Buoyed by growing spending power and increasingly favourable visa policies, Chinese tourism overseas has been growing steadily in recent years. Between 2000 and 2018, the number of overseas trips taken by Chinese tourists increased from 10.5 million to a massive 149.7 million, and 11% of Chinese tourists travelled to Europe in 2018, a 5.1% increase from 2017.
Analysis by The Nielsen Report suggests that Chinese tourists spent on average $6,026 per person in 2018 while travelling; and during the Chinese New Year, 6.5 million Chinese tourists abroad spent some $9.75 billion spent in just one holiday!
Chinese shopping and living habits
Kelly Yuan, General Manager, Credorax Greater China & South East Asia, excellent white paper* describes how Chinese citizens typically use their mobiles while shopping. In 2018, mobile payments by Chinese tourists overtook cash payments, with 32% of transactions being made via phones. Also, 65% of Chinese tourists have used mobile payments while travelling overseas, with 60% using them while visiting Europe in particular.
There are three main payment methods – Alipay, WeChat Pay, and UnionPay QuickPass. Unlike other payment systems, these systems have become lifestyle ecosystems through which virtually every aspect of consumer life can be accrued out – shopping, eating, leisure activities, personal finance, transport, education and much more.
Alipay, WeChat Pay, and UnionPay serve as marketing channels offering merchants from anywhere in the world the ability to sell directly to Chinese consumers, both at home and abroad. The apps allow merchants to set up a branded presence on their platform through official retailer accounts, giving them access to the following features:
- Store information, including push notifications to subscribers
- Product or services list, including featured items and the ability to purchase
- images of products and the store environment
Physical store address, to enable the user to navigate to the store using their mobile device
- Digital membership cards, so customers can earn loyalty points through the app without needing a physical card
- Ability to take payment using the in-built payment method of the respective platform.
Attracting Chinese tourists and customers
Chinese consumers are flocking to Europe and around the world, they spend a lot of money, and they want to make payments using the mobile platforms they use every day.
Credorax, one of the first smart payments providers with the ability to process all three major Chinese payment methods - Alipay, WeChat and UnionPay QuickPass - have dedicated teams in Europe and China who can assist merchants looking to reach Chinese customers, both domestically and internationally.
CTMfile take: Understanding the lifestyles and habits, and payment systems that your customers use are the first step in gaining their trust and business. This white paper is essential reading to understand the Chinese consumer and tourist market.
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