(AGENPARL) – GLOBAL, gio 26 novembre 2020
Officially defined globally as the cohort of people who were born between 1996 and 2010, Gen Z make up about 15 percent of China’s population and represent the next engine of domestic consumption growth. Understanding Gen Z is paramount forany consumer company that wants to play a part in China’s ongoing economic growth story.
China’s Gen Z spent their childhoods during the fastest sustained expansion of a major economy in history, and are consequently used to rapid improvements in their standard of living. They are also China’s first generation of digital natives, and as such are instinctively familiar with technology as a form of communication and entertainment, and as an enabler of commerce.
With an eye to helping consumer brands understand how this unique background sets China’s Gen Z apart from older generations at home and their peers in other markets globally, McKinsey conducted a survey of nearly 3,000 consumers in China, aged 18-54, alongside our global Gen Z research efforts in United States, Australia, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan. 1 Based on these investigations, we have identified six key trends that define China’s Gen Z as a unique cohort of consumers.
Trend 1: China’s Gen Z are optimistic, impulsive, and tend to outspend their budget
In all the countries we surveyed, younger consumers said they are more likely to “buy products on the go”. Chinese consumers are more impulsive than their peers in other countries; even Gen X (aged 39-54) shoppers in China indicate they are more spontaneous than Gen Z consumers elsewhere. China’s Gen Z are the most spontaneous of all, with 47 percent telling us that they buy products on the go, five percentage points higher than for Chinese Millennials (aged 24-38) and more than 10 percentage points higher than for China’s Gen X (Exhibit 1).
This behavior is driven in part by robust confidence in future earnings: 78 percent of Chinese Gen Z respondents said they believe they will earn more, or much more, in the future. This combination of impulsiveness and optimism also leads 36 percent of our survey sample to overspend their budget.
In fact, China’s Gen Z refer to themselves as “the moonlight clan” in reference to their propensity to spend their entire monthly salary over the course of a single lunar cycle, effectively living paycheck to paycheck. According to our research, they are also relatively more comfortable owing money; only 21 percent stated they would be relieved if they could pay off all their debts, compared with 28 percent of Chinese Millennials. In China, even university students with no credit records have access to financial products that enable them to make purchases they would not otherwise be able to afford. These include Ant Financial’s Huabei (literally meaning “just spend”) virtual credit card, which draws upon consumers aged below 25 for a quarter of its user base, and JD.com’s Baitiao card, which enables customers to buy on the spot and pay later, as well as a multitude of other financial products.
Gen Z consumers in the US are similarly inclined to spend big on consumer products, while their outlay on luxury apparel and accessories even surpasses that of Millennial shoppers with higher incomes.