Online and mobile shopping for luxury goods has exploded in China thanks to the fast-growing penetration of smartphones, according to a survey released on Tuesday.
Seventy percent of 10,200 luxury consumers in over 90 cities aged between 18 and 50 said they use desktop computers every day for luxury purchases or to search for information on luxury goods, while 60 percent said they use smartphones every day for this, showed a survey by auditor KPMG.
KPMG launched the survey with Glamour Sales, an Asian online retailer of luxury brands and Mogujie, an online market for young female shoppers in China.
Egidio Zarrella, clients & innovation partner, KPMG China, said Chinese consumers don't have the legacy of traditional media channels and have leapfrogged straight to mobile.
Chinese consumers have more mobile devices while lower prices, convenience and product accessibility are also drivers for online purchases.
"Due to taxes and various duties there is a price arbitrage. The gap between offline (official prices) and online parallel imports can reach 30-100 percent depending on the brands," said Thibault Villet, CEO & co-founder of Glamour Sales.
Many consumers are turning to celebrities, influential bloggers and individual online communities for directions on what to purchase as the use of social media has exploded, showed the survey.
Female online consumers are more likely than men to use their smartphones for online purchasing, reflecting their greater reliance on user reviews on popular social media platforms such as WeChat and Weibo.
Meanwhile, more buyers have shifted from cash on delivery to a greater use of online payments.
"Five years ago, 70 percent of payments was cash on delivery. This has now swung to 70 percent online payments versus cash on delivery," said Villet.
KPMG's research also highlighted greater confidence in online channels across all age groups, including higher transaction amounts when purchasing online.
Despite this, 78 percent of respondents voiced concerns about the authenticity of products bought online