Blog Archive


The new Chinese digital consumers your business needs to target

China, the site of COVID-19’s initial large outbreak, has done exceptionally well at controlling the infection since then. This has enabled the country to kickstart its economy in record time but along the way, things have changed. Understanding and adapting to these changes may take time but it will pay off in the end.

Understanding the globe’s most active and unconstrained consumers isn’t just a lifeline for startups when other markets are closed or slow. They offer a glimpse at trends in the world’s largest market after the coronavirus. We can see some patterns already present in the West that are new to China and some patterns that might make their way from China to the world.

Now if your brand is ever contemplating going into the Chinese market, there are four core emerging groups and three familiar ones that I believe to be essential to future success, based on

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  • November 12, 2020

Singles’ Day Bonanza May Herald Return of China’s Consumers

(Bloomberg) — Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. kicks off the world’s biggest 24-hour shopping binge Wednesday, an annual frenzy of consumption for hundreds of millions that this year will also serve as the best barometer so far of China’s post-pandemic recovery.

Singles’ Day debuted in 2009 and has grown over a decade into a nationwide marathon of frantic bargain-hunting that dwarfs sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday in both intensity and size. 2020’s edition features a record number of brand names from Apple to Nike betting that — after months of Covid-enforced abstention — China’s 400 million-strong middle class is ready to spend on everything from Hainan beach-side vacations to takeaway coupons and electronics.

Alibaba, Asia’s largest company, is expected to blow past last year’s record $38 billion total after the pandemic forced Chinese consumers — who already buy about 30% of the nation’s retail purchases online — to

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  • November 11, 2020

Chinese Consumers Embrace Futuristic, Experimental Eyewear Design

LONDON — Just like major Chinese cities are obsessed with mega-construction projects of tomorrow designed by celebrity architects, the country’s fashion consumers have developed a passion for eyewear with a futuristic twist.

Betty Bachz, cofounder of British eyewear brand Møy Atelier, said she has been seeing a lot of oversized sci-fi-inspired eyewear designs in China, priced at the accessible $200 mark.

“Perhaps it is because we feel that we already live in a dystopian future. The brave new world may already be upon us, the future is now,” she added.

Riding on the trend, Zaha Hadid Design, a lifestyle business created by late Zaha Hadid alongside her architecture, has unveiled its first eyewear design in collaboration with the Chinese emerging eyewear brand The Owner.

The futuristic-looking design comes with a one-piece lens design and a fluid oversized titanium frame that stretches across the forehead with triangle patterns Hadid commonly used

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  • October 28, 2020

How To Capture Consumers With Digital Wallets

In a time of increasing change for retailers and consumers, the current global climate has begun accelerating the future of retail trends at a much quicker pace than previously envisioned.

However, one thing still rings true: Consumers need a reason to change ingrained behaviors. Helena Mao, vice president of global product strategy for payments at Blackhawk, spoke to PYMNTS, explaining why many consumers were slower to adopt the rollout of mobile wallets and payment methods in places like the United States — and why those feelings may be shifting.

From Mao’s view, in Asian markets where cash had historically dominated, mobile wallets filled a need for an easy, accessible “ubiquitous cashless payment” for the masses. By contrast, U.S. consumers have largely relied on cards, were comfortable with them as a main purchase tool and the U.S. mobile wallet landscape is fragmented in comparison

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  • October 12, 2020

The Holiday Season Has Already Started for Nearly Half of Consumers, Thanks to Online Shopping

Retailers still preparing for the holiday season may already be losing out on business, according to new survey results from Affirm. The payments solution surveyed 2,000 Americans about their holiday shopping habits and found that half of respondents have already begun to shop online for their seasonal purchases this year.

The survey also supports recent data that has found that shoppers are increasingly purchasing on non-sale days, with big sale events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday no longer attracting as large a proportion of holiday purchases. Affirm found that seven out of 10 respondents are more likely to buy something on sale now, rather than wait for those discounted days around the Thanksgiving period.

Experts attribute this shift in part to the growing popularity of e-commerce, with shoppers increasingly likely to take advantage of convenience over savings. Additional payment tools like “buy now, pay later” or “pay in installments”

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  • September 23, 2020

What can you do about onerous travel fees? ‘Consumers are at a disadvantage’

John Frigo thought he’d found the ideal vacation rental in Tampa, Florida. Instead, he faced a collection of travel fees. 

For just $350, he thought he could enjoy three nights in a spacious condo with stunning views of the bay. But when Frigo tried to book the rental, the price suddenly doubled to roughly $700.

“There was a $150 cleaning fee, a service fee and several other junk fees,” says Frigo, who works for a health website in Bolingbrook, Illinois. “I contacted the host to confirm that was correct, and he gave me some roundabout answer about how there’s a lot that goes into a vacation rental.”

Make that a lot of money.

A few years ago, people like Frigo could go to their favorite vacation rental site and get a reasonably accurate price quote. No surprises. Today, vacation rental platforms like Airbnb offer hosts the ability to charge community

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  • September 11, 2020

PayPal Volume Surges With Consumers Flocking to Online Shopping

(Bloomberg) — PayPal Holdings Inc. climbed after executives said a surge in digital payments on its platform in the second quarter marks an accelerating and permanent shift away from cash in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The technology giant, which has been signing up consumers spooked by the virus, said Wednesday it now expects revenue to climb 25% this quarter while payments volume surges 30%. It sees full-year revenue climbing 22%.

“This is our time,” Chief Executive Officer Dan Schulman told analysts on a conference call. “We intend to seize the moment.”

Lockdowns to prevent viral infections, and the ensuing shift to online commerce, spurred people to learn how to make digital payments. That helped boost the number of net new active accounts to 21.3 million. The company said it now expects to add 70 million active accounts in the latter half of the year.

“The big competition for

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How Big Tech Antitrust Hearing May Help Consumers

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.

When the CEOs of the nation’s four biggest tech firms appear before lawmakers on Wednesday to defend their business practices, the fallout is likely to stretch well beyond Silicon Valley. In fact, it may affect your digital future.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Sundar Pichai will field questions raised by a yearlong federal investigation into the tech industry, testifying under oath about decisions that affect consumer choice. The hearing was organized by the antitrust subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.

Based on their answers, regulators will determine whether perhaps the companies have stifled innovation and impeded competition in online marketplaces, app stores, social media platforms, and search results.

“We’ll learn something by what they tell us or what they refuse to tell us,” says Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel at Consumer Reports.


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Consumers Are Trading in Summer Vacation Plans for the Great Outdoors

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As Americans continue to make changes due to the coronavirus pandemic, new summer vacation trends have begun to emerge.

After weeks, and in some cases months, of staying indoors many have started looking at camping and road trips as the ideal social distancing activity. According to NPD Group, as national parks and other parts of the country begin to reopen, key camping, RV and road trip items are seeing double and triple-digit growth.

Data from the 2020 North American Camping report, by Kampgrounds of America in April, found that while timing remains unclear for when Americans will feel comfortable enough to start traveling there are indications that camping is well-positioned to rebound quicker than other types of travel. Moreover, the COVID-19 crisis has drawn more campers and first-time campers to the activity.

NPD’s retail sales data supports these findings, showing camping equipment sales

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