Screenshot showing Forbidden City themed lipsticks from Bloomage Biotechnology Corporation Limited. (Xinhua/Chen Hao)
BEIJING, July 22 (Xinhua) — With the emergence of modern shopping formats and the emergence of new shopping trends, China’s ever-changing consumer market provides a telling example of the vitality, resilience and the potential of the economy.
From accelerating online and offline integration to harnessing growth potential in less-developed regions, China is doing all it can to boost domestic demand to support broader growth.
In the first half of the year, online retail sales in China edged up 3.1% year-on-year despite a 0.7% decline in overall retail sales.
Online sales of physical goods soared 5.6% to account for 25.9% of total retail sales, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
Jumping on the bandwagon, many physical stores are leading the way online.
Footwear brand Onemix launched customized products on JD.com during “618” shopping. To attract young customers, the company used big data to find user needs and design product styles and colors based on the results.
Supported by the resilience of supply chains provided by the e-commerce platform, the company could regulate production and reorganize in a targeted manner, effectively mitigating the inventory risk that is common for apparel brands.
Integrating online and offline consumption in the retail industry can mobilize resources and produce better effects, said Pei Liang, head of the China Chain Store and Franchise Association.
Guochao, a consumer trend meaning “China-chic” that features products designed with traditional Chinese aesthetics, has swept the country’s younger generations.
The number of domestic brand products on the Douyin e-commerce platform jumped 508 percent year-on-year between April 2021 and March 2022. Of the top-selling items, 93 percent are local products, according to data from the platform.
“Young consumers are very enthusiastic about Guochao products,” an e-commerce platform manager said, adding that young people are more willing to pay for items that pique their interest and things that bring out their character.
For the next step, the platform will continue to support Chinese brands, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to help more local products become household names, the official said.
As sales in big cities gain momentum, consumption in small towns and rural markets also unlocks great potential with improved logistics and optimized retail layouts.
From January to June, sales of built-in ranges, clothes dryers, air fryers and other home appliances upgraded to Suning’s retail cloud, a smart retail platform tailored to county and of the cantons, climbed 81%, 129% and 305% year-on-year, respectively.
Consumption in cities and towns accounts for 38 percent of the country’s total, said Shu Jueting, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce.
Shu added that the ministry will encourage enterprises to provide better services to rural markets through direct sales, centralized procurement and joint distribution, and make quality products accessible to urban and rural residents. ■