The Rise of China’s Omnichannel Luxury Consumers

How Ecommerce Is Changing the High-End Market

About This Report
Luxury spending in China accounts for a third of global spending. China’s growing wealth, style-conscious millennials, and policies and regulations designed to boost spending within the border pushed luxury spending higher in 2017. This report looks at where China’s consumers seek out information on luxury brands and what shopping channels they use.

Executive Summary

Within a decade, luxury spending in China has risen from slightly over a tenth of the world’s spending to today’s one-third, according to McKinsey & Co. Behind this growth is the country’s rising number of wealthy individuals and the spending power of millennials. Trade policies have steered spending back home, and information disseminated through digital media—especially mobile—has helped open the market to more luxury shoppers.

Which country spends the most on luxury goods?

Consumers in China spent $118.39 billion on luxury goods in 2017, far more than consumers in the US, Europe, Japan or the rest of the world. Two-thirds of digital shoppers who buy luxury goods in China are 37 years old or younger.

How many consumers in China are considered affluent, and is that growing?

The number of affluent consumers in China are expected to grow from 15 million in 2015, or 2.5% of the population in urban China, to 33 million by 2020. While status-consciousness is an important driver of luxury shopping, younger generations are increasingly drawn to luxury as a reflection of their individuality, personal style and self-identity. Consumers of luxury products in China search and buy online, but they are also enthusiastic about in-store technologies.

How much do travelers in China spend on luxury items?

Affluent travelers from China tend to spend more than half of their budget on shopping during their trips. Most travelers in China—78%—spent over RMB100,000 on travel in 2017, and about half spent more than RMB50,000 on shopping during that same period.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report will provide an overview of the luxury goods market in China, its growth drivers, and delves into ways that luxury shoppers research luxury products and the channels they use to make purchases.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. China Is a Major Growth Driver of Global Luxury Sales
  3. What Is Driving Luxury Goods Sales?
  4. Which Luxury Goods Categories Are Growing?
  5. Cultural Factors Driving Luxury Goods Sales
  6. Luxury Goods Advertising Spending
  1. Understanding the Luxury Consumer Journey
  2. What Channels Are Luxury Consumers Using?
  3. Luxury Goods Retail Ecommerce and Digital Buyers
  4. Luxury Ecommerce Platforms
  5. Brands Localize Their Marketing Strategy
  6. Chinese Luxury Shoppers Are Not Bound by Geography
  1. China’s Rich Travelers
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  4. Read Next
  5. Sources
  6. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Henrik Balk
Head of PMO, Transformation and IT
Interviewed August 22, 2018
Lili Chen
Alibaba Tmall
General Manager, Luxury Pavilion
Interviewed August 21, 2018
Tom Doctoroff
Chief Cultural Insights Officer
Interviewed August 15, 2018
Yiling Pan
Jing Daily
Associate Editor
Interviewed August 20, 2018
Mengmeng (Kelly) Tang
Kantar Millward Brown
Senior Research Executive
Interviewed August 19, 2018
Haixia Wang
Senior Director, Research
Interviewed August 22, 2018
Sarah Zhang
Points (PTSS)
Interviewed July 31, 2018
Ricky Wang
Senior Overseas Public Relations Manager
Interviewed August 24, 2018


Man-Chung Cheung


Mark Dolliver
Principal Analyst
Jasmine Enberg
Senior Analyst
Jennifer Jhun
Research Director, International and Special Projects
Jennifer Pearson
VP, Research

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