Marketing Featured East Asia

Latest report unveils exponential growth of on-demand consumption among Chinese consumers

Beijing, China – As consumers are now migrating to online channels to respond to their daily shopping needs, the greater specificity of Chinese consumers patronizing e-commerce channels for their shopping needs have risen exponentially, with a greater interest in hyper-local e-commerce providers, a new joint report by Chinese e-commerce and Dada Group shows.

In their latest report, they state that on-demand consumption among Chinese online shoppers is here to stay, noting that fresh food is, by far, the largest segment of the on-demand delivery, accounting for 70% of daily consumption among the report respondents. Other areas have shown exponential growth in on-demand consumption this year, such as dairy (+120%), personal hygiene (+114%), snacks (91%), and maternity/baby care (90%).

Consumer-wise, millennials are still the most prevalent consumer group, making up 50% of the on-demand economy, with female consumers born after 1980 as the most dominant consumers, representing 67% of the on-demand market. That said, the market is attracting an increasingly diverse group of consumers, by both age and region. 

On other demographic factors, the report details how the number of male consumers has jumped by to 33% in 2021, up from 25% in 2018, while the proportion of middle-aged and elderly users who are more than 40 years old has increased to 28% in two years, up from 22% in 2019. 

Driven by easing lockdowns and an increasing focus on connecting people with a wider array of products, post-pandemic on-demand consumption in China has experienced a shift from households (74%) to workplaces (8%) and educational institutions (3%), which is further extending to recreational venues, including fairgrounds, tourist hotspots, and parks. 

There is also significant demand for 24/7 on-demand services, and those businesses serving late-night, usually at 12 am to 2 am, customers are reaping the benefits from a new wave of customers who want reliable delivery service outside of traditional business hours.

“China is leading the way in omnichannel retailing. A new wave of transformational change of omnichannel retailing is underway, fuelled by the integration between traditional e-commerce, offline retailers, and on-demand retail platforms to meet the customer demands for a more diversified shopping experience. In the era of hyperlocal e-commerce, one-hour delivery has become the new normal and it is quickly emerging as a major channel for supermarkets and grocery chains to win business,” both companies said in a press statement.

Huijian He, vice president at Dada Group stated that the unprecedented growth of China’s on-demand economy in recent years, particularly its accelerated momentum through COVID, is revolutionizing consumer behavior across China. He also added that the rise of on-demand, hyperlocal one-hour delivery of goods, has transformed the retail industry and increased consumers’ expectations for a best-in-class shopping experience.

“With significant consumer demand in first- and second-tier cities, and large and rapidly growing demand in lower-tier cities, retailers, on-demand retail platforms and delivery services are increasingly competing for higher speed, flexibility and convenience across the on-demand economy,” He stated.

Meanwhile, Hui Liu, chief data officer at the JD Big Data Research Institute, commented, “We look forward to leveraging this data to continue to drive innovation across our platform as we deliver the speed, flexibility and convenience that consumers are increasingly demanding and realize the numerous growth opportunities in China’s on-demand economy.”