Half of Chinese consumers optimistic about economic recovery

Some 50% of Chinese consumers say they are optimistic that the economy may recover two to three months after the end of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to an interview of some 2,500 Chinese consumers conducted between March 20 and 23 by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

However, 6% said they are pessimistic about economic recovery, compared to the 1% in the company’s February survey.

Some 30% of consumers said they used less skincare products during the crisis, while 50% used less make-up. On the other hand, 30% of wealthier respondents in higher-tier cities said they consumed more skincare products during the crisis than before.

More than 70% of respondents spent the same amount of time or more browsing online skincare and beauty content, with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) ranking as the most popular form of engagement.

Pre-crisis, 30% of skincare and make-up sales were made online, and online volumes grew by 70% annually (CAGR) from 2016 to 2019.

Regarding consumption levels post-crisis, 60% to 70% said they will resume normal or slightly higher consumption levels. Another 10% said they will consume a lot more, while 20% to 30% said they will continue to be cautious and consume slightly less.

More respondents said they want to ensure product safety after the crisis, with 66% agreeing or strongly agreeing that they will “spend more time” doing so. Another 64% agreed or strongly agreed that they will consider products that are more environmentally friendly.