Survey: Consumers focus on domestic products as quality, value increase
Pan Lin, a 23-year-old postgraduate in Beijing and a fan of Chinese brands, scrolled through online marketplaces during this year's Singles Day shopping promotion. The first domestic brand she bought was from Florasis, which produces cosmetics in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
"Compared with some well-known Western brands, I feel that Florasis' products are more cost-effective and more suitable for Asian people's skin," Pan said, adding that the package design is exquisite, using traditional Chinese cultural elements.
"In the past two years, I bought an increasing number of domestic products that cover a wide range of categories, such as apparel, shoes, makeup, skincare, foods and beverages."
During the presale of the promotional campaign, domestic products occupied about 70 percent of her shopping cart. Pan replaced international cosmetics brands with homegrown products, including an eyeshadow palette, loose powder and lipstick when watching livestreaming sessions on e-commerce platforms.
Like Pan, hundreds of millions of young Chinese shoppers are inclined to purchase high-quality domestic brands, especially those that feature fashionable and creative designs mixed with elements from traditional Chinese culture.
In its 15th year, the Singles Day, or 11-11, shopping extravaganza, initiated by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Nov 11, 2009, remains the world's biggest online shopping event. This year's festival has seen major e-commerce platforms provide steep discounts and low-priced products to boost sales, with domestic brands becoming more popular among Chinese consumers.
Data from Tmall, Alibaba's business-to-customer e-marketplace, showed that in the first hour of this year's 11-11 presale, which kicked off at 8 pm on Oct 24, sales of more than 20 domestic brands exceeded that of the entire day last year.
Homegrown beauty and makeup commodities, household products and foods have witnessed explosive growth. For example, the turnover of Chinese skincare brand Proya surpassed 1 billion yuan ($137.3 million) in the first two hours of the presale, while sales of Timage, a domestic cosmetics brand, surged more than 315 percent year-on-year, Tmall said.
According to Tmall, the transaction volume of more than 70,000 domestic brands doubled on Oct 31 when the official promotional sales began and 85 Chinese brands saw sales surpass 100 million yuan in just a brief period.
JD began its presale promotion at 8 pm on Oct 23 and saw sales of domestic smartphone brands, such as Xiaomi, Honor, Huawei, Oppo and Vivo, via the e-commerce giant's online marketplaces exceed 100 million yuan within just one second.
In the first 10 minutes of the promotional event, sales of Shanghai-based haircare brand Bee & Flower and Tianjin-based children's skincare products maker Yumeijing skyrocketed by 20-fold and 10-fold year-on-year, respectively, JD said.
According to a survey released by global consulting firm AlixPartners, Chinese brands continue to gain momentum, as 66 percent of interviewed consumers said they plan to increase spending on domestic brands.
The survey, with a sample size of over 2,000 consumers across different age groups and regions in China, found that consumers are increasingly looking for local alternatives with "more bang for the buck" as Chinese product quality and safety improve.
This is particularly true for young shoppers purchasing clothing brands and accessories, as 61 percent of the respondents aged between 18 and 25 plan to increase spending on Chinese-branded clothing, fashion items and accessories during this year's promotional gala, the highest among all product categories and age groups.