The News of Chinese president visit to the UK has dominating the headline of UK and China’s media. So how could the State visit impact UK retail brands? Today the UK Government announced that from 2016 Jan, Chinese can apply for multiple visit visa’s valid for two years. That’s four times longer than the current visa restrictions. Applying for a UK visa will be made easier in 50 Chinese cities. Understand the UK’s Chinese tourism.
1. Chinese visitors to the UK has almost tripled in 5 years. (115,000 in 2009 to 336,000 in 2014)
2. The average Chinese tourist is spending more. (£2,688 which is a 326% increase)
3. In 2014 there was a 20% increase in demand for U.K visa’s.
4. Chinese tourists consider shopping for Western brands as important as sightseeing.
5. Chinese visitors stay longer. (Average 10 nights in U.K)
6. 40% of Chinese tourist visits luxury retail stores in the UK.
With the potential growing demand of Chinese for British luxury brands in the next few years, there is increasing competition for brands trying to gain the Chinese attention. Few Western brands have successfully achieved their targeted aims toward the Chinese consumer, as you need to understand the cultural differences and the intricacies of media usage and shopping behaviors in store. In example:
1. Chinese don’t use VISA, Mastercard, they use Unipay.
2. Chinese shop and share on their social media, so having WiFi in the retail store is essential.
3. Engagement with Chinese consumers on social media is key.
Is your retail store/brand ready for the Chinese tourist? Contact us today.