Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (AMEA)

Chinese Online Shoppers Show Strong Demand for Australian Goods

The outlook for local businesses selling to China looks bright.

  • Dairy, health and baby products most likely to be perceived as ‘world-class’ by Chinese online shoppers

  • The ‘Australian way of life’ a key motivator for Chinese buyers

  • Perception of long delivery time the lead barrier preventing Chinese online shoppers from purchasing Australian goods

Australia, Sydney, August 2, 2017 — The outlook for local businesses selling to China looks bright, with more than 8 in 10 (84 percent) Chinese online shoppers highly likely to buy at least one Australian product in the next 12 months, independent research commissioned by FedEx Express in Australia has found.

FedEx Express is a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company.

The poll of 1,000 Chinese online shoppers (18 – 44 years old and living in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen) shows Australian brands are already top of mind, with 81 percent having purchased at least one Australian product online in the past.

Australian products resonate with Chinese consumers

Those Chinese online shoppers polled estimated that they have spent RMB$4895 (AUD$940) on Australian goods in the past 12 months.

When asked about their perception of Australian goods, over a third (36 percent) of Chinese online shoppers said they are good value for money and 32 percent believed they are safer than Chinese goods.

Dairy products were perceived to be ‘world-class’ by 58 percent of Chinese online shoppers, while a fifth or more believe the same for health supplements and pharmaceutical products (39 percent), baby products (31 percent), skincare products (25 percent), fresh seafood and meat (24 percent), fresh fruit and vegetables (20 percent) and wine (20 percent).

Cosmetic and skincare products were the most popular category, purchased by 31 percent, followed by healthcare and pharmaceutical products (25 percent).

“Australian brands enjoy a high reputation among consumers in China” said Kim Garner, managing director, FedEx Express Australasia. “With the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement and the emergence of online marketplaces connecting to consumers in China, it is becoming much easier for Australian businesses to do business with China.”

Shipping is at the heart of online shopping decisions

The most prominent barrier preventing Chinese online shoppers from purchasing Australian goods is the perception that delivery takes too long (35 percent). However, 80 percent agree they would be more likely to purchase an online Australian product if the seller used a well-known and reputable international shipping company.

The ability to return a product without extra hassle and cost (69 percent), reliable solutions for outsized, perishable or fragile deliveries (66 percent) and fast delivery (57 percent) were all identified as highly important when deciding to buy Australian products.

“For Australian businesses to harness e-commerce, logistics plays an important role. Delivery and returns are important part of the customer experience. That’s why it is so important to have reliable and fast shipping solutions that give Chinese shoppers the confidence to buy from Australia,” said Garner.

Authorised sales channels and effective marketing key in China

The credibility of product listings is a key influencer for Chinese online shoppers, with 79 percent stating they would buy more Australian products if they were available on Chinese global online marketplaces, such as Tmall global. At the same time, six in ten shoppers considered online payment safety (61 percent) and product authenticity (60 percent) as paramount when deciding whether to make an online Australian purchase.

“Buying Australian products online comes down to trust. This research indicates secure payment, authenticity and seller recommendations are more important to Chinese online shoppers than price and brand. It’s important to have a world-leading product, but selling it through the right channels is also crucial.” said Garner. “Equally critical is leveraging Australia’s strong national image through effective marketing. Our research shows that nearly two thirds (62 percent) of Chinese online shoppers like buying Australian-made as our way of life is appealing and over half (59 percent) agree they are more likely to buy brands if their favourite celebrities on social media use them.”