Catering to the millennials
While Chinese millennials are heavy users of crossborder e-commerce, they are also prolific exporters who are keen on exploiting opportunities in the global market, according to a recent survey by online payment service provider PayPal and global market consultancy Ipsos.
The survey results showed that one third of Chinese millennial respondents have done cross-border shopping in the last 12 months. The survey was based on responses from 23,000 people, aged between 18 and 34, in 29 markets around the world.
Chinese millennials spend the most on cross-border purchases of clothing, accessories, cosmetics, as well as food and beverage. They are also increasingly looking beyond tangible goods and at authentic experiences that reflect their passions and interests, as indicated by their spending on travel, sports, hobbies and digital entertainment.
Similar to the general populace, product authenticity is the top priority for 65 percent of the millennials. The survey also noted that young people these days pay more attention to product quality, variety and style when compared to other demographic segments.
China is currently the second most popular cross-border e-commerce destination in the world among millennials who usually buy products such as clothing, digital entertainment, education and consumer electronics from the country’s merchants.
Yang Chaogang, a millennial merchant who opened Kunshan Lifeng Gifts Company, said that this demand for goods in China has in turn encouraged many Chinese millennials to start their own e-commerce businesses to tap into the opportunities. His company’s monthly sales revenues have increased from 2,000 yuan ($303) in 2010 to the current 200,000 yuan.
Chinese millennials have also been quick to adjust their business models and products to appeal to fellow peers from abroad. Wang Jingzhou, for example, leverages the security afforded by PayPal to attract millennials who demand good security for their transactions.
Wang, who has been running his own computer accessories export business since 2012, said that PayPal also helps to protect the merchants as it checks buyers’ information before the transaction is completed, minimizing scam incidents and fraudulent claims for compensation or refunds.
To help facilitate the ever-expanding cross-border trade, PayPal rolled out a “New Money” Campaign in 2016. In addition to US dollars, Chinese merchants will now be able to convert Euros, Australian dollars and British pounds directly into renminbi by the fourth quarter of this year.
At the same time, PayPal will also expand its presence across China to provide Chinese merchants more localized merchant service support. Merchant service teams, along with channel partners and resources, will be set up in 10 cross-border e-commerce pilot cities.
“Our aim is to connect consumers and merchants around the world with a seamless and more secure way to pay. We are constantly looking for new innovative solutions and partnerships in China to enhance the cross-border trade ecosystem and help our Chinese customers uncover new opportunities to participate in the global marketplace,” said Patrick Foo, vice president and general manager for PayPal’s cross-border business in China and Korea.
We are constantly looking for new innovative solutions and partnerships in China to enhance the cross-border trade ecosystem...”
vice president and general manager for PayPal’s cross-border business in China and Korea