The China Britain Business Council recently published a report that looks in depth at the growing market of middle income consumers in China. Download the full report here.

An interesting observation was the move from luxury brand-led purchases to choices based on product quality, unique designs, individualism, leisure experience and personal benefits.

There is also a unique look at the composition of some of China’s most discussed cities and soon to be significant cities:

From CBBC China's Middle Income Consumer Report; page 9.

From CBBC China’s Middle Income Consumer Report; page 9.

Regarding online shopping, the report noted that China’s e-commerce market will reach RMB 30 trillion (£3trillion) by 2020, which will be larger than the US, UK, Japan, Germany and France markets combined.

E-commerce and m-commerce will continue to be powered by China’s middle income consumers, and these younger middle income urbanites have a strong demand for convenience, immediacy and cost savings, and they have access to online retailers through their mobile devices and credit cards to facilitate payments.

CBBC found that product quality is the most important factor for online products, followed by price, brand name, delivery, aftersale service, variety, payment methods and website design.

Companies targeting these middle income consumers will need to understand their needs, preferences and expectations. They are typically younger than other countries’ middle income types (under 40) and have a strong preference for seeking out new products and adopting modern, often Western, lifestyles.

They should not be seen as one group, as their lifestyles and consumer behaviour vary across this vast and diverse country. Companies must undertake careful market research and analysis to align their products, brand and marketing strategy to best fit with different locations and sub-segments.