, China
Press photo via JD.com's website

Gen-Z favours quality over brand origins: JD chief economist

Advanced digital supply chains offer brands deep insights into consumer behaviour, he said.

Gen-Z consumers are prioritising quality and practicality over brand origin, according to Jianguang Shen, chief economist of JD.com.

“Gen-Z consumers are very discerning and pragmatic. They don’t care if the brand is local or global,” he said at the FORTUNE Innovation Forum in Hong Kong on 28 March.

“The rising popularity of local products can be attributed to China’s supply-side reform, which has enabled brands to provide lower-cost products with higher quality,” Shen continued.

The chief economist also added that advanced digital supply chains offer brands deep insights into consumer behaviour, enabling them to seize market opportunities effectively.

Citing examples from JD.com's platform, Shen illustrated the surging popularity of eco-friendly mini refrigerators among Gen-Z consumers, aligning with their preference for technologically advanced and environmentally conscious products. 

He stressed the importance for brands to adapt and align with these consumer preferences to stay relevant in the market.

ALSO READ: What drives APAC Gen Zs consumer behaviour

Moreover, Shen noted the positive impact of a new government policy promoting the trade-in of consumer goods, expected to drive consumption.

Under the Consumer-to-Manufacturer model, JD.com streamlines product distribution, welcoming over 4,000 brands to its platform and significantly reducing market introduction times.

Shen also reaffirmed JD.com's commitment to technological innovation, highlighting their deployment of AI-driven chatbot customer service, highly automated warehouses, autonomous delivery vehicles, and integrated retail solutions. 

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