Experiences beyond the home are a significant part of Chinese entertainment and social life. The Chinese consumer is making a bigger investment in health, leisure and entertainment, and is looking for fresh ways of spending time with family. An experiential dimension is increasingly at the heart of Chinese consumer expectation – instant delivery, intuitive commerce, compelling store experiences, and lifestyle services.
Chinese consumers are active and open to new things, which are motivating mall developments and the integration of O2O platforms.
Malls that combine shopping, dining, entertainment and public spaces have benefited most from the experiential trend, enhanced by hands-free shopping, valet and concierge services and activity areas. Outlet malls and destination villages are also on the rise, allowing consumers to enter the world of high fashion at entry level prices.
Physical stores remain a key touchpoint and despite impressive growth of online shopping channels retail sales have remained steady.
Offline shopping continues to flourish due to its social and experiential function, and because of increased cross-channel integration and stores acting as fulfilment centres.
New malls are beginning to have an identity with a fit to location and community, with the aim of destination one-stop shopping. There is a broader tenancy mix, with new brands starting to take their place alongside ubiquitous global brands. Consumers are looking for physical venues where they can explore new products and the demand for flagship stores devoted to a single brand has risen.
Consumers are seeking new ways to experience everything and they are looking to brands to fulfill that expectation. Smart brands with a strong brand proposition are helping consumers experience more, by differentiating offerings with a greater brand immersion, product showcases and engaging environments in store and online.