Online luxury sales are surging in China, claims study
By WGSN Insider

China’s growing middle class is migrating to online platforms and buying status symbol style items such as watches and bags. WGSN Global News Editor Nigel Taylor reports

Oct 08, 2015
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mei-com China
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Online deals for luxury goods are surging in China, according to a new KPMG report.

The report, in association with luxury online retailer mei.com, suggests China’s growing middle class is migrating to online platforms from brick & mortar outlets to buy products such as luxury watches, bags and “other status symbols”.

The report, based on a survey of more than 10,000 consumers of luxury goods, claims 45% of respondents chose e-commerce sites as their top choice for buying luxury items. On average, they spend CNY2,300 ($362) per deal online, up by almost a third from a year earlier.

Social networking sites and smart phones are luring more and more buyers of luxury goods to shopping websites, the report said.

Secure online payment tools appear to reassure consumers. Respondents said they would be willing to pay bills up to CNY4,200 via third-party mobile payment platforms. Last year, the corresponding figure was CNY1,900.

The report also said price sensitivity of consumers seems to be changing with almost one third of the respondents said they bought luxury goods online at full price at least once.

“The shift indicates that more factors are weighing on consumers’ purchasing decisions, such as whether the product is unique and where it is made or designed,” the report said.

Agreed Thibault Villet, CEO of mei.com, added: “Low price is playing an increasingly smaller role in driving online sales. Chinese consumers now can travel around the world or search through websites to know how a product is priced globally.”

In terms of average consumer spending, luxury bags have seen the biggest year-on-year rise of 109%. They were followed by womenswear and beauty, up 58% and 18% respectively, the KPMG report said.

However, beauty products continued to top the list of the most popular luxury goods followed by women’s footwear, bags and womenswear.

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