies in maintaining stable consumption growth," said Zhao Ping, deputy head of the Academy of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Zhao estimated the country's consumer market is likely to gain growth momentum in the coming months, fueled by better containment of the COVID-19 pandemic and a series of supportive policies to shore up consumption gradually taking effect.

She also called for efforts to encourage enterprises to use new-generation information technologies such as big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence to create new types of green and intelligent consumer goods and cultivate new consumption growth points.


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