There has never been a better time to sell to Chinese consumers in the UK – with the number of Chinese tourists, students and expats expected to increase to record numbers this year.

With their high spending power and love of UK brands, this represents a huge opportunity for retailers.

But, despite the enormous potential, British brands frequently struggle to sell to Chinese consumers. Many are not putting enough effort into marketing, and lack a focus on the necessary experiences to excite Chinese shoppers.

In their brand new consumer report, Retail lessons from China and how to sell effectively to Chinese audiences in the UK, Adyen aims to help retailers attract and win loyal Chinese shoppers.

According to the payment platform, there’s been a huge demand for content on this topic and there are plans for further workshops and content to help retailers make the most of the opportunities in this fast growing market.

About the report

Who to target

Understanding your target market is always crucial to any retailer, and aiming all of your messaging and products at a generalised version of what you perceive to be your customer set will almost always lead to a sub-optimal return in terms of sales.

In Adyen’s report, they highlight three main groups that retailers can target in the UK Chinese consumer market…


According to data collected by Global Blue in 2018, 32% of all tourists visiting the UK were from China with VisitBritain expecting around half a million Chinese tourists to have visited the UK throughout 2019.

What’s more, these tourists aren’t travelling lightly when it comes to their wallet.  Each individual tourist from China is expected to have around £5,000 to spend whilst in the UK – resulting in around £3.4 billion in retail spending overall.


With over 100,000 Chinese students in the UK, this group represents the largest number of international students at around 40% of the total foreign higher education population.

As each student stays in the UK for an average of 2 to 4 and spends around £28,000 per year there’s a huge opportunity for retailers to break into this market.


The Chinese expat community in the UK tends to be aged between 30 and 50 years old and enjoy high-end shopping, travel and fine dining, amongst other finer pursuits.

With the number of expats growing each year, notably from students who stay on in the UK to work, and a tendency to engage with both Chinese and Western media there’s a great demographic for retailers to tap into.

Adyen Retail in China Report 2019 2

How to target

With channels such as Baidu, Weibo and WeChat already monopolising the digital landscape in China it’s crucial for retailers to ensure that once they’ve identified who they are aiming to target that they’re doing so on the right platforms, with the right tactics.


Start the relationship with your customers on the right foot by speaking to them in their language, on the platforms they enjoy consuming content on and in a manner that hooks them into wanting to find out more about your product.


Once you’ve hooked your customers in, it’s time to wow them with a seamless and enjoyable user experience which can be complemented with free delivery, tax-free shopping and offering payment methods that are familiar.


After the purchase, encourage social media interaction, leaving reviews and give your customers a reason to boast about their experience with your brand.  This will allow you to utilise their own personal networks and get those all important peer referrals.

Download The Report

The 30+ page report is packed full of case studies, expert opinion and best practice advice from some of the leading voices in both Western and Chinese retail.

Adyen Retail in China Report 2019

Download Retail lessons from China 2019 from Adyen to read more on how to create a seamless transition into breaking into one of the most exciting new prospects in global commerce.