China digital mini-series #8 – The affect social media has on Chinese consumer spending

When they use the internet, Chinese consumers display culturally specific behaviour that is distinct from the rest of the world. The Chinese marketplace is unique, so you must develop digital marketing strategies that reflect Chinese consumer spending preferences and character.

Social commerce has been a goldmine source of revenue for many social networking sites, but Facebook’s attempts to generate income from ecommerce have so far not proved successful. User behaviour, when engaging in social and ecommerce transactions, governs the commercial success or failure of social networking sites.e.e

Figure 1: Social media engagements against ecommerce engagements

International research conducted by GlobalWebIndex in Nov. 2011 (see Figure 1) shows that China is the only country whose consumers exhibit high levels of ecommerce and social media engagement. Social commerce sites are very popular in China. Chinese people are famed for their love of taking and sharing photographs of everything they encounter: in example, meals they have eaten. The Chinese are also fond of showing off their latest purchases on social networking sites. These recommendations trigger curiosity in other people, often converting consumers’ initial interest into firm sales. For example, recommendations from fashion and beauty social commerce sites, such as Mogujie and Melishuo, generate high volumes of sales conversions at Taobao, the top ecommerce site in China.

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