“She-economy” Contributes to
“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”.