With Chinese tourists enjoying 30 million international trips in 2011, leading UK brands are pulling out all the stops in order to anticipate the needs and preferences of this booming market.
Over the coming 20 years, an emerging middle class in China will possess increasingly large disposable income, fuelling a boost in spending power and thus retailer desirability. As a McKinsey report highlights, the continued proliferation of Chinese wealth means companies should adopt a creative mindset to accommodate this new evolving sector of affluent consumers, advise that has never been more relevant.
Chinese tourism is becoming increasingly valuable, with each Chinese consumer spending an average of £651 on retail purchases during a trip to the UK. Providing a valuable opportunity to differentiate products and services in order to stand out from the cluttered retail market, it is no wonder that brands and retailers are starting to sit up and take notice.
According to a spokesman for Visit Britain, “China is now the world’s third most valuable source market for international tourism”. With the tills ringing, Trendwatching has identified that this new ‘Red Carpet trend’ will result in an increase in specifically tailored service offerings in order to appease these valuable Chinese visitors, tending to their every need and desire.
Tailored and personalised services
The hospitality industry has been particularly quick to act upon this trend, engaging Chinese visitors with specific add-on experiences to make their stay both unique and personal. The Hilton ‘Huaying’ service attempts to increase comfort and familiarity with fluent Chinese staff, special in-room amenities including traditional teas and Chinese breakfast options. These unique experiential elements go beyond, and add value to, the usual hotel remit, thus making the Hilton Brand stand out from the crowd.
Keen to cash in on wealthy Chinese visitors, tourist hotspot Harrods has also employed 70 permanent Mandarin speakers, ensuring each and every shopping experience is second to none. Furthermore, adding to standard shopping experiences, numerous luxury brands have formulated exclusive behind the scenes tours in order to provide bespoke branded experiences for tourists.
The Hotcow way
With the plethora of choices available, consumers seize control and act upon information that is easily available to them. Experiential activities can create an unique, individual brand experience, which will ultimately influence consideration. In order to lead consumers to an ultimate purchase, brands must work harder to demonstrate not only what they are offering, but also who they are, in an attempt to develop a personal relationship with international shoppers.
Experiential marketing tactics enable brands to stop consumers in their tracks, and upon applying specific tactics of consumer segmentation this lucrative market will be specifically incentivised to spend.
For advise on how to appropriately target consumers of all sectors, in a relevant and cost effective manner, contact Hotcow.