Men twice as likely to be 'shopaholics', says Taobao report

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 May, 2013, 11:20am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 May, 2013, 2:23pm

Market research by China’s biggest e-commerce site found men twice as likely as women to be “uncontrollable shopaholics”, meaning that although they spend less time shopping online, they tend to buy double the amount of items on each haul.

A "field guide" produced by Alibaba's Taobao Marketplace also found that at least one million users each spend more than 50,000 yuan (HK$62,000) yearly online. That's an impressive figure. The average urban Chinese resident earned 25,000 yuan last year, according to official statistics.

Researchers identified 12 types of Taobao and Tmall shoppers among the 500 million registered users on the mainland and Greater China - including Hong Kong - and found interesting revelations.

Online shopping has become an around-the-clock activity. More than 22 million Taobao users shop well into the night with peak activity hours between 11pm and 5am, the company said. In Taipei, 72 per cent of “night owl” shoppers are women compared with the 48 per cent average in Greater China.

“Window shoppers” were also more common amongst women than men. Out of five million Taobao shoppers who look but rarely buy, 66 per cent were female and only 34 per cent were male.

The same gender ratio also applied to the nine million shoppers categorised as “bargain hunters”, Taobao said. Most shoppers with a tendency to spend carefully and mostly on bargains were female and between 30 and 34. Most of them lived in Fujian, Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces.

Hong Kong, increasingly becoming one of the Taobao's biggest markets, ranked behind Taiwan and the mainland as "shopaholics", despite averaging 780 transactions per person each year. The average Taobao user makes 538 transactions a year. 

Lastly, anyone tell you the most fashion-forward shoppers are in Shanghai? Not true. Nor are they in Beijing. Neighbouring Jiangsu is where the most adventurous shoppers are, according to the report. Jiangsu dwellers have the highest tendency to buy products a season ahead of everyone else.