With an estimated population of over 1.4 billion people, China is one of the largest consumer bases on the planet. This country is now much more than the “factory of the world”. Its spectacular economic development has made it the main economic competitor of the United States. Its domestic market is gigantic and demand for foreign goods is growing: In the first quarter of 2021, it was already growing by 18%.
Unsurprisingly, this leads many Brands in the world to try and export their products or services to the middle kingdom. However, being able to enter and target the Chinese market is far from always obvious.
Need a cost effective TP (Tmall Partner) to sell in China?
We are an Official Tmall Partner e-commerce Agency. Our Services: E-Commerce, Search Engine Optimization, Advertising, Weibo, WeChat, WeChat Store & PR.
However, it is often difficult for Westerners to do business with China. Eldorado it is to some, but most companies fail.
But it is possible to achieve great success in China, our Agency helped many companies. From huge Brands to Small startups.
The first question is: Is what you offer a good market-fit in China? Contact us to get a free consultation.
If it is, then let’s dive in.
Understand the Chinese market before exporting
There is an unchanging logic to entering a foreign market: get to know the local market, conduct market research and assess the feasibility of the project. If it is possible to export and sell in China, it is important to keep in mind that it is a business environment where rules and codes are numerous.
A company must define its needs and its project, determine which type of partner to contact and how to meet the Chinese demand. It must then identify the local actors who can present an interest for a collaboration. Among the practical advice, it is essential to surround yourself with people who speak Chinese (Mandarin in most cases) and are familiar with the cultural codes that are essential in any human relationship. It is important not to hesitate to devote time to being present on site. It is therefore necessary to obtain a business visa for China in advance. Although the current covid regulations make it difficult at the moment.
Which channels to use to export to China?
Many channels exist to export your products to China. Here are the most important ones.
Rely on e-commerce platforms
E-commerce is very popular in China, as shown by the growing success of the many platforms present in the country. Going through this channel can be very beneficial, as one in five sales in China is made online. If you want to take advantage of this very profitable channel, don’t hesitate to integrate Chinese e-commerce platforms such as Tmall or to communicate about your products with messaging applications such as WeChat.
Use Chinese distributors and agents
To export your products to China, you can also use the services of a Chinese distributor. However, caution is advised given the common problems of inefficiency or scams. The main objective of a distributor is indeed to earn money. To find the best ones, it is important that your brand is known and has a significant turnover. You must also master your communication and the functioning of the Chinese market.
You can contact specialized distributors in China depending on the product you want to export. You will have no trouble finding such partners during the monthly meetings of your business club.
Finally, you can go through Chinese agents to export your products to China. They are used to representing foreign companies in their country. However, the modalities of distribution of products may vary from one agent to another.
More on Exploiting digital tools to conquer the Chinese market
This has become an obligation. The Chinese are consuming more and more via the Internet. There are more than 800 million Internet users. These new habits have taken such proportions that most of the payments in China are made by digital means. Merchant sites are therefore indispensable. They offer exposure but the effects will only be beneficial after considering certain realities.
Baidu, the gateway to the Chinese market
To optimize the chances of success, it is recommended to bet on a good exposure on the national search engine, Baidu. Other search engines are available, but Baidu is the most popular with the Chinese. Although there is no guarantee of success, it is necessary to opt for a communication that stands out from the competition on Baidu, which appreciates novelty and sites that are provided with pages and documentation.
Baidu is only available in Chinese. It is therefore necessary to hire someone who masters the required writing and who meets other requirements such as clarity of the site, good feedback from users, insertion of backlinks and other subtleties that optimize the SEO of the website.
Create an account on each Chinese Social Media platform
It is recommended to create an account on Chinese social networks, starting with WeChat, the most popular in China. TikTok, Douyin, Xiaohongshu and other social networks should also be considered to multiply the chances of exposure to Chinese consumers. There are many photo sharing, video sharing or social shopping platforms that are very popular in China. This will allow you to get in touch with Chinese influencers who will promote your brand.
The presence on social networks is essential but it is always necessary to make sure to broadcast politically correct content. In recent years, major international brands have been forced to apologize to China because of messages that were not ill-intentioned, but that shocked the country. The golden rule of communication remains: never make a mistake.
You Need a Good Partner in China
The Chinese market is difficult to access for Westerners because of increased competition and higher barriers to entry. But it is not impregnable if you surround yourself with the right people, if you have prepared your business and strategy beforehand.
GMA is an agency with over 10 years experience in helping companies to face that particular challenge. Contact us so we can have a chat and discuss about your project!