Over 90% of Chinese Tourists Prefer to Use Mobile Payments Shopping Overseas: Survey

A whitepaper issued by Nielson and Alipay (continue reading to view the full report) has revealed further evidence that any brand outside of China cannot afford to ignore the mobile payment preferences of China’s consumers — and, that the numbers of Chinese tourists travelling overseas only continues to rise, maintaining their place as the number one in overseas spending.

The whitepaper compared Chinese and non-Chinese tourist behaviours, and we’ve picked through the report to highlight some key findings.

See the report here.

In the research group, 65% of Chinese tourists used mobile payments while travelling overseas, compared with only 11% of non-Chinese tourists.

90% of Chinese tourists use mobile payment overseas when given the option.

According to statistics from the China National Tourism Administration, Chinese tourists traveled overseas on 131 million occasions in 2017, an increase of 7% from the previous year. Statistics from the International Tourism Association shows that the overseas spending by Chinese tourists last year was as high as 261.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, increasing 4.5% over the same period (year-on-year) and was ranked first among all tourists worldwide.

In 2017, the average of Chinese tourists’ spending while overseas reached USD 5,565 and is expected to reach USD 5,715 in the coming year, a projected increase of 3% year-on-year.

The top three categories of Chinese tourists’ spending while overseas are shopping (25%), accommodations (19%) and dining (16%). For Non-Chinese tourists, however, the top three categories are accommodations (29%), dining (18%), shopping (15%).

During their most recent trip overseas, Chinese tourists spent an average of USD 762 per person on shopping, far exceeding that of non-Chinese tourists (USD 486). Duty-free shops ranked as the most popular shopping outlet for Chinese tourists with 62%, followed by department stores (47%) and supermarkets (47%).

According to the whitepaper, 52% of non-Chinese tourists regarded price as a key factor in determining their overseas shopping decisions, with total travel budget (43%) and product quality (35%) also appearing to have a high influence. This is quite different from the factors that influence Chinese tourists’ shopping decisions. Chinese tourists were most concerned about the discounts offered (41%) and payment methods accepted (41%), followed by the price of the good or service (40%).

Mobile payment platforms allows outbound Chinese tourists to experience the convenience of fast payment without the inconvenience of cash or loose change, or potential hassle of exchange repayment. According to the survey, Chinese tourists expressed “convenience and speed, and familiarity” (64%) as the primary reason for using mobile payment while abroad. Among other reasons, respondents also chose “feeling proud of Chinese mobile payment brands” (48%), “favorable exchange rate” (43%) and “discounts or promotions” (36%) for choosing mobile payment as the method of payment.

According to the white paper, 93% of the Chinese tourists expressed that if more overseas merchants support the use of Chinese mobile payment brands in the future, they would consider using mobile payment more frequently. In addition, 91% expressed that if overseas merchants supported the use Chinese mobile payment brands, it would further increase their desire to shop.

With a fully individual digital eco-system, luxury brands must fully integrate into the China digital landscape to be in sync with the preferences of mobile-savvy Chinese travellers.

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