Women are increasingly important in China’s thriving e-commerce sector

Tourists shop at a duty-free mall in Sanya, southern China’s Hainan Province, March 12, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

International Women’s Day celebrated earlier this month couldn’t come at a more suitable time for tech-savvy Chinese women.

The purchasing power of female e-commerce consumers is higher than ever, with leading e-commerce platform JD.com releasing a report this month that suggests up to 75% of purchasing decisions of households are taken by women.

The phenomenon, dubbed by some “she-commerce,” means the future of China’s lucrative consumer tech markets is becoming more representative than ever.

The consequences of women having more purchasing power in the e-commerce world have implications for many Chinese shopping markets.

Women tend to be larger consumers than men in a wide range of markets that include cosmetics, luxury goods, and baby products.

Many sales analysts suggest that women are more likely to spend money on self-care for their well-being, which means that items such as skin care and diet products and nutritional values ​​are also experiencing a huge increase.

However, sectors traditionally considered to be dominated by men such as alcohol, gaming and automobiles are also influenced by the purchasing power of women.

It is therefore important that brands do not succumb to outdated gender stereotypes and risk neglecting valuable, enthusiastic potential customers.

The behaviors and underlying trends of female buyers are leading to an evolution of services and products specifically aimed at women.

Psychologists suggest that men tend to be more daring in their decision-making process, while women tend to spend their time considering both the price and the risk of committing to the product in question.

Women also tend to be more savvy in using different tools to get the best deals, for example using review websites and social media.

The “female commerce” is now an entire industry of services and products specifically aimed at Chinese women, with technology in an arms race to provide the smoothest online shopping experiences for women.

The reasoning behind this increase in female consumers is reflected in the societal changes in China in recent years. Women represent a relatively large proportion of the country’s workforce, especially compared to the national average of many other countries.

A high level of education within the group is another factor. It is now true that more university students in China are women than men, resulting in increased disposable income being injected into e-commerce markets aimed at women. The tendency of women to choose to marry later is also boosting purchasing habits.

Rural women are also stepping into the action, taking advantage of e-commerce platforms such as Taobao to get involved in the country’s booming economy. Whether buying or selling, the fact that a physical presence is no longer required means that there are more opportunities for women-oriented businesses in remote areas to thrive and deliver. all women, whether urban or not.

It may also be that e-commerce has enabled women to focus their financial role as caregivers more effectively than in pre-Internet days.

Women, in addition to holding high positions in demanding careers, also juggle the roles of primary caregivers for their partners, pets and communities at large. The purchases that take place tend not to be just for themselves, with the additional presence of children greatly influencing financial decisions. Girlfriends, wives and mothers all act as the gateway to the business needs of the rest of the family unit.

As gender stereotypes continue to crumble and more women enter markets with their consumer interests unhindered, it is likely that the e-commerce landscape will continue to see the influence of women in China. to strenghten.