Real-time insights into holiday agendas, brand perceptions and preferences of Chinese travelers going to the US, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore have been identified in a study by digital insights firm 6Estates.
The data was extracted from nearly 300,000 online conversations in China and analyzed with Natural Language Processing (NLP), algorithms that accurately process authentic conversations in English and Chinese, providing more accurate context to the discussions.
For brands and companies seeking to capture the US$229 billion outbound Chinese retail spend, this research offers valuable insights into real-time conversations and sentiments about what attracts Chinese travelers to a country, destination and product.
• The research shows that most intend to travel to the US, with 46% of conversations about America, followed by Japan (26%), Hong Kong (21%) and Singapore (5%).
• Luxury goods, cosmetics, clothing and watches were identified as key product categories for the outbound Chinese traveler in all four countries.
• They also intend to shop at luxury brands Hermès, Chanel and Estée Lauder in at least three of the countries studied.
“We were able to pinpoint top destinations within each country, valuable information for tourism boards and retailers targeting tourists. In Japan for example we worked with one of the country’s leading advertising agencies to find out where Chinese tourists travelled to, and what they were saying about their experiences. With the findings, it will be possible to develop more targeted tourism campaigns that speak directly to the Chinese audience,” said 6Estates CEO and Co-Founder, Mr Gary Chin.
Mr Chin continued, “We also found that the Chinese traveler is looking for local brands: In the US, they talk about Coach, in Singapore it is Charles & Keith, Sasa in Hong Kong and Uniqlo in Japan. Singapore was the only country where food was a hot topic among travelers, with local barbecued pork delicacy brand Bee Cheng Hiang among the top brands Chinese travelers talked about.”
The data found that Chinese travelers originate mainly from China’s Tier 1 cities, including Shanghai and Beijing. The two cities have the highest incomes in the country, demonstrating that travelers are likely affluent.
According to the China National Tourism Association, 120 million Chinese travelled abroad in 2015, a 19.5% year-on-year increase and nearly 13 times the level in 1998. A report by Fung Business Intelligence Centre and China Luxury Advisors states that Chinese tourist overseas expenditures are expected to have reached US$229 billion in 2015.
Key findings based on 300,000 online conversations are:
“6Estates technology changes research about Chinese consumers. Traditional research in a population of some 1.4 billion people is expensive, slow and rapidly out of date. Our automated tools extract insights in almost real-time, based on digital conversations. This provides significant cost efficiencies, with up to date findings. With Natural Language Processing, 6Estates’ engine also filters content to provide relevant information, important in the Chinese language where each character can have many different meanings,” said Mr Chin.
As consumers increasingly log online to search for information before purchasing, a wealth of data is obviously being created and at the disposal of brands and businesses. 6Estates’ research showcases that while making clear that any collection of data is useless without proper analysis.
6Estates bridges the gap of data collection and analysis with Automated Marketing Intelligence (AMI) that both extracts and analyses real-time consumer discussions, providing companies with intimate knowledge of their customers for more effective outreach. The Singapore-based technology company provides real-time insights into consumer behaviour and is a spin-off from NExT, a joint research centre between NUS and Tsinghua University, focusing on data and social media analytics.