The promising footwear market in China 

According to research conducted by Daxue Consulting, in 2016 sales in the footwear market in China were estimated to an enormous amount of RMB 370 billion and are expected to increase steadily at an average rate of 7 percent. Especially e-commerce in China obtains immense potential. The penetration rate of e-shopping has reached 32.1 per cent. According to Clement Mougenot, Head of Research at Daxue Consulting, it is crucial to know the core consumer journey to be able to gain online market share in China.

Our client sought to increase its share in China online 

Already operating in the lifestyle footwear segment in China, the client approached Daxue Consulting to assess the potential and challenges of online sales of shoes in China. An additional goal was to gain information about the pricing policy and market size as well as consumer insights with regards to decision-making criteria.

The consultants created the following tailor-made project to meet the requirements of our client:

In-depth desk-research

As a first step, Daxue Consulting conducted an extensive desk research to obtain an overall understanding of the industry as well as relevant insights of key players’ online strategies concerning pricing and sales volumes in the footwear market in China. The team also considered social platforms and analyzed visitors’ comments about satisfaction, expectations, and concerns related to the topic.

Online: shop-alongs

First, the research team set up the design of the online shop along project including the setting of the parameters for the uniquely designed mobile app, created by Daxue Consulting. It allowed for efficient and reliable data collection by exploring the decision-making process at the moment of purchasing in the footwear market in China.

The consultants prepared questions to be answered right after the recruited participants pick and choose products, to understand the reasons for their decision, such as for instance, pricing including discounts and promotions, or the color. Mougenot adds, Daxue’s team also required the attendants to give feedback with regards to their satisfaction towards delivery and comfort as well as their perception towards the sales policy and the customer service when returning the goods.

Focus groups

As to gain a deep insight into the different aspects of the consumer journey in the footwear market in China, Daxue Consulting additionally conducted focus groups in various Chinese cities. The research team invited eligible participants to take part in the discussions. The moderators asked for instance, why they opt for which brands, what the influencing factors are (such as price, service, KOL’s) and their shopping behavior concerning online and in-store preferences, such as for instance towards O2O (Online-to-Offline).

How could Daxue’s client finally meet the expectations in the footwear market in China?

Daxue Consulting highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of its products compared to competitors’ as well as the main likes and dislikes from the customers’ point of view concerning sales policy, delivery and customer service by providing an in-depth analysis of the core consumer journey. Daxue Consulting helped the client understand the consumers’ perceptions and expectations towards the brand considering different age groups, regions, and occupations. Additionally, the research team provided a comprehensive report on pricing and the market size and gave strategic recommendations how the client could best meet the expectations of an online shopping experience, thus gain online market share, in the footwear market in China.