Westwin unveils its "2020 China
Cross-Border Consumer Report". What's going on in China?

Cross-Border consumers are growing in numbers: Westwin sketches buyer personas in its Consumer Report for Q4 2020

Amid great global economic uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s cross-border e-commerce sector has delivered better-than-expected performances so far in Q4. This is what Westin, a tech-driven cross-border marketing company, said in its “2020 China Cross-border Consumer Report”. The report portrays seven distinct cross-border consumers groups across four major categories, including e-commerce, travel, education, and real estate. The results are distilled from different surveys among consumers in Chinese cities ranging from first to fourth tier, and in-depth interviews with 21 consumers from varied segments, the company said.

According to the report, Chinese cross-border e-commerce market has grown steadily from 2018 to 2020. Last year it was valued at $60.5 billion. The data has shown how sales in Q1 2020 declined due to the pandemic; however, they remained stronger than 2018 Q1. The report also indicates that the epidemic boosts online shopping revenues.

What about consumers? Most Chinese cross-border consumers are between 25 and 34 years old. Among them 67% are married and located mainly either Beijing or Guangdong. Moreover, 20.7% of them made cross-border purchases more than 20 times in the past year, while 15% spent over 20,000 yuan ($2,914) in 2019, but the average cross-border shopping expenses last year were around 5,000-9,999 yuan, the report said.

According to Westin, cross-border e-commerce consumers prefer their online shopping platforms to offer a wide range of categories, with Tmall International and JD Worldwide and being the top two options. Cosmetics, electronic goods, as well as apparel and handbags, represent the three most popular categoriesBy the way, social media are important too, especially to get cross-border products information and connections. According to the report, 55.3% of consumers say they use WeChat the most, followed by Douyin (49.7%), the Chinese version of Tiktok, and Sina Weibo (39.3%).

The  “2020 China Cross-border Consumer Report” also pointed out some consumers profiles. Westwin classified four big categories:

  1. “Small town moms” refer to young ladies living in 3rd and 4th tier cities. Even if their salary is not high, disposable income is considerable. They love to post every large purchase on WeChat moments to promote a luxury lifestyle. These young ladies also tend to follow trends and appreciate the opinion of friends and influencers.
  2. “Big city single ladies” live in 1st and 2nd tier cities. They typically have a promising career, are financially independent and well educated. They believe that clothing choices reflect attitudes, therefore refuse to wear the same outfit as someone else. They significantly prefer overseas niche brands.
  3. “Millionaires” are polarized, some of them enjoy their lives; others have no life, but anxiety. This group rarely do cross-border purchasing themselves, but heavily rely on their wives. They have a low shopping desire but are keen to invest in overseas real estate to hedge risks.
  4. “Millionaires’ wives” are ladies from high-income families. Most of them are well-educated and have studied overseas. They mentioned they do not care about their child’s academic achievements but are eager to send them to overseas summer camps, sport camps and international academic competitions, which add to foreign colleges applications.