The Chinese luggage market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.3% until 2025. Generally, the luggage and bag business is associated with tourism. With the booming of tourism in China, the demand for luggage for tours or trips continues to drive to a high peak. According to data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, domestic tourist numbers increased by 13% in 2017 while the number of outbound tourists rose by 7%.
Chinese millennial consumers made a tendency for characteristic luggage brands. Younger consumers purchasing bags and luggage products favor trendy designs and affordable prices, and they want to show their unique style through the luggage brand they bought on any tour. Therefore this growing consumer group prefers renowned affordable luxury brands such as Tory Burch, Coach, Michael Kors, and Kate Spade.
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Luggage brands need to be innovative
Famous bags and luggage stores with history tend to be innovative in marketing and adopt multiple strategies to reach a wider consumer base and enhance brand awareness. In late 2017, for instance, Folli Follie Group, with a consumer-centric marketing plan, set up its first upgraded brand store in Beijing that offered decent in-store customer service and upgraded decor.
Unisex bags are enjoying increasing popularity among Chinese consumers
Before the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, China was experiencing a unisex luggage/travel bags shopping increase, mainly driven by more accepting gender norms. Chinese women were increasingly choosing more power suits and oversized bags and luggage and opting for a more masculine vibe.
Impact of Covid-19 on the market
Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit China, it has forced the major part of the Chinese population to sit at home, unable to travel due to restrictions and the consecutive lockdowns, as a consequence the luggage industry has been hit very hard by the pandemic. Most potential consumers restricted their spendings on travel luggage which of course impacted the sales revenues of big brands in the luggage market. However, as the Covid-19 pandemic situation is gradually improving, Chinese consumer spending has increased and the luggage market is expected to regain its potential.
Iconic luxury luggage collaborations
- Fendi x Rimowa: The first collaboration between Fendi and luggage brand Rimowa took place in November 2017 to celebrate Rimowa’s 80th anniversary. The second Fendi x Rimowa collaboration was announced on June 14 this year and targeted Chinese consumers via the brand’s official WeChat account.
- Louis Vuitton x Supreme: In June 2017, Supreme’s streetwear brand released a collaboration with French luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton.
- Tumi x Kith: Business luggage brand Tumi has gained popularity in China in the past three years. Chinese consumers are used to being exposed to the New York streetwear brand through Kith’s collaborations with other designers. Kith posts about their collaborations with Adidas, Mitchell & Ness, and even Coca-Cola through Weibo posts which are viewed by many platform users.
How to promote your luggage brand in China?
Be aware distributors: use TMALL B2D
If you do not have a huge budget for opening your own stores, you have to try the Tmall B2D for your product. If you want to sell in China, finding a Chinese distributor is not a good solution. This is because the infrastructure for sales is very different.
Distributors do not respond well to new brands. They are all searching for a popular brand and usually, they don’t do branding, that is easy to sell and easy to promote to other smaller resellers. If you meet them, usually they will refuse any collaboration.
Working on your online branding and your e-reputation is because Chinese customers will research the Brand online. They will use Chinese platforms that are not typical outside the country so you must have a strong presence and reputation. Tmall B2D is really the key factor for success in terms of distribution because brands need to sell at the beginning to start their development in this vast country.
Be digitalized and sell on E-commerce platforms
To be effective in China, you don’t have a lot of options: ADAPT YOUR APPROACH TO THE MARKET SPECIFICITIES AND BE DIGITAL.
It’s the key to success in China to create your e-shop on cross-border e-commerce platforms because of e-commerce platforms with over 900 million Internet Chinese users sell.
Foreign brands are already loved by consumers, it’s your competitive advantage. Use it! If you want to start the e-commerce adventure in China, there are several smart solutions available for you:
Cross-border E-commerce platforms
Tmall, Taobao, and JD are the giants of e-commerce. They are the bigger platforms and also the bests in terms of quality and safety. Two important points in China.
Because these e-commerce platforms are very popular in China, it’s not easy to sell on that platform. Most of them only accept brands that have already a significant presence and realized high sales in China. That’s why most of the spirits brands failed to sell on the giants’ platforms, Tmall, Taobao or JD.
If you are a luxury luggage brand or a premium brand, you can try to sell on Tmall and JD because the 2 platforms want to keep a high ranking and only offer to their consumer’s famous brands and quality products. That’s why they are so selective. If you are not very famous yet, the Wechat store also provides good e-shops. It’s a bit more accessible for beginners in this market.
3rd party E-commerce platforms
The 3rd party e-commerce platforms are platforms as Weidian, Weixin Xiaodian, Youzan. These shops are really easy to open, use, and manage. Perfect for beginners or small shops. For more information contact us!
Build your own website to sell your luggage products
You can, of course, create your own E-commerce Website. If you want to accept the challenge, some marketing agency can help you. But you need to know that it’s not easy to create your own e-commerce website.
You will obviously need to develop a strong marketing and communication strategy to develop your e-reputation. Because Chinese consumers preferred buying on e-commerce platforms because they know that they will not have any troubles. E-commerce platforms are strong competitors, be careful.
To be visible to your target, you need to have a website in Mandarin, hosted in China, for SEO reasons. Baidu, the leading search engine in China, will not rank websites hosted in other countries or websites in other languages than Chinese. In addition, your website must follow Chinese standards and Chinese trends. In most cases, with a homepage consisting of a lot of information, written in small characters. If western consumers preferred a clean aesthetic, it’s not the standard of Chinese consumers.
SEO on Baidu to gain invisibility
75% of the research in China is on Baidu. You need to have a good ranking on Baidu to be visible. To develop your visibility on Baidu, you can use different solutions: Pay Per Click (PPC) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM): these solutions are very efficient but can be quite expensive in the long term.
SEO is better for long-term strategies, and is extremely efficient but asks you more work. SEO is a long-term process, requiring writing articles and content using keywords, in order to increase presence on the web for search engines. Baidu has its own websites and redirects 27% of its traffic to these sites: Baidu Zhidao (Q&A), Baidu Baike (Wikipedia), Baidu Tieba (Forum). This means that, in order to promote your website on the Chinese internet, you also have to be active on these affiliating websites of Baidu.
Use popular social media in China
If you want to raise the reputation of your luggage brand, it is costly and paying back little by using traditional media. However, new social media like WeChat can ease your promotion problem, especially for small businesses.
WeChat is the most popular social media with more than 80 million daily users. It’s the perfect place to communicate with your consumers and publish content. You also have to know that WeChat provides to brands an e-commerce part. You can build your own e-shop and sell directly on the platform. In China, Chinese consumers are used to sharing their purchases on their WeChat profiles. It’s a good way to improve your awareness and gain recommendations.
Weibo is another efficient way to promote your brand. It’s a microblogging platform where consumers are used to expressing themselves. It’s really convenient to communicate with your consumers and potential consumers. And Weibo is easy for startups to spread their reputation. You only have to create your Weibo Official Account which allows you to develop a strong and smart communication strategy to target a lot of consumers.
KOLs to promote your luggage brands
To gain visibility and e-reputation, it is crucial to encourage positive word-of-mouth. KOLs can help you.
The Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) are social media users who succeeded to make a lot of traffic on their accounts and became famous. Chinese consumers idolize KOLs, trust them more than brands. Some KOLs have millions of fans. They are really good to influence a massive population.
You can influence spirits, lovers, using KOLs as intermediaries. Through them, you are able to reach your target group. In other words, intermediaries can be a great asset in selling your imported spirits to Chinese consumers. However, KOLs are not an easy tool to control, it’s definitely one of the most useful ones out there but they are humans with their own thinking power. They can improve the reputation of a brand but also destroy it.
Chinese consumers are influenced when their idol recommends or favors your spirits brand. By doing this your target audience will convince very fast and will eventually buy your products. By engaging with KOL, your website and your brand will become more appealing through the buzz effect from their followers. The aim is to create a positive influence on the brand.
Gentlemen Marketing Agency is specialized in digital marketing in the Chinese market. Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss any projects in China.