Market Research – Insights into the Daigou Trader

For Western companies, selling to China is a recognised challenge. Moreover, this year I coined the term, “Daigou-to-Consumer” (D2C) to help companies conceptualise a powerful channel known as ‘daigou‘ [1] that can assist them in the marketing, promotion and ultimately sales of their brands in China. To further understanding this channel we undertook research into Australia based daigou.

This research offers insights into the nature of daigou and the findings may help derive effective strategies to better engage and utilise this daigou community. The data was obtained by online survey of 103 Australian based respondents; recruited via WeChat Daigou groups.

The findings from this sample show that daigou are almost exclusively female (94%) and the majority (46%) are aged between 30-39 yrs old with 42% being aged 20-29 years and 12% indicating being in the 40-49 year old bracket.

Half the respondents said they spend 1-2 days a week conducting daigou business with 25% stating they spend more than 3 days a week. 30% of the respondents indicate that they are working as employee with 24% indicating that they are ‘housewives’, 12% are students and 15% indicate that daigou is their full time occupation.

Mother/baby and health related categories (predominately vitamins) both featured as most popular among their buyers.

When asked what product categories they expected to see demand for in 12 months; mother/baby and health related products remained the leading categories but 3C and Jewellery had 11% and 18% respectively suggesting these categories would grow in demand.

The majority of daigou in this sample group were selling between $500 and $800 per month.

40% of respondents said their margin was 10-12% with 33% of respondents saying they got 20-30%

When asked what the daigou buyers cared about most when buying via the daigou there were three clear concerns; authenticity of goods (83%), price (66%) and brand awareness (56%).

A very telling question for brands relates to the reasons why Chinese buyers request particular products for the daigou to purchase. The respondents indicated that the Chinese buyers cared about the product ‘effect’ (75%), the known brand (65%) and that it was made in Australia (62%).

When asked how many parcels they send to China on a monthly basis the majority of daigou (32%) said they post between 20-50. 8% of respondents were sending more than 150 per month.