• Chinese customers are getting more sophisticated.

Chinese customers are getting more sophisticated. (Photo : Getty Images)

The newly established shopping area in Hangzhou City now offers imported products and gives residents access to products that are usually sold online.

The shopping area is composed of more than 20 shopping pavilions and offer products from Spain and Canada.

Huang Jianya, head of the Bulgaria pavilion, sells Bulgarian rose oil that can be tested by shoppers. "Customers can check out and test whatever products they like and then decide which ones they want to buy."

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A seller surnamed Zhuang and head of the France pavilion said that Chinese consumers' tastes are becoming more sophisticated.

"Many of China's shoppers previously turned to overseas shopping agents for help. But by using this bonded warehouse model, we can purchase a large volume of goods directly from overseas suppliers at a wholesale price," he said.

Most of the shoppers in this cross-border marketplace are also online shoppers who seek products from abroad. These are the shoppers who spend more than those who buy domestic products.

According to a survey released by Nielsen in 2015, "affluent and well-educated young people make up the majority of cross-border online shoppers and the cross-border online shopping features at low frequency and higher spending per order compared to domestic online shopping."

Consumers who are e-commerce patrons are usually 25- to 40-year-old individuals who are more educated and are employees of private enterprises with a larger monthly income, according to the survey.

According to the survey, "Nielsen's Report of 2015 Online Shoppers Trend found that even if more consumers prefer to purchase by professional/Personal cross-border online shopping websites, the personal purchasing agents still remains a clear favorite."

Stephen Li, Vice President of Nielsen China, said that shopping arcades in Hangzhou are still in an advantage because the onsite store gives a more satisfactory experience to customers.

He said, "Even though e-commerce platforms are very competitive in quality and after-sale guarantee, better product supply, and logistics system, consumers still have strong intention to support purchasing agents because they take the advantages of differentiation, flexibility, and timeliness to meet customers' special demand."