Generation Alpha: consumer trends in China
Generation Alpha, which covers those born after 2010, represents the first generation to have grown up with omnipresent technology in China. Their early immersion in the digital world will have a significant impact on their future consumption habits. In this article, we will explore emerging consumer trends specific to Generation Alpha in China, and their influence on industries and markets.
Consumer Trends of Generation Alpha
China is a market dominated by smartphones and mobile Internet access. Generation Alpha in China have a natural affinity for mobile devices and prefer services and content accessible through mobile apps. Children of this generation often use smartphones and tablets to access age-appropriate games, educational content, social media and streaming videos. Businesses need to adapt by offering engaging mobile apps and platforms to reach this generation.
The influence of KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders)
In China, KOLs, also known as Wanghong, play a vital role in shaping the opinions and consumer choices of Generation Alpha. Children actively follow popular KOLs who create entertaining and educational content on Chinese social media such as WeChat, Weibo and Douyin (the Chinese equivalent of TikTok). Brands need to recognize the influence of KOLs and seek out strategic partnerships with them to effectively reach this generation.
Virtual reality and augmented reality
Generation Alpha in China is fascinated by virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Games, immersive experiences and educational tools based on VR and AR are increasingly popular with this generation. Companies can capitalize on this trend by developing products and services that incorporate these technologies, providing unique and engaging experiences for children.
The rise of e-commerce and livestreaming E-commerce is booming in China, and Generation Alpha is actively participating in this phenomenon. Chinese children often use e-commerce platforms to buy products, toys and clothes. Additionally, livestreaming has become a popular trend, where kids can interact live with sellers and ask questions about products before shopping. Brands need to seize this opportunity by providing engaging online shopping experiences and incorporating elements of livestreaming to appeal to this generation.
The Importance of Online Education
In China, online education has become a major industry for Generation Alpha. Children use online learning platforms to supplement their formal education, develop specific skills and participate in foreign language lessons. Companies offering online education solutions must adapt by offering interactive and engaging content to meet the needs of this generation.
Where can we find them? What are the main platforms for generation Alpha?
Trends change and evolve according to the generations, giving rise to a chase among the different platforms to attract the most prospective customers at each level. In China, this Alpha generation consumes a lot of the platforms that we already know, but some are gaining ground and becoming the most popular such as Douyin.
WeChat is a multifunctional messaging platform that has become a go-to app for Generation Alpha youth in China. In addition to instant messaging features, WeChat offers social moments (equivalent to wall posts), games, voice and video calls, and even mobile payment services. Young people use WeChat to communicate with their friends, share content, play games and make transactions.
Douyin, also known as TikTok outside of China, is a hugely popular short-video sharing platform among Generation Alpha youth. Users can create and share creative and entertaining videos using a variety of filters, music and special effects. Young people of this generation are often captivated by the creation and consumption of content on Douyin.
Bilibili is a video sharing platform that mainly focuses on anime, video games, and popular culture. Generation Alpha youth in China use Bilibili to watch anime videos, stream game shows, and interact with other like-minded fans. The platform also offers commenting, live chat and content creation features.
Taobao and Tmall:
Taobao and Tmall, both owned by Alibaba, are popular e-commerce platforms in China. Generation Alpha youth use these platforms to purchase a variety of products, such as clothing, toys, electronics, and more. Taobao is often favored for second-hand shopping and niche products, while Tmall offers official branded products.
Tencent QQ is a widely used instant messaging platform in China. Although it was launched before the arrival of WeChat, it remains popular among young people of Generation Alpha. Tencent QQ users can send text messages, pictures, videos, play online games and join chat groups. Some children still use Tencent QQ to keep in touch with their friends, especially those who are not on WeChat.
Brand strategies to reach out to this generation
Generation Alpha, represents an influential generation in China, therefore brands, whether they belong to the luxury sector or other industries, seek to capture the attention of this digital generation and build a lasting relationship with them. It is therefore essential for these brands to adopt particular strategies to reach this Generation Alpha in China.
Interactive and fun content:
Brands are using interactive and playful marketing approaches to grab the attention of Generation Alpha in China. For example, Burberry launched a campaign called ” B Bounce on WeChat, inviting users to participate in an interactive game where they must control a bunny character through obstacles. This engaging approach allows Burberry to create an emotional connection with young consumers.
Co-creating content with influencers
Brands are partnering with popular influencers to co-create engaging content for Generation Alpha in China. For example, Lego has collaborated with influencers on platforms such as Douyin to create creative building videos and tutorials. This strategy allows Lego to effectively reach young consumers and strengthen their attachment to the brand.
Augmented and virtual reality experiences
Brands are using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to deliver immersive experiences to Generation Alpha in China. For example, Nike has launched a VR application allowing users to virtually explore a sports shoe in great detail. This approach offers an interactive and innovative experience that attracts the attention of young consumers.
Influencer marketing is key to reaching Generation Alpha in China. Brands collaborate with popular influencers on social media to promote their products. For example, PepsiCo worked with Chinese influencer Li Jiaqi to promote its snack brand Lay’s to Generation Alpha. This strategy generates engagement and increases brand awareness.
Personalization and participation
Brands provide personalized experiences and encourage participation from Generation Alpha in China. For example, McDonald’s has launched a campaign where children can personalize their Happy Meal toys using a mobile app. This approach stimulates the creativity of young consumers and strengthens their emotional connection with the brand.
Generation Alpha in China has distinct consumer trends due to the influence of mobile devices, KOLs, virtual reality, e-commerce and online education. Brands must understand and adapt to these trends to succeed in this market. By developing effective digital marketing strategies, creating engaging content for mobile apps, partnering with influential KOLs, and integrating emerging technologies, companies can capture the attention and loyalty of Generation Alpha in China. .
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