Following the Double 11 shopping festival this year, without disclosing the total sales number, major platforms hailed growth, sometimes at a record level. But what was it like on the ground? Did young consumers in China spend big, at least bigger than last year, as the platforms have claimed? Tencent-backed social networking app Soul, sometimes referred to as a “social metaverse”, conducted a survey about Double 11 consumption behaviour within its largely Gen Z user base. Here are the key points we learned from the report:
1. The young still buy at Double 11 and most spent the same or more than last year
88.1% of Soul users said they made purchases during Double 11. Over 70% had the same budget (36.8%) or more (35.6%), compared to last year. However, most people kept rational consumption in mind and stuck to the essentials. 78.9% of Soul respondents set limits to their spending and only 15.9% went over their budgets
2. The era of brand-hosted livestream channels has arrived
The survey from Soul confirms that the trend of brand-hosted livestream channels is strong among younger consumers. 30.68% of their users bought through these channels, while only 12.2% made purchases “based on recommendations from leading livestream influencers”.
2023 has been hailed as the “first year of brand-hosted livestream”. Over 60% of livestream channels selling over 100 million RMB (13.85 million USD) are brand-hosted. The ratio seems more pronounced among Soul App users, a cohort made up of 80% Gen Z.
3. Self-care and experiential purchases are on the rise
Almost 50% of young people bought experiential products or services such as travel, health checks and healthcare. Nearly 60% of the post-95 generation users bought travel products or services during Double 11, and 23.8% post-00s purchased more travel products or services than in 2022. This would also point to the post-pandemic trend of self-satisfaction among Chinese consumers.
From 1,757 respondents, Soul has gained a representative picture of its predominantly post-95 and post-00 user base. As well as re-affirming observations that self-care is on the rise as a purchase motivation, this report also reveals how far-reaching these trends are among Chinese Gen Z.