KPMG: China opt for enhanced digital interactions

By Georgia Wilson
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, KPMG reports an increase in consumers in mainland China opting for enhanced digital interaction...

In a recent report made by KPMG, the company reports that consumers in mainland China and Hong Kong markets have increased their adoption of online shopping as a result of COVID-19, in addition to an increased use of social media and digital channels to communicate with organisations. However ‘value for money’ continues to remain important. 

Titled ‘Consumers and the New Reality Report, KPMG looks at how consumer behaviour has changed since COVID-19 in 12 countries, regions, territories surveying over 12,000 consumers.

A key driver for the increased use of digital channels is the convenience of shopping online, consumers are placing an increased emphasis on home delivery and local convenience. “Mainland China and Hong Kong are among the top four markets identified with the highest net increases in the use of large grocery retailers' online services,” reported KPMG. With Hong Kong also among the top four to have the highest increase of online shopping services for non-grocery items.

In addition KPMG reports a rise in new online shopping formats in mainland China including: influencer livestreams, self-built e-commerce and community commerce enabled through social media. Which KPMG believes demonstrates the importance and the strength of ecommerce in the Chinese retail market.

"As consumers in China continue to adapt to the pandemic and its after-effects, it is clear that changes to their purchasing behaviours are here to stay," commented Jessie Qian, Partner, Head of Consumer and Retail, KPMG China. "Physical retail will need to offer consumers new reasons to purchase offline. With price and convenience being key to consumers' decision making, retailers will need to develop their online and last mile logistics and delivery capability and manage the balance between home delivery and in-store product ranges."

Also within the report KPMG highlights that being transparent, with clear communication has been identified as a trust building factor by 58% in mainland China following COVID-19, while in Hong Kong 62% identified responding quickly to feedback and queries. While within the banking sector Hong Kong (49%) and China (40%) identified ‘providing digital security to protect their accounts’ was a key factor, compared to 35% in mainland China proactive communications regarding the effect of Coronavirus on their service offering' as a top priority when it comes to insurance. 

"Across China and around the world, a new consumer is emerging -- one that is financially impacted, more advanced in their use of digital technologies, and more thoughtful and selective in their decision-making. Organisations have responded to COVID-19 with high levels of innovation, including greater digital access to purchasing and customer support, and they must continue to focus on the digital enablement of their customer,” added Anson Bailey, Partner, Head of Consumer and Retail, ASPAC, KPMG China.

For more information on business topics in Asia Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief APAC.

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