JD.com Data: Sporting Goods Consumption in China
by Doris Liu
Ahead of Chinese Youth Day on May 4, JD released a new report examining the shopping preferences and trends of Gen Z consumers, who now make up 19% of the country’s total population of 260 million, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Often referred to as 95 (born after 1995), they are the last to enter the workforce and will gain purchasing power over the next decade.
The main findings of the report, published by the JD Research Institute for Consumption and Industrial Development, show that this generation has its own ideas of rational consumption, looks to its peers for fashion trends while having clear personal preferences.
As digital natives, Gen Z has grown up with the rise of the internet, instant messaging, smart devices, and other technologies. On average, they are well educated and have more freedom to develop their personality, hobbies and make their own choices.
Generation Z has also witnessed China’s rapid economic development, leading to a boost in national confidence. At the same time, China’s further integration into globalization has enabled Gen Z to have a global outlook and be not only more diverse, but also willing to embrace diversity.
In such a context, Generation Z has developed unique values. Based on a survey published by Snapchat, 72% of Gen Z respondents, when answered the question “How do you realize your identity and realize your worth?”, chose “when researching the pleasure” ; about 60% chose “by achieving a goal” and “staying in shape”; and 56% “by earning money”.
Generation Z’s consumption upgrade in recent years has shifted from product quality to spiritual satisfaction, which means that the outward appearance of a product is a crucial element in terms of competitiveness on the market.
Since 2022, sales of visually appealing products purchased by Gen Z have increased 166% year over year (YOY). In the categories of kitchen and bath appliances, home improvement and furnishings, baby bedding, outdoor gear and apparel, sales of attractive-looking products have all been multiplied by more than 10.
Smarter is better
Gen Z shows the highest preference for smart products, with a 70% higher preference coefficient than other age groups, which not only promotes industrial upgrading, but also drives innovation technological.
Smart products of electric vehicles, cameras, shower systems, mobile air conditioners and lighting equipment have preference coefficients close to or above 100%.
Low sugar content
According to the “Generation Z Beverage Consumption Survey Report” released by the Shanghai Consumer Council earlier this year, 41% of Generation Z in Shanghai chose drinks with “0 sugar” and 38% chose “70% less sugar”. “. Less than 20% of Gen Z chose “whole sugar” or “30% less sugar.”
Besides beverages, the low-sugar trend has spread to various categories. JD data showed that low-sugar products from tea drinks, beer, condiments, vitamin and mineral supplements grew 20 times a year, and low-sugar pharmaceuticals saw their consumption 14 times a year.
The wellness generation
Generation Z is dedicated to their health and well-being, leading to increased consumption in the health, beauty, and anti-aging product industries among young people.
Wellness consumption has become a way of life for Gen Z. Sales on JD.com in 2022 showed health management products grew nearly 20x year-on-year, and beverages health, Chinese medicine services and psychological counseling services increased more than three times year-on-year. At the same time, nutritional products such as astaxanthin, seal oil and collagen chondroitin increased more than 10 times year-over-year.
Trends for “Guochao”
Guochao, Mandarin for local fashion, has grown in popularity. The number of “Chinese-style” (国风) enthusiasts topped 177 million in 2021, of which the 18-30 age group accounted for about 70 percent, according to a report by Chinese online video site Bilibili Inc.
Red is an auspicious color in Chinese culture. JD data showed that Gen Z’s purchase of products with the phrase “Chinese red” included in product names jumped 326% in 2022, personal care and health, and baijiiu, l Chinese alcohol, being the top-selling categories.
The lazy economy
Gen Z is busier with increasing personal disposable income, becoming the primary demographic of the convenience-based “lazy economy.” They frequently use delivery services and door-to-door services, according to QuestMobile.
Sales of ready meals and vacuum mop combos purchased by Gen Z on JD.com this year have increased 200% and 142% respectively, with underwear washing machines nearly 20 times higher.
Gen Z shopping preferences, which were considered special and different a few years ago, have become the mainstream of the market today. These digital natives are considered the voice of the internet and as a result, brands are tailoring product design, functions, services and marketing methods specifically for them. In other words, Gen Z sets trends, but also guides the entire consumer market, energizing the process of consumption and upgrading.