Notwithstanding the slowdown of its economy, the e-commerce in China continues its insolent progression. With a volume of online transactions which increased by about 40% last year – almost $ 2700 billion – the Middle Kingdom has even the luxury to surpass the United States. The good financial health of this sector is largely explained by the high penetration of mobile phones and tablets with an increasingly connected population. These figures allow us to dream about. However, investing the Chinese online market can’t be improvised. Here are a series of tips to integrate to your internet strategy:
1. Focus on the most requested business sectors
It is often against-productive to tackle a niche market. This is especially true in China, where the efforts required to be visible are multiplied. So do not bother to become the leader in the sale of low demand products. Instead, you have to focus your efforts on one of the leading sectors of the Chinese e-commerce, such as ready-to-wear, cosmetics or high- tech products.
2. Propose short delivery times
Chinese consumers are accustomed to receive their parcels quickly. Some online shops even offer same-day delivery, as long as you live in one of the large served cities. Also, make sure to offer the quickest delivery time possible and to be assured to work with a trusted partner carrier.
3. Learn the habits and customs of the country
Each country has its own culture and habits; which logically affect the purchasing behaviors. So while the Americans have their “Black Friday”, the Chinese consumerist madness fully expresses on November 11, a day where we do not celebrate the signing of the French armistice but singles. This is also the day of all records for online sales: the total amount of purchases made by the Chinese during this one day has exceeded $ 10 billion last year.
4. Invest in Mobile devices
More than one Chinese in two has a cell phone and 315 million of them buy on the internet – that’s twice as much as the Japanese and it’s 6 times the number of the English online purchasers. It is estimated that 7 out of 10 online purchases are now made on mobile, thanks to social media (more information here).
5. Offer a simplified payment process
Over 60% of Chinese say that their online purchase is driven by simplicity. Also, be sure to present clear information and really good quality images. Highlight the secure nature of the payment and prefer a Chinese and experienced online payment which has the netizens trust, like Alipay.
6. Delete the fees
A free delivery service or the absence of any additional fees is a classic lever in the West to increase the conversion rate registered on websites. Studies tend to show that it also increases the value of the average basket of Internet users. This remains valid, especially in China where gratuity is often perceived as legitimate, especially the one relating to shipping or return costs.
7. Translate your website in Mandarin
Chinese speak poorly English. The vast majority of purchases are thus performed in their native language. Also, trying to conquer the Chinese market with a website using the language of Shakespeare, or worse, in French, may be seen as a daring or crazy wager.
8. Use social networks
Social networks like Weibo and WeChat are used daily by hundreds of millions of netizens and represent one of the greatest potential developments of the Chinese online market. People use them to search for information about products that they’re interested in, exchanging point of views or to follow brands that deliver relevant content
9. Optimize Your SEO
With nearly 60% market share, maximizing its ranking on Baidu, the Chinese Google, is a must for any business or brand thinking to tackle the Chinese e-commerce (You will learn more about SEO on Baidu here).
10. Host your website in China
Websites hosted in China have several advantages over those hosted abroad. First of all, they load faster. Then, they get a bonus from Chinese search engines. Finally, websites with a .cn extension will be more easily trusted by netizens.
— Digital China Agency (@Weibospecialist) 6 Septembre 2015