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Deep Dive: China Consumer Survey— Insights on the Positioning of the Leading Online Platforms for Apparel

Executive Summary

This is our first report based on the ProsperChina Quarterly Survey—the largest online survey of consumers in China. Similar to our US Consumer Survey publications, we combine our own analysis with data on the preferences of thousands of Chinese shoppers surveyed by ProsperChina. In this report, we focus on the apparel market in China:

  • E-commerce is the preferred shopping method among Chinese consumers. According to ProsperChina data, Tmall and Taobao are the top-two online platforms, with 15% of surveyed adults preferring to purchase apparel on Tmall and 11% preferring to do so on Taobao.
  • Taobao is China’s largest online consumer-to-consumer (C2C) platform. It has one of the lowest net promoter scores (NPS)—a measure of customer experience and a proxy that helps predict business growth—with a value of -32. Chinese consumers’ preference for branding and quality could be one of the reasons for the low score, as well as the fact that Taobao’s main customers fall into the lower-income group, which is harder to please.
  • Tmall is the largest business-to-consumer (B2C) platform in China and attracts high-value customers. It is the preferred e-commerce site among both the high-income group and people born in the 1980s.
  • Vipshop is China’sleading online discount retailer. It excels at engaging with loyal customers, thanks to its high-quality branded product offering.
  • is Alibaba’s largest rival in the Chinese e-commerce market. Although has gained market share in the apparel category, it is looking to boost its position further with a cross-border offering.
  • All the online pure plays appear to be making an effort to differentiate themselves by migrating from offering mass-market products to selling exclusive and niche products.

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