E-commerce in China, one of the most lucrative markets. Chinese consumers love e-commerce because it’s a very convenient way to do your shopping. No longer need to go to crowded and noisy shopping malls. Lay back on your couch, the Chinese e-commerce is here for you to make a wonderful shopping experience.
The best way to develop your e-commerce in China
Of course, the market is crowded with competitors, a lot of companies failed because they don’t understand how the Chinese market works. Let me give you some tips to help you create the best marketing strategy and to perform on this market.
1. Cross-border platforms
If you have not a company implanted in China, it can be difficult for you to do commerce in China. That’s why a lot of e-commerce platforms are here to help you.
If you deal with these cross-border e-commerce platforms you can be able to do business in China without having a physical presence in China. It’s really convenient for over-seas companies.
The most popular platforms are Tmall or JD. But these platforms are also very restrictive because they only accept brands who have already an awareness in China and do significant sales. Most of the abroad companies who try to sell on Tmall, JD are rejected. Because these platforms want to keep a quality level and a high reputation level.
2. C2C e-commerce platforms
In China, Taobao is one of the most important C2C e-commerce platforms. Taobao allows most of the brands to sell on its platform. You can find all the products you want on Taobao, it’s really amazing and it explains why the e-commerce platform is so popular.
Taobao chose to answer the Chinese consumer’s huge demand instead of imposing high qualified standards contrary to Tmall or JD.
The bad side of this choice is that you can find a lot a fake or counterfeits on Taobao.
3. Information: the key to convincing your target in China
In China, more than any other country in the world, information is crucial. You need to provide all the information you have about your product to convince your Chinese consumers that they can trust you.
Chinese consumers are very loyal to brands they like or brands that friends or KOL advised. But before buying, whatever the number of their purchases, they will search on the internet all the information they can have on your brand and your products.
Be transparent with your consumers, and they will like your foreign brand. Another tool can be to provide your consumers with a shopping guide. It shows that you take care of your Chinese consumer’s demand and adapt your approach.
4. Adapt your aesthetic to Chinese demand
Aesthetic standards in China are really different from others. If in Western countries, most of the consumers prefer a clean aesthetic, in China, they like websites with a lot of pictures, contents, animations. You need to adapt your websites.
A lot of brands offer their consumers the same shopping interface they are used to seeing on their domestic e-commerce sites in China.
You also need to adapt your content. Of course, it has to be in mandarin. You also have to adapt your information about your payment and logistic service providers to the Chinese model.
In addition, if you want to do SEO on Baidu, you need to have a mandarin page because when consumers did research, they use mandarin keywords.
5. Community spirit – important for your e-commerce
In China, forums are really used by Chinese consumers. They have real power for 2 reasons: first, they are excellent ranking on Baidu, second, consumers trust a lot the comments on the forums.
There is really a community spirit in China, consumers shared their purchases, their feedbacks.
Little Red Book is an e-commerce platform which succeeds to mix e-commerce platform and community spirit. The platform allows consumers to share comments and give recommendations.
6. Social media platforms help to create your brand e-reputation and visibility
Like forums, Chinese consumers like social media apps. A Chinese user spends an average of 3h surfing on his smartphone. They share a lot of content on their favorite social media apps, and they also follow brand accounts.
You need to be present on social media platforms with positive comments for your Chinese target to see. The most popular app in China is WeChat. Create your WeChat Official Account can allow you to gain visibility.
However, you can have your own online shop on WeChat because the app created 2 years ago an e-commerce part. It’s really convenient for users because they can stay on the social media app, see on their moments a brand post, click on it, and be forwarded to the brand page. In one click, the product is bought, because WeChat has also its own payment way.
Another tool for you, social media apps are useful for you because Chinese consumers like to share their purchase on social media platforms to show to their communities what they like and how cool they are.
7. KOL(Key Opinion Leader) is useful for your brand awareness
KOLs in China are very powerful. Because Chinese people no longer trust brands due to all the scandals, they are more confident when it’s advice from a peer. KOLs in China have a lot of influence. They can improve the awareness of a brand but also destroy it.
You have to know that in China, traditional advertising is less effective than KOLs to promote a brand or a product.
KOLs are also effective because they have access to a massive audience. You need to find the KOL who match the best with the image you want to have and with your target. It will be very effective.
8. Build a strong brand reputation
Reputation in China is one of the most important criteria. Because it’s one of the purchase criteria of Chinese consumers. If you are unknown, people will never buy your product. They only buy when some of their peers have already bought them.
You can easily build a strong brand reputation in China thanks to all the digital media they used. Social media platforms, forums, KOLs, video streaming platforms… all these medias are good for your brand reputation.
You need to build a strong and effective strategy without wasting your money and your time and especially to be effective.
The key to success in e-commerce in China is to understand this specific market and also to understand your target. Chinese consumers have not the same needs and desires as your local target, don’t forget that. Work with a marketing agency can help you to build a strong digital marketing strategy and become improve quickly your business in China. Trust me, China is a country where everything goes fast, you need to adapt you!
We are a specialist e-commerce agency based in Shanghai, the economic heart of China’s modern miracle. We understand e-commerce and the real methods for success in this lucrative market. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
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