Luxury shopping is still a big reason why the majority of China’s affluents say they plan to visit the U.S. in the next two years, according to a new study by YouGov.
The report, the sixth installment in a series called the “Affluent Perspective 2017 Global Study,” said 56 percent of China’s affluents have plans to visit the U.S., compared with just 38 percent of all non-U.S. global affluents.
Presuming consumers keep their plans, U.S. retailers and brands could have something to look forward to. According to the National Travel and Tourism Office, Chinese visitors spend the most compared with other foreign tourists. It estimated that 2.6 million Chinese visitors to the U.S. spent $34.8 billion in the first 10 months of 2016, or the equivalent of $13,400 per traveler.
Luxury shopping is one common item on their To Do List when traveling abroad. According to YouGov data, 51 percent of those surveyed said they travel internationally to buy luxury goods and services, and the U.S. ranked fourth among the countries they visit the most for shopping. The American cities they often visit include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Chicago.
Of those surveyed, 69 percent are affluent Millennials between the ages of 18 and 38, with 29 percent described as Gen X-ers between the ages of 39 and 52. Also, 37 percent of them said they are business owners or c-level executives.
Ninety-two percent of these affluent Chinese consumers have a preference for well-known, globally recognizable brands. They also rate service as very important, with two-thirds saying a high level of customer service distinguishes luxury brands from their non-luxury counterparts. And 100 percent fully agreed that a great service experience would make them more likely to return to the store.
Further, these affluent Chinese shoppers are “four times more likely” than members of the overall global affluents to want an emotional sense of “warmth” from luxury brands, YouGov said, noting that 93 percent also said a feeling of a personal relationship with a brand plays a role in their loyalty to it.
Although Chinese consumers can purchase the same items in their home country, YouGov concluded they head to the U.S. to buy because they want the experience of “walking the aisles and seeing the sights,” as well as the “joy that comes from stumbling across something unexpected or new.”