Serve con­sumers well to make them lead growth

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE -

Un­like the dra­matic US pres­i­den­tial election or the sur­pris­ing Brexit vote, one can al­most be sure about an­other mas­sive surge in Sin­gles’ Day sales this year. Since on­line shop­ping has be­come so pop­u­lar in China, more and more in­ter­na­tional brands and re­tail­ers are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the shop­ping fes­ti­val that Nov 11 has be­come to cash in on the craze.

Af­ter a year-on-year in­crease of 54 per­cent in 2015, Fung Global Re­tail & Tech­nol­ogy fore­cast that this year’s shop­ping frenzy would see a 40-per­cent in­crease to hit $20 bil­lion.

That is a bold fore­cast. Af­ter all, US con­sumers spent only $5.8 bil­lion on­line on Black Fri­day and its web­based Cy­berMon­day last year. It is dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand why Chi­nese con­sumers, with an av­er­age earn­ing a quar­ter of their US coun­ter­parts, spent over two times more at their year-end shop­ping day. With lit­tle change in their in­comes, will Chi­nese con­sumers be able to widen that ex­pen­di­ture gap to three-fold this year? Per­haps yes. Fung Global has based its 2016 fore­cast on a tail­wind from Chi­nese on­line shop­pers’ surg­ing de­mand for over­seas goods and high ex­pec­ta­tions from the ex­ten­sive mar­ket­ing cam­paign by China’s lead­ing e-busi­ness gi­ants like Alibaba, which would use vir­tual and aug­mented re­al­ity fea­tures this year.

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