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Differences between Chinese and Western Consumer Behavior

Some people find that Chinese consumers are crazy, they are really into shopping. The fact is that Chinese consumers are quite different from any other countries in the worlds. And the consumer behavior is deeply influenced by Chinese culture. What are the major differences between Chinese and western consumer behavior? Read on to find out the answers.


Chinese consumers love to bargain.

Bargaining culture is also a distinctive Chinese culture, believe or not. It’s no exaggeration to say that Chinese people bargain for everything, no matter for buying fruits and vegetables, or clothes and other stuff. They prefer to shop around and find the best deal, with a good quality but lower price.

You may closely feel this culture when you do some shopping in China, as you can see most Chinese consumers ask for a lower price from the retailers. For western consumers, they expect discount, but bargaining seldom happens. If you go around some shopping streets or markets in China, it will be a great experience to bargain for what you like with the retailers. On the one hand, it’s interesting to bargain for a better price, on the other hand, you could save money by bargaining.

Just note that this won’t happen in the big shopping malls.


Chinese consumers rely on recommendations.

For online booking or shopping, Chinese consumers are inclined to read through some online reviews, honestly, the comments on social media influence them a lot when make a decision, because Chinese consumers care more about the feedbacks. As Chinese people like shopping around more and seek for the best deal, comments are really important to them.

What’s more, Chinese consumers rely on recommendations from their friends. For example, when Chinese people are about to start a tour, they will ask for recommendation from their friends at first, for best places to visit, best things to do and also the travel agency they choose. They might pick the same tour if what their friends say are good. Maybe this is also what you usually do before the final booking.

When it comes to ordering food, Chinese consumers tend to order what are recommended from other people, or on the menu. That’s the reason why you always encounter a long queue for a snack bar, or a restaurant, those Chinese consumers may have watched popular videos from Tik Tok or Weibo. Because Chinese consumers are curious about everything that is new to them, and they don’t want to miss any must-taste food during the tour, this is also another big difference between Chinese and western consumers.

Chinese People Queueing up for Recommended Snacks


Brand really matters.

Chinese consumers are into famous brands, such as international luxury brands and local well-known brands in China. They think that brands with good reputation may provide goods with better quality. In addition, pay attention to e-reputation, it determines your success or not.

This may also apply to restaurants, travel agency and plenty more areas. And this may explain the reason why Chinese consumers rely on online reviews and recommendations so badly. They will search on the social networks like Weibo, to make sure if this brand is trustworthy.


E-commerce has developed so fast in China.

E-commerce has a prosperous development in China in the recent years, no matter domestic or cross border e-commerce. In China, people use very different e-commerce platforms from what you use in your own country, especially among young people. There are more platforms in China, and we believe that there will still be more new platforms accustom to the real wants of Chinese consumers.

A lot of promotion on each platform has attracted most Chinese consumers. As you know Black Friday and Cyber Monday in some western countries, Single’s Day (11st of November) in China may be the largest digital shopping event in human history, for all the platforms in China, particularly Taobao, Tmall and JD.com.

Single’s Day is an Important Shopping Festival in China

Chinese customers prefer e-commerce platforms than the official website of the specific brand. When it comes to booking flight tickets and tours, Chinese tourists also tend to choose some tourism platform like Ctrip.com. If you’re planning a trip to China from your country, Top China Travel, with experienced tour service for over 60 years, will be your ideal choice.


Lucrative generation in China is young generation.

In many western countries, elder and experienced workers earn more income, on the contrary, the highest earning income group range from 20 to 30. Young generation in China are more likely to live in urban areas and seek for opportunities in bigger cities, what’s more, more young people get a university degree. With the influence of western culture, young people tend to choose more overseas products and services. As a result, young people have become China’s lucrative generation.


Mobile payment is the trend.

The truth is that you can travel around most cities in China without using cash. In recent years, Chinese people tend to use mobile payments like WeChat Pay (Tencent) and Ali Pay (Alibaba), instead of Paypal, meanwhile, more people use mobile payment rather than cash. Anything you can buy online and offline can be paid by using digital payments. There is no need to carry card or cash at all.

Mobile Payment is the Trend.

By knowing the major differences between Chinese and western consumer behavior, you may understand Chinese consumers more. What’s more, we hope that you could know more about Chinese culture from the above discussions. Please feel free to contact Top China Travel if you have more questions.


Create a Tour in China for Sightseeing and Shopping

We guess you may want to buy some gifts and souvenirs during your trip in China, you can totally arrange some time for shopping. You can choose your destination according to different products you’re interested in. See some tours for inspiration:

Shopping in Jinli Old Street of Chengdu


See more China tours. If you have specific products to buy in mind, please feel free to let us know, we will customize the most suitable tour based on your requirements.