Mar 10, 2022| Data: Women’s Consumption Increasingly Focuses on Own Needs


by xiaoqian han/doris liu

As Chinese women’s financial status continue to evolve, their consumption habits are also changing and diversifying. On International Women’s Day (March 8), JD’s Consumption and Industry Development Institute released a trends report featuring analysis on female consumption, which shows female shoppers continue to focus on their own needs and tastes, while Chinese women are spending more on themselves.

Compared to male buyers, Chinese female shoppers tend to spend more on household products for their family members. The number of female users on has continued to climb in recent years, and their purchasing power has reached a new high.

Below are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Women are increasingly spending on their own interests
  • Women outpace men in family consumption
  • Women upgrade skills both physically and mentally
  • Women are a driving force in purchasing technology products

Own interests

During the process of consumption, female consumers are constantly re-examining the meaning of shopping and thinking about the real value brought by consumption. What is noticeable is that more women put “buy for self” as a top focus. The data shows that in 2021, the proportion of women’s consumption to gratify themselves increased significantly to reach 54 percent, and the transaction value increased by nearly 30 percent year-on-year (YoY).

Specifically, the transaction volume of luxury items, education and training, local life/tourism, and health services increased dramatically. From March 4th to 7th, luxury brand turnover climbed by 167 percent YoY, luggage categories increased by four times YoY, shoes and boots increased by 105 percent YoY, and the apparel categories increased by 100 percent YoY. The data also revealed that women’s search styles for clothing are more specific and diverse, which to a certain extent shows that women are more aware of themselves and how to cater to their needs and preferences than ever before.

Family consumption

Despite the fact that women’s consumption of self-satisfaction is increasing, the share of family consumption is still substantially larger than men’s. According to the JD report, Chinese female shoppers are more likely to acquire high-tech household appliances for their families. They favor innovative technical household products and baby care items, for example. data show that female users’ purchases of household washing machines, floor/window cleaning robots, and dishwashers increased respectively by 440 percent, 104 percent, and 69 percent in 2021 YoY. Baby formula smart kettle, Smart Lamp, and baby nasal aspirator all had a 274 percent, 143 percent, and 63 percent growth in sales YoY respectively.

Upgrade skills

According to the JD’s report, women insist on self-improvement both through fitness and inner cultivation. Female consumers contributed 52 percent of book sales in 2021. For the past three years, females outnumbered men by 2.38 times in the number of new customers under the category of books.

Among the Top 10 categories of books most frequently purchased by female shoppers in 2021, military books, comic books, and magazines/periodicals saw the fastest YoY growth in the number of copies sold. Of particular note is the significant growth in females’ consumption of political and military books, which had an increase of 72 percent YoY in 2021 in terms of the number of copies sold.

Women are also looking for fitness products. JD’s sales in 2021 showed that the number of items purchased by women for sports services, swimming, ice and snow sports, and equestrian/folk sports increased significantly YoY, with the number of items purchased for sports services increased 8.4 times YoY.

JD’s data shows that in 2021, the number of pieces of strength training equipment sold among female customers increased by 65 percent YoY. The products with the fastest growth in female purchases were Flexi-Bars, hand grip strengtheners, resistance bands, single/parallel bar/pull-up bars, and shot puts. Flexi-Bar became an important option for women’s strength training, with a rise of 6.1 times in the number of items purchased YoY.

Technology products

JD’s data show that in the past year, the turnover of smart devices purchased by females has risen by 40 percent YoY. In particular, the turnover of smart devices purchased by women aged 46-55 surged by 122 percent YoY.

Data also show that in 2021, the consumption of sports trackers and smartwatches among women aged 46-55 went up dramatically, with a turnover increase of 2.7 times and 1.4 times YoY respectively, while the turnover for VR (virtual reality) glasses, drones, and smart robots also increased by 76 percent, 70 percent, and 40 percent YoY respectively.