China’s iConsumer 2015: A Growing Appetite for Change


China’s iConsumer 2015: A Growing Appetite for Change

Chinese e-commerce is developing even faster than previously believed, with Chinese iConsumers embracing online commerce and major retailers rushing to offer ever more sophisticated online services.

McKinsey’s iConsumer China 2015 survey tapped into the behaviors and desires of China’s 630 million Internet users, across different city tiers and throughout rural areas (Exhibit 1). The research shows robust growth in social commerce, a trend toward transforming physical retailers into mere ‘showrooms’, and mounting consumer enthusiasm for more online-to-offline (O2O) services. Combined with a dramatic increase in online food purchasing and unexpected levels of online engagement among the rural population, these findings show Chinese digital consumers, already among the most advanced in the world, are embracing and demanding more innovative online shopping experiences at a rapidly accelerating pace.


Download the full report here

Image credit: Jason Howie/Flickr


  1. […] McKinsey has just released “China’s iConsumer 2015: A growing appetite for choice and change,” detailing emerging digital and consumer trends for 2015 based on a survey of over 6,000 mainland respondents. Among the major themes for the coming year was the rapid adoption of O2O (online-to-offline) services among online shoppers at 71%, with 97% among them planning to increase usage over the next six months. In terms of the types of O2O services that were most appealing to respondents, the ability to pick up and return products purchased online topped the list at 56% and 72% respectively. Brands like Burberry who have already integrated their social and ecommerce platforms with brand digital flaghips in China are well positioned to provide these consumers with a consistent consumer experience regardless of sales channel. [McKinsey] […]

  2. […] This graphic from McKinsey’s “China’s iConsumer 2015: A growing appetite for choice and change,” illustrates how social media usage in China is a key driver of online purchasing among Chinese consumers. The report, which was based on a survey of over 6,000 mainland consumers, asked respondents how social networking had affected other activities in their lives with SMS messaging (-17%) and television (-10%) experiencing the sharpest declines due to competition from WeChat and online video platforms like Youku and iQiyi. On the other end of the spectrum, online shopping saw the highest increase among China social media users (+38%), which speaks to the influence of word-of-mouth on purchasing decisions and the importance for brands to create official channels and cultivate conversation on WeChat and Weibo. [McKinsey] […]

  3. John Ashford April 20, 2015 at 16:24:48 - Reply

    Well, China is currently experiencing huge growth in e-commerce. Consumers in China are more partial to shopping online, especially through their smartphones. All age groups displayed high confidence in online platforms. The survey found that as people get older their average per-item online spending increases. While men were found to spend more on individual purchases, women spend more overall in their online purchases.

  4. Sean December 4, 2015 at 09:30:57 - Reply

    Well, this is undoubtedly true, more and more Chinese consumers are online shopping now, old and young, both in cities and in rural areas, and omichannel strategy is the key driving force to the success of nowadays’ retail business. However, the customers who would like to buy your products online are very likely the same group people who will buy your products in physical shelves, they just move to online from offline, considering the even fiercer competition happening online, online channel is more like a way of surviving or adapting, not a way to increase your actual revenue…

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