Although often overshadowed by the older generations, Chinese Gen Z consumers are quickly making their mark on the global jewellery market. And their taste in jewellery is evolving rapidly, influenced by a combination of factors including social media, globalisation and personal style. Here’s a closer look at how Chinese Gen Z consumers are changing the jewellery landscape.
China & Jewellery, a complicated love-story
Historically, international jewellery brands didn’t invest much in e-commerce. High-end names didn’t want to damage their brand equity, and consumers were hesitant to spend lavishly online. However, the times have changed for such companies. As per recent China jewellery market statistics, an estimated 64% of shoppers preferred buying such goods from comprehensive e-commerce platforms.
The space has paved the way into the hearts of Chinese customers — especially the younger generation. Gen Z spending now accounts for 30% of the fashion consumption in the country.
If you want to capture a bigger piece of this market, it’s essential to learn about trends, influencers, and ideal partners. This article will provide you with vital information about all these components.
An Overview of the Chinese Gen Z Market
Experts define the Gen Z market as the newest generation — individuals born between 1997 and 2012. This group is currently between the ages of 9 and 24 years old.
For many brands in China, millennials are a core source of growth. However, not many companies realize that tapping their Gen Z successors — a category of almost 170 million people — could be just as beneficial.
These individuals are heavy internet and social media users, and the oldest of them have started entering the workforce.
Below are some of the factors that make them stand out from other consumer classifications.
Most people in the Gen Z market don’t work yet, but we wouldn’t recommend putting them off. Gen Z’s ability to purchase luxury brands comes from massive allowances that reach an average of $420 monthly. 21% of them get almost $1,600 per month.
Some save up for big purchases, and some use credit cards that other people pay or even take out loans. They won’t hesitate to spend even on expensive items.
Many people in the Gen Z group have an individualistic nature that they want to express. While they are not immune to peer pressure, they still like to feel like they are not blind followers. They get purchase ideas from platforms like TikTok, Bilibili, Instagram, and WeChat communities.
For Gen Z individuals, luxury is a form of self-expression and not about boasting their social status. For this reason, they prefer companies that communicate with them in a relatable way. They would rather listen to key opinion leaders (KOLs) and other influencers than visit official brand apps and sites.
This strategy is particularly useful for high-end brands. Remember, Gen Z individuals like receiving content from reliable information sources with authentic viewpoints.
Chinese Gen Z Jewellery Trends
The rich Chinese culture dates back 5,000 years and has developed and maintained a style unique to the world. Silk cords, gold coins, and precious metals — especially jade — adorned traditional Chinese jewellery. People wore these beautiful hand-crafted pieces not just for ornamentation purposes but for good luck, good fortune, and protection as well.
Also, while many people instantly associate pearls and enamel jewellery with the country, there are diamonds in this area.
Let’s look at some of the China jewellery market trends nowadays and how they compare to traditional preferences.
Here are some tips for the noble metal jewellery market:
• Generation Z accounts for 30% of fashion consumption in 2020; GMV has a year-on-year growth rate of 105%
• 45% of the consumption motivation is to celebrate/commemorate a personal anniversary; the other 14% and 13% are to make themselves happy/pass a difficult period, impulse/comfort themselves
• 80% of Generation Z buy precious jewellery purchase motivation is to please themselves, while only 57% of the 25-40-year-olds have the same
• Plain chains (the pendant can be detached separately), bracelets/bracelets, and rings account for 24%, 23%, and 21% of the precious jewellery consumption of Gen Z women
• Among them, bracelets have grown rapidly, from 17% in 2018 to 23% in 2020.
• The proportion of women’s favourite materials: gold 50%, rose gold 23%, platinum 14%
• The incremental market for Gen Z male consumers is mainly in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities
• 33% of men’s primary consumer demand is style/design
• Manga/cartoon, hip-hop, new traditional Chinese style, Lolita, games, outdoor extremes, stars, rock and roll are the 8 major interest circles of the z generation
There are three main categories for jewellery in China: gemstone jewellery, metal jewellery, and other jewellery. Among these classifications, 24-karat gold products were the top-selling items until recently. Retailers often sell these pure gold ornaments by weight, adding markup for labour and margins.
However, in recent years, consumers’ preference for gold has declined. A recent jewellery survey shows that members of the Gen Z market now prefer diamond and platinum jewels over their gold counterparts.
The Chinese diamond jewellery market is now worth $7 billion — second only to the U.S.A. For many years, China has steadily climbed up to this position.
Looking more closely at the Chinese diamond consumption, the Shanghai Diamond Exchange recorded an average increase of roughly 27% per year. With the increasing spending power of the Chinese Gen Z, it’s only natural for experts to predict that diamonds may soon surpass gold sales.
Specific Jewellery Segments
Young consumers in China consider jewellery as fashionable accessories rather than symbols of being in a committed relationship. As highly educated women started becoming self-purchasing consumers, they now purchase jewellery to celebrate personal milestones.
Also, unlike Westerners, Chinese men purchase jewellery for themselves. They’re not afraid to wear sparkly jewels and diamonds but also keep indulging in watches.
How To Tap the Chinese Gen Z Consumers
The Chinese population has reached a massive 1.41 billion people, and there’s so much potential for foreign brands who want to tap this market. Their e-commerce market is currently the largest in the world, and many jewellery brands don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to enter this business scene. Below are some practical ways to reach the Chinese Gen Z consumers.
Enhance Your Online Presence
One way to enhance your online presence is to work with local experts to develop custom content and ensure you participate in Chinese promotional calendars. Your preferred partners should work with designated managers to improve the performance of your digital listings.
Baidu is a great platform to promote your jewellery brand to Chinese Gen Z consumers. Baidu is the most popular search engine in China, with over 80% market share. This means that your jewellery brand will have exposure to the vast majority of Chinese Gen Z consumers who are using the internet to research products and make purchasing decisions.
Use Chinese Platforms
Google, Amazon, and Facebook are not the biggest digital names in China, actually, most of them are not accessible. Instead, Chinese jewellery consumers use platforms like Taobao, Tmall, and Baidu as well as the plethora of Chinese social media available in the mainland. The first step in reaching Gen Z consumers is to gather information about where they spend most of their time in the digital space.
Chinese Social Media
There are a lot of social media platforms that could be used to promote a jewellery brand to Chinese buyers, but the most effective would probably be WeChat and Weibo. WeChat is very popular in China and is essentially a combination of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter. Weibo is also very popular in China and is basically the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
Both platforms are great for promoting products because they allow users to post pictures and videos of their products, as well as write long-form posts about them. They’re also great for reaching a large audience, as there are millions of users on both platforms.
Using KOL to perform in China is a must in China for brand.
Ex : Louis Vuitton new campaign
On top of Weibo and Wechat, we strongly suggest Jewellery brand join Xiaohonghsu (little red book/RED) either as a branded account or through Kols and UGC marketing. RED has become the place to go to look up reviews on lifestyle and beauty brands. RED users are mostly women living in wealthy cities under the age of 40.
Chinese eCommerce platforms
There are a few different Chinese e-commerce platforms that you could sell jewellery on. The most popular platforms are Tmall and Taobao. These platforms are owned by the Alibaba Group, and they are the two largest online marketplaces in China. If you are a luxury brand, consider joining Tmall Luxury Pavilion.
Another option would be to use JD.com. This is also a very popular platform in China, and it is second only to Alibaba Group in terms of market share.
Optimise your Communication Strategy for Mobile users
China has the world’s largest population of mobile phone users. In fact, as of 2016, there were more than 731 million active mobile phone users in China. That’s more than the combined populations of the United States and Canada! So it’s no surprise that many Chinese consumers prefer to purchase items online via their mobile devices.
Chinese consumers are known for being extremely savvy when it comes to shopping online. They are particularly interested in finding good deals and in comparing prices before making a purchase.
Thanks to the WeChat revolution, the Chinese favour instant shopping right through their mobile phones. WeChat is deeply ingrained into all other systems, making it essential to create a marketing plan focusing on this platform.
In the same vein, you’ll want to have a website in Chinese mandarin optimized for Baidu but also for Chinese netizens.
Understand Chinese Payment Gateways
The Chinese prefer quick payment options using Alipay and WeChat Pay. These are the top Chinese payment platforms that make up 90% of the market share.
If you want to enter this market, we recommend offering these payment options or risk losing most of your potential clients immediately.
Boost Your Authority
With the right team on your side, you can capture, engage, and convert audiences through cost-effective strategies. For example, using an effective influence marketing technique can be the game-changer you need to penetrate the Gen Z market.
Penetrate the China Jewellery Market Now
The China jewellery market is a whole new ball game and is nothing like the Western trade. To penetrate this business environment, it’s essential to work with a partner who understands the ins and outs of the Chinese e-commerce industry and growing brands after listing.
No matter your company size or industry, we can help you reach your targets in this category. At Marketing to China, we offer a wide range of custom services you can mix and match to address your needs. Request a free consultation now to begin your journey toward exponential growth.