Attract China Blog

The Two Best Ways to Entice Chinese Shoppers

October 17, 2014



Chinese shoppers overtook American’s as the world’s biggest luxury buyers in 2012, and have been boosting the global luxury sales with their strong buying power since then.

When shopping, Chinese people have a different mentality – always looking for the best deals, which has existed for thousands of years in the Chinese culture. In fact, it is part of Chinese daily life to barter. In China, most marked prices, except those in major grocery stores and shopping malls, are inflated asking prices subject to haggling. Chinese consumers, no matter the middle class or the upper class, believe that they can get better deals through negotiation.

However, this doesn’t mean that American businesses have to lower their prices to attract Chinese tourist-shoppers. One reason is that Chinese seldom bargain over price when shopping abroad. They think the prices of Western products are fixed and there is no room to negotiate. Another reason is that the best deal doesn’t equal to the lowest price. There is a Chinese saying that goes, “higher price, high quality”, which sounds contradictory to their bargaining habits. But it is true that Chinese are willing to pay more for Western luxury brands because they believe that Western products hold value in a long run. So, American businesses can tap into the burgeoning market of Chinese buyers without lowering their prices or offering discounts as along as they make Chinese buyers think their products worth the money. Below are two suggested practices:

1. Promote Product Packages



Chinese are increasingly brand-aware. When first purchasing a brand, Chinese buyers, almost without exception, choose the brand’s star products, which refer to the best selling products and top-rated products. So, a star-products package, such as a skincare set and a healthcare combo pack that allows the buyer to get the best that a brand has to offer within one purchase can quickly gain the favor of Chinese. Such packages are also considered as ideal gifts to take home.

Product packages promotion are not a retailer-exclusive strategy; hotels, attractions and restaurants can increase sales in the same way. For example, hotels can offer meal packages and tour packages – through partnership with popular restaurants and attractions nearby – to make it easer for Chinese tourists to stay in the city.

 2. Offer Gift with Purchase



Instead of offering discounts, many retailers do “gift with purchase” to lure Chinese shoppers. For one thing, it makes buyers feel they get a great deal; for another, it sends buyers a message that you care about them. Many cosmetics brands say that Chinese shoppers are so eager to try everything that they always ask for free samples, which largely boosts future sales. “Gift with purchase” has become a common practice among shopping malls and retail brands that have been cash in on Chinese demand for Western products.

Similarly, hotels can provide Chinese tourists who stay at their property with free gifts such as a Mandarin map or a simple souvenir. Sometimes, a little something extra works better than direct discounts.

With a growing penchant for traveling and shopping overseas, Chinese people, who love to bargain at home, fly halfway around the world to spend big money in the west. They always seek the best deals – the products/services that worth the money – rather than the cheapest. So, instead of giving coupons and discounts, you just need to present them the best you can offer.

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