The power behind China’s "She Economy"

March 18, 2016
3 min read

The spending power of modern Chinese women is bigger than ever before. If you walk across any subway stations in Beijing or Shanghai, you will be bombarded by online retailer campaigns targeting women, motivating them (and their significant others) to buy for the upcoming shopping festival, which takes place almost every month. 

The women-targeted market, or “She Economy,” continues to expand to more sectors in China. As a result, brands are eager to engage with Chinese women through more targeted campaign strategies.  Here, we take a deep dive into three aspects of the She Economy to illustrate how brands could leverage the increasing spending power of Chinese female consumers.

Active Women

Nowadays, Chinese women are not feeling satisfied with simply being competitive with men in their career development, but they also want to demonstrate that they are physically as powerful. Mintel report Trends in Health and Wellness China 2015 shows that while only half of female consumers said doing regular exercise is the most important factor for a healthy lifestyle in 2014, this rose significantly to 61% in 2015. The increasing number of women participants in gyms, yoga clubs, as well as outdoor sports activities such as running and excursions, drives demand for fashionable outfits and leisure services that cater to women’s specific needs.

Open-minded Women

From beer to lingerie, traditionally taboo categories for Chinese women are undergoing a transformation. For instance, local Shanghai brewery Reberg launched a low IBU, low calorie, honey peach fruit flavored beer called Heey 2, which was specifically crafted for female consumers. American iconic lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret finally entered the Chinese market with full product lines, including provocative lingerie and underwear – which up until now, had not been introduced in China. Sex is no longer an embarrassing topic for Chinese women as mobile social media app Yummy offers an exclusive digital platform for women to share their sexual encounters and experiences freely.  Thus, brands and marketers need to redefine their notions about Chinese women.

Empowered Women

The new second child policy indicates that Chinese women – and especially moms – will take on more financial responsibilities in the household. In fact, even in the current stage, 58% of Chinese moms say they are the sole person who manages household finances. Chinese moms are expected to have more spending power as the family size grows in the future.

Philix Liu is a Trends Analyst for the APAC region and is based in Shanghai. His area of focus includes innovation, creative marketing campaigns, new design and other trends related content. He also helps inspire brands and agencies on-site to innovate in the APAC region.

Philix Liu
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