Chinese consumers have been fascinated by American products for a long time now. This trend has given great opportunity to American brands to offer their products to Chinese consumers.

Despite geopolitcial indifferences and what could be seen as a turbulent relationship between the US and Chinese governments, the popularity of American products among Chinese consumers is rising at an incredible rate and is the main reason for increased categories of consumer products in Chinese marketplaces. There is great potential for American businesses that are looking to enter the Chinese consumer market at this point and looking into the future due to the incredibly high demand for American products and services from Chinese consumers.

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CBEC growth is opening door to American Brand in China

Now thanks to technology and China’s fast-paced digital space, cross-border e-commerce has proved to be the most effective medium to accelerate sales of American products among Chinese consumers.

With constant increase in disposal income, demand of American products among Chinese consumers has skyrocketed. According to iResearch the most popular categories of American products in China include: cosmetics and personal care (46%), mom and baby care, formula milk (39%), nutrition supplements (39%), and fashion, apparel and bags (38%).

American Baby Formula are popular

A Shanghai-based representative for the U.S. Dairy Export Council says the lifting of one-child policy in China has increased the infant formula consumption up to10 percent in the recent years, and the demand is expected to rise even more, promising new opportunities for U.S. dairy exporters. As of 2020, China made up about one-third of the world’s total baby-formula market, with imports valued at $US2.47bn ($3.25bn) annually.

American Nutritional Supplements

Rising demand for American nutrition supplements is mainly stirred by the ageing population, environmental pollution and rising consumer health-awareness in China. Moreover, rising disposable incomes of middle-class in China has enabled consumers to purchase American nutrition products.

American nutrition products are popular on online platforms and gradually becoming more and more utilized by tech-savvy population, and Ecommerce sales are growing every year. By 2021, the market of vitamin and dietary supplements in China is expected to reach CNY 149 billion (US$22.3 billion), with a CAGR of 6.4% in the 2015-2020 period.

Why American Brands should sell their products in China’s digital space?

China claimed $681 billion in online retail sales last year, China is expected to be the first country to reach $1 trillion by 2020, according to Forrester. China boasts explosive e-commerce growth, as 19% of all retail sales take place online (vs. 9.5% in the U.S.); Forrester predicts it will reach 24% by 2021.

In global economic transition the U.S. and China represent opposing consumption trends. Demand in the U.S. continues to decline, with store closures and bankruptcies; however, demand for U.S. products remains strong in China.

What makes Chinese customers want to buy American products?

For Chinese consumers following aspects are of high importance, while purchasing American goods:

American Quality

Chinese shoppers have a huge appetite for foreign, high-quality goods from trusted sources. Chinese shoppers believe that foreign websites offer superior product quality (57% foreign vs. 21% domestic) as compared to domestic websites.

The biggest issues that Chinese consumers come across while shopping domestically are counterfeiting, food poisoning, and poor quality of products. Chinese shoppers perceive U.S. and foreign products as safer and more trustworthy than domestic products, especially in categories like baby care products and nutritional supplements.

Brand Prestige

Among Chinese Consumers, American products play a role of high status symbol. American products are considered prestigious and are highly valued. By continuously providing various varieties of merchandise in China, which includes big brand names and niche brands, U.S. retailers help shoppers to have a unique experience.

Chinese millennials are particularly, passionate about niche brands that help them to reflect their unique tastes and lifestyle. For instance, several Chinese customers are passionate about buying luxury and branded bags online like Michael Kors and Guess. American brands capitalize on demand for products by making shoppers feel how some brands fit their lifestyle. This trend is extremely popular on social media.

Good Price for Imported Products

Chinese shoppers indulge in intense research before purchasing a product online. Tech-savvy Chinese shoppers have a close network on social media where they share reviews about a product. Chinese shoppers follow influencers and KOLs that endorse the products according to their lifestyle. Usually price of American products is cheaper from the price of luxury brands as compared to other countries.

Branding of American products on Chinese Ecommerce

With the immense popularization of American products among Chinese consumers, more and more American brands are struggling to find the right strategy to rise above all existing brands and capitalize on increasing demand in the Chinese marketplace.

When an American brand enter China’s digital ecosystem, it is not known until it creates deafening buzz on digital platforms of China. Apart from some American product categories that have already gained well reputed image among Chinese consumers.

Therefore, three strategies are of utmost important when entering Chinese digital sphere, firstly, to create awareness, secondly, building E-reputation and third being actively present on Chinese e-commerce platform.

How can American brands build a presence on Chinese e-commerce platforms?

Overseas companies need to have an online store on one or a few of the Chinese e-commerce platforms, this depends on the products it’s promoting. Here is an overview of e-commerce platforms in China, where local digital marketing companies can help overseas companies to enter the Chinese e-commerce sphere.

Start selling on Tmall

TMALL holds the biggest market share in e-commerce market of China at 57%. It mainly focuses on premium brands. This characteristic makes TMALL generally the most expensive e-commerce marketplace in China. It provides an opportunity to International brands to open exclusive online stores and directly sell products to Chinese consumers without being physically present in China.

TMALL has an invitation-only policy where only qualified international brands can either be invited to join or can apply through a local digital marketing agency. For more information on how to sell International products through TMALL, please contact our digital marketing agency.

JD is also a great choice to sell in China

JD.com is China’s largest online direct sales company. It has relatively has less market share than TMALL.com but international companies can open individual online stores on JD.com. JD’s cross-border service enables suppliers to sell directly to Chinese consumers without a local presence. JD.com is less expensive than TMALL.com but also has a zero-tolerance policy for counterfeit products.

Cross-border on Chinese E-commerce

There are several cross-border e-commerce websites that cater to overseas brands. Cross-border B2C e-commerce refers to a form of B2C (business to consumer) online purchasing where consumers can purchase foreign goods online via e-commerce platforms and marketplaces, such as kjt.com, Tmall Global, and others, who are set up to operate within special Free Trade Zones (FTZs) in China. Chinese consumers prefer buying imported products from foreign websites.

Taobao: innovative app for tight budget

Taobao is owned by Alibaba Group. It offers the largest C2C e-commerce marketplace in China. Taobao allows registered or non-registered businesses to sell directly to consumers. Establishing a store on Taobao is virtually free but the online marketplace is ruled by small sole sellers who compete fiercely on price and honesty and authenticity is an unwritten rule of their trade ethics. Sellers with a low budget and lower quality products opt for this platform.

Wechat: another ecommerce alternative

WeChat is engrained in lifestyles of Chinese consumers. It is all-in-one-app which integrates social e-commerce seamlessly. Wechat store gives numerous possibilities to International brands to reach Chinese consumers effectively. Possibilities ranges from branding to campaigning and easy payment methods.

Overseas brands on Wechat stores

A WeChat Service Account is considered the most suitable for business and organisation that aspires to access advanced WeChat Official Account. Service accounts allow more APIs (Minisite) and companies are can open their own store. The online store can be used to manage products, take orders, display products, and manage customer complaints. For more information on how to manage Wechat store, international companies are advised to partner with expert Digital Marketing Agency who can assist in applying for an Official WeChat Account on behalf of the international company.

Are you an overseas brand interested in the Chinese E-commerce market and want to learn how they can target Chinese consumers digitally? You are welcome to write us and learn about your brand’s prospects in the Chinese E-commerce market. Our agency provides international brands with tools that are optimal to unlock this enormous market to earn their full potential. If you are interested in exploring Chinese Digital E-Commerce platforms, reach out to us for customized advice.

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40 Comments

  1. Good afternoon,

    We are interested in servicing the Chinese market with highend trusted American brands and would like more information on marketing and gaining buyer exposure in the Chinese market. Thank you.

    1. Hi we have a proprietary product that is the only one to address the largest Chinese health problem. We are looking to expand our existing presence in China with it. Once you receive this info it can literally change your life. Please message me so we can connect.

  2. Hi

    Do you sell products in America?

    We have a NZ made product that we would like to sell through an agency in the US

  3. I am a us resident. Been importing goods to us from china for over a decade. Like to establish an online presence on Chinese markets for us goods and services. But don’t know where to start.

    1. Hi David,

      My name is Kevin and I am currently located in Shenzhen, China. I would like to help you with this if possible and maybe we can do something together. Feel Free to contact me

      1. Hi! Please contact me at PRSmithMgmt at gmail com Let me help you with USA products and services.

      2. Hi Kevin,

        Im interested too!Im based in Vancouver and would like to ship dry formula over and other in demand items. Please reach out. Zia Jian

        1. Good afternoon Kevin,

          I am based out of Los Angeles, California, and I am also interested in shipping dry formula along with other in demand u.s. products. Please message me at your earliest convenience and thank you for your time.

        1. Hi! My name is Zhao Quanjie, you can call me Zhao, please. I’m located in Kunming, China, Tell me specificly what products you have and I’ll sell them for you in China. for the record, I’ll take 10% of the profit.

      3. Hi we have a proprietary product that is the only one to address the largest Chinese health problem. We are looking to expand our existing presence in China with it. Once you receive this info it can literally change your life. Please message me so we can connect.

      4. Hello Kevin,

        Do you have any e-mail adresse?
        I have a brand made in USA and would like to export in China

  4. Hi, I’m a US resident. please what kind of small scale brokerage services can one provide from the US to the Chinese market. Thank You

        1. Hi Tracy

          We have all natural, organic products. We sell CBD for humans and animals. We have a very high quality product that works for people and animals with pain. We are also priced very low compared to our competitors with lower quality products

          We also sell all natural, organic baby formula and baby foods.

          We are also are starting to sell all natural, non toxic cleaning products.

          We are looking to partner with investors.

  5. Our company can offer wholesale pricing to Chinese companies that are seeking goods from the USA. We would like to make contact with more companies in China that need our services. We can offer to locate goods in the USA that may be in short supply in China.

    1. Hi Don,
      I am a native Chinese speaker who currently resides in the US. Have been looking for US products to sell in Chinese markets. Please contact me if you are interested in bring ping your products to China.

      Tracy

      1. Hi Tracy, I have a specialized vitamin made in the U.S. that I would like to try in the China market. I’m fairly certain a similar product does not exist in China. Bonus: I’m from the U.S. but I also speak Chinese. Let me know if you might be interested in checking out the product and potentially working together. Thanks.

      2. I have a Chinese associate that turned down selling our high quality coffee there. Was too busy as a sales director for a China electronics broker.

        We believe with the right people in place, sales could do well with a vast future.

  6. I am working with an American born Chinese celebrity and looking for a high end American campaign in a major branded product.

  7. I would like information on bringing multiple US company’s products to China, via your company’s assistance. My company represents all of these US companies and they are asking for me to bring them solutions/options. Please have your US Consultant contact me via email.

  8. Am a young Nigeria entrprenue business guy and the market here is very big for any business person that want to gain Africa market because of the population and high demand for goods. If you are interested in doing business in Nigeria feel free to contact me.

  9. I live in the United States. I can source wholesale high quality American products for resale in China. Contact me so we can discuss.

  10. The most trafficked platform in China is WeChat, so WeChat’s official account is used by many e-commerce companies, but people’s shopping habits are difficult to change. People are used to shopping on Taobao, Tmall, JD.com, and Pinduoduo. Nowadays, Pinduoduo’s traffic It has surpassed Alibaba, but many high-consumption groups are still accustomed to buying on Tmall and JD. They do not recognize the quality of goods on the Pinduoduo platform. With the continuous development of ByteDance’s Douyin in China, the self-media is tried and accepted by more and more people, and the traffic has grown rapidly. This kind of live broadcast makes the products more intuitive and more popular. The more buyers accept it, but there are also unscrupulous merchants and anchors who cheat consumers, which has a negative impact on the live broadcast of Douyin. Major platforms are also increasing investment in live broadcasts and competing for traffic. I personally feel that At present, it is impossible to shake the market position of Douyin, because Douyin is not only a live broadcast, it also has a huge social function, and this social function is being valued by Tencent, and their competition will become more intense in the future. In addition to having excellent products and services to build a brand image in China, a traffic monetization model for C-end consumers is also very important. I don’t understand English, and there may be errors in the translation. You are welcome to criticize and correct.

    1. Hi Jibin,

      That is actually a great comment and a great take on the Chinese market, its e-commerce, and social media landscape!
      Thanks

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