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Chinese online shoppers show strong demand for Australian goods

The vast majority of Chinese online shoppers are likely to buy at least one Australian product in the next year, new research commissioned by FedEx Express in Australia shows.

According to the survey, which targeted 18-44-year-old online shoppers living in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, 84 per cent are highly likely to buy at least one Australian product in the next 12 months and 81 per cent have purchased at least one Australian product online in the past.

Those Chinese online shoppers polled estimated that they have spent $940 on Australian goods in the past 12 months.

When asked about their perception of Australian goods, 36 per cent of respondents said they are good value for money and 32 per cent believed they are safer than Chinese goods.

Dairy, health and baby products were most likely to be perceived as world-class, followed by skincare products, fresh seafood and meat, fresh fruit and vegetables and wine.

The most popular category of Australian goods purchased online in China was cosmetic and skincare, followed by healthcare and pharmaceutical, according to the survey.

“Australian brands enjoy a high reputation among consumers in China,” said Kim Garner, managing director of FedEx Express Australasia.

“With the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement and the emergence of online marketplaces connecting to consumers in China, it is becoming much easier for Australian businesses to do business with China.”

Indeed, Chinese global online marketplaces, such as Tmall Global, play a significant role in purchasing decision, with 79 per cent of survey respondents saying they would buy more Australian products if they were available on such sites.

At the same time, 61 per cent considered online payment safety and 60 per cent considered product authenticity paramount when deciding whether to make an online Australian purchase.

“Buying Australian products online comes down to trust. This research indicates secure payment, authenticity and seller recommendations are more important to Chinese online shoppers than price and brand. It’s important to have a world-leading product, but selling it through the right channels is also crucial,” said Garner.

“Equally critical is leveraging Australia’s strong national image through effective marketing. Our research shows that nearly two thirds (62 per cent) of Chinese online shoppers like buying Australian-made as our way of life is appealing and over half (59 per cent) agree they are more likely to buy brands if their favourite celebrities on social media use them.”

To tap into this demand, however, Australian retailers must change perceptions around speed of delivery and ease of returns, which may be preventing Chinese online shoppers from purchasing.

According to the survey,  the perception that delivery takes too long was the most prominent barrier to purchase, while 69 per cent said the ability to return a product easily was highly important.

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