“She-econ­omy” Con­trib­utes to

China's Foreign Trade (English) - - Industrial Watch - By Liu Xin­wei

“Women have a higher con­tri­bu­tion to global eco­nomic growth than new tech­nolo­gies,” said Song Yueping, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor from the Cen­ter for Pop­u­la­tion and De­vel­op­ment Stud­ies of Ren­min Univer­sity of China. “It may be com­mon for women to go shop­ping with friends or alone, in or­der to re­ward them­selves when they are happy or re­ceive a higher salary, or to di­vert them­selves from de­pres­sion and stress,” Song Yueping said, “Women have a greater spend­ing power, which seems to pro­vide a new way to get out of the in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial cri­sis.”

Nowa­days, more and more women are seek­ing for free lives and fi­nan­cial in­de­pen­dence, and the “She Era” is form­ing around this in­crease in women’s salaries. The “She-econ­omy” is not new, but in 2016 it had an out­stand­ing per­for­mance. So, com­pa­nies now are more fo­cused on the pref­er­ence and needs of the fe­male, which is re­flected in prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and mar­ket­ing, and it is ex­pected that more in­dus­tries will make mar­ket­ing plans from the per­spec­tive of “her”.

In­ter­net boosts the de­vel­op­ment of “she-econ­omy”

Last year, CBNDATA re­leased three im­por­tant data re­ports of “2016 Chi­nese Fe­male Con­sump­tion Mar­ket Study”, “2016 Big Data Re­port on Ma­ter­nal and Child Prod­uct Con­sump­tion Trend” and “2016 Big Data Re­port on Con­sump­tion Trends in Beauty & Makeup In­dus­try.” The data for th­ese re­ports came from the Alibaba e-busi­ness plat­form.

“We didn’t make the data, it was made by the fe­male con­sumers at Alibaba, by hun­dreds of mil­lions of buy­ers of ma­ter­nal & child and beauty & makeup prod­ucts,” said Huang Lei, head of the Busi­ness Data Cen­ter at China Busi­ness Net­work.

Ac­cord­ing to the “2016 Chi­nese Fe­male Con­sump­tion Mar­ket Study”, China has an ex­pand­ing con­sump­tion mar­ket, but the gap be­tween ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas is widen­ing. The con­sump­tion mar­ket is mak­ing a higher con­tri­bu­tion to the na­tional econ­omy. Fe­male con­sumers are be­com­ing an in­flu­en­tial group that can’t be ig­nored, since in China they of­ten make the de­ci­sion for house­hold ex­pen­di­tures.

“For on­line con­sump­tion, the fe­male cus­tomers show a much greater pur­chas­ing power, and be­come younger,” Huang Lei said.

It is learned from “2016 Big Data Re­port on Ma­ter­nal and Child Prod­uct Con­sump­tion Trend” that, as the universal two-child pol­icy may bring the fourth baby boom, China’s ma­ter­nal and child prod­uct mar­ket is faced with great op­por­tu­nity, and the mar­ket size is ex­pected to reach RMB 3.2 tril­lion in 2018.

Huang Lei noted: “The ma­ter­nal and child prod­uct mar­ket is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing con­sump­tion up­grade now, while the up­grade in con­sump­tion struc­ture and cat­e­gory, ris­ing brand aware­ness and other changes may pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for fur­ther growth.”

“2016 Big Data Re­port on Con­sump­tion Trends in Beauty & Makeup In­dus­try” shows that, the beauty and makeup mar­ket grows fast in China, and the po­ten­tial is huge. How­ever, the mar­ket is still small, and the av­er­age con­sump­tion of beauty and makeup prod­ucts in China is much lower than that of de­vel­oped coun­tries. Huang Lei an­a­lyzed and said: “China’s beauty and makeup mar­ket is ex­tremely un­bal­anced, as the size of cos­met­ics mar­ket is less than one quar­ter of the skin care mar­ket. In 2015, the con­sumer spend­ing in cos­met­ics was only about one-third of that in skin care, but it’s grow­ing rapidly.”

Dai Lu, founder of “Hongxiu VC” that fo­cuses on she eco­nomic in­dus­tries, said, she in­dus­tries are spe­cial and ver­ti­cal sub­di­vi­sion that rely on the wave of con­sump­tion up­grades. As Chi­nese fe­male con­sumers of­ten de­cide what to buy, so “She-in­dus­trial-chain” is wor­thy of in­vest­ment. In the era of mo­bile In­ter­net, the in­flu­ence of the “She-econ­omy” is still there.

Dai Lu said: “Mo­bile In­ter­net brings many ver­ti­cal and exclusive tool prod­ucts, which are use­ful for a huge num­ber of fe­male users.” For ex­am­ple, can any­one bet­ter un­der­stand the pe­riod than her­self ? Yes, “Day­ima” or “Meetyou” can. In ad­di­tion to a com­pa­ra­ble me­dia ex­po­sure, th­ese two apps now need ap­pro­pri­ate busi­ness model.

“Day­ima” is a nick­name in China for men­stru­a­tion. “Day­ima” is an app is­sued in 2012, pro­vid­ing a menstrual cal­en­dar and ovu­la­tion tracker. One year later, in or­der to dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves from ho­mo­ge­neous prod­ucts, it turned into a fe­male com­mu­nity plat­form. Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics is­sued re­cently, now “Day­ima” has 80 mil­lion reg­is­tered users or so, and the com­mu­nity — “Jiemeishuo (sis­ters’ se­crets)”, has a num­ber of daily ac­tive users of 4.2 mil­lion.

Com­pared to “Day­ima” which di­rectly tell the users what it is about by the name, “Meetyou” is an app with al­most the same func­tions but a del­i­cate name. In 2013, an ex­pe­ri­enced e-busi­ness player,

Chen Fangyi de­vel­oped a new app for the fe­male, Meetyou. This app tool also pro­vides the fe­male menstrual cal­en­dar as the ba­sic func­tion, and at­tracts a large num­ber of users through the suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tion of the fe­male com­mu­nity, “Tataquan (fe­male’s cir­cle)”. Ac­cord­ing to the sta­tis­tics from Meetyou, as of Novem­ber 2016, the num­ber of users reached 70 mil­lion or so.

It seems that the fi­nan­cial plan­ning and man­age­ment sec­tor has en­tered the “She Era.” Ac­cord­ing to pro­fes­sor Li Youx­ing from Guanghua Law School and Academy of In­ter­net Fi­nance of Zhe­jiang Univer­sity, the fe­male have be­come the sup­port­ing force for fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment plan­ning and man­age­ment in­dus­try. Women have more ad­van­tages in reg­u­lar fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment, as a re­sult of the as­sump­tion that they are more sen­si­tive and fo­cus on ROI, and are more cau­tious and safety-ori­ented.

In this con­text, a “fe­male friendly plat­form,” Qian­baomu (mean­ing money man­ager) came into be­ing. Vice pres­i­dent Wang Yun be­lieves that the fe­male want a com­pre­hen­sive as­sets plan­ning, since most of them need to con­sider the liq­uid­ity and prof­itabil­ity to se­cure the fu­ture. “

She-econ­omy” stim­u­lates con­sump­tion up­grades

“To­day, more and more women have be­come the de­ci­sion mak­ers for house­hold con­sump­tion. In a con­sump­tion so­ci­ety, the fe­male have dif­fer­ent con­sump­tion char­ac­ter­is­tics from the eco­nomic era that was short of re­sources,” said Gao Jie, a lec­turer at School of Eth­nol­ogy and So­ci­ol­ogy of SouthCen­tral Univer­sity for Na­tion­al­i­ties, who be­lieves that the con­sump­tion in sheeco­nomic era will show the fol­low­ing trends.

First, it will be more in­di­vid­ual. With ris­ing per­sonal and fam­ily in­comes, in­creas­ingly abun­dant prod­ucts and chang­ing life­styles, the fe­male are grad­u­ally get­ting out of the con­sump­tion mode that cen­ters on house­hold ne­ces­si­ties, and be­gan to in­vest in them­selves and live for them­selves.

“2016 Sur­vey Re­port on Chi­nese Ur­ban Fe­male Con­sump­tion” shows that, in 2016 the sur­veyed fe­male had a fam­ily in­come al­lo­ca­tion pro­por­tion of 61:23:16 for con­sump­tion, sav­ings and in­vest- ment, and the pro­por­tion of con­sump­tion had a sig­nif­i­cant year-on-year in­crease. Mean­while, the ap­parel and ac­ces­sories at­tracted a higher ra­tio of the sur­veyed fe­male than any other mar­ket seg­ments, and have been the largest sin­gle ex­pense of the fe­male for 7 years. Tourism spend­ing is also in­creas­ing year by year..

“It is clear that ‘ be­com­ing more beau­ti­ful’ and ‘en­rich­ing the ex­pe­ri­ences’ are in line with mod­ern women’s pur­suit for ‘in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal’ im­prove­ment, which will turn into great con­sump­tion power,” said Gao Jie.

Sec­ond, the con­sump­tion aes­thet­ics is evolv­ing. The con­sump­tion aes­thet­ics of the fe­male is mainly em­bod­ied in two as­pects, namely the ob­jects and the per­son. The object aes­thet­ics in­cludes the aes­thetic ap­pre­ci­a­tion of prod­ucts and the shop­ping en­vi­ron­ment. In the view of Bour­dieu, a so­ci­ol­o­gist, con­sump­tion is not only the em­bod­i­ment of per­sonal taste, but also the class the con­sumer be­longs to and the eco­nomic, cul­tural and so­cial cap­i­tal.

“Aes­thetic con­sump­tion can also in­di­cate the dif­fer­ences be­tween classes, as mod­ern fe­male con­sumers pre­fer shop­ping malls dec­o­rated with mod­ern arts, to en­joy the aes­thetic plea­sure,” Gao Jie said.

Third, fash­ion con­sump­tion be­comes pop­u­lar. Fash­ion con­sump­tion means the con­tin­u­ous spend­ing in and con­sump­tion of up­dat­ing fash­ions, and the fash­ion-lov­ing fe­male can have chang­ing images through con­sum­ing and uti­liz­ing items and sym­bols of fash­ion. Ac­cord­ing to an Amer­i­can pop­u­lar cul­ture re­searcher, John Fisk, the in­volve­ment of fe­male in fash­ion boosts the progress of so­ci­ety.

“Ob­vi­ously, the fe­male is more de­voted to fash­ion con­sump­tion,” Gao Jie said. Fourth, the lux­ury con­sump­tion mar­ket is form­ing. Ac­cord­ing to the data from the World Lux­ury As­so­ci­a­tion, more than half of the lux­ury prod­ucts con­sumers are fe­male, and the num­ber of fe­male con­sumers is grow­ing much faster than that of male.

Gao Jie es­ti­mated that the women will be­come the “main force” in lux­ury con­sump­tion mar­ket in the near fu­ture.

It seems that the fi­nan­cial plan­ning and man­age­ment sec­tor has en­tered “She Era”.

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