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Differences and similarities of American and Chinese consumers

Americans have certain spending habits, merchandise preferences and values that drive their purchases, and Chinese consumers do too. As a business owner looking to expand into China, it’s important to understand how American consumers differ from their Chinese counterparts and the traits which they share.

The disposable income in China is rising steadily and the mainstream consumer category is set to encompass about 50% of the country’s urban residents. Companies that can understand what appeals to them will be in the best position to take advantage of the country’s economic growth.

Differences

  • Young Chinese consumers are comfortable being single and their spending habits reflect that, with companies using marketing efforts to appeal to them.
  • Buyers are wary of counterfeit goods because of the lack of consumer protections that America enjoys. Brands need to be ready to explain their products in detail so that those who purchase them know what to expect —and have a good idea of what not to buy.

Similarities

  • US consumers like purchases to be easy and arrive quickly—buyers in China also appreciate speed and ease of use. Same day deliveries are very popular in the country and shopping is commonly done right from smartphones.
  • Just like Americans, Chinese consumers have a strong sense of national pride. Foreign companies need to take special care to respect the long history of China, its culture and its people.

Leveraging an understanding of both the differences and similarities of Chinese consumers to American consumers will give businesses an edge when entering the Chinese market. They can use more familiar marketing tactics that target similar traits and spend time researching effective ways to reach buyers in different ways than they would normally use in the US.

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