• China Daily Life - Economy

China Daily Life - Economy (Photo : Getty Images)

It is not just wealthy Chinese whose standard of living have changed. Ordinary Chinese consumers are also moving upward economically as reflected in their choice of brands when purchasing products.

In February, a report by Fortune Character Group said that in 1985, $183 billion (1.2 trillion yuan) worth of luxury goods were spent by rich Chinese in their overseas shopping sprees for expensive brands such as Rolex, Prada, Hermes and Louis Vuitton.

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Domestically, consumer confidence is also on the rise despite the economic slowdown, according to the 2016 China Consumer Report by McKinsey & Co. Shoppers are being more selective and spend carefully by veering away from cheap, but low-quality mass-produced goods to brands in premium segments, reported China Daily.

The study, which had 10,000 respondents from 44 cites, aged between 18 and 65, interviewed them face to face for an hour. Daniel Zipser, partner in McKinsey Shanghai office, disclosed that 50 percent of the survey respondents said that they really search for the best and priciest products and lifestyle services.

They have also became brand-conscious with fewer consumers willing to buy a product not on their brand shortlist. This shopping outlook was particularly felt in buying clothes. Consumers willing to try another brand of apparel they have not purchase before went down to 30 percent in 2015 from 40 percent in 2012, said Gong Fang, also a partner at McKinsey Shanghai.

The study also confirmed the Fortune Character report that more Chinese are going overseas to shop. Last year, 70 million Chinese went abroad an average of 1.5 times. About 80 percent of them bought items abroad, while 30 percent made destination choices based on shopping preferences.

Shanghai Daily reported that over the next five years, 55 percent of the survey respondents stated that they foresee an increase in their household income. They expect to boost spending on food, clothes and leisure enterainment.