Guide to Open Online Store in China

Nowadays China embraces the biggest online platform, where the digital marketing dominates incredibly, while the whole world is dyed by traditional media and offline marketing. Remarkably there are 550 million smartphones in China and in terms of developing nation globally this country has the highest penetration rate up to 65%.  

In fact, Chinese consumers spend on average 1.5 hours a day searching online the information, which shows that they typically they get engaged through digital platforms. Which means that in the era of digital marketing and online platforms and online payments, online stores became a great tool in order to succeed for many brands.

1.WECHAT iS A GREAT TOOL

WeChat has 877 million active daily users, which means it is a is a great tool for Chinese market entry, and definitely, it is a strong Launchpad for quality content. In order to get engaged with your target consumers, it is very important to have a presence here, since WeChat is the number one social platform in China. WeChat gives the opportunity to create an official account for communications, build a following and push notifications to followers. This platform also enables their users to pay via their Wallet service and other additional functions such as gaming, to e-commerce stores, to location services, dating & even taxi hailing.

When it comes to WeChat, we highly recommend just to keep it social. Businesses here are seen more as individuals, which means you need to ensure you get engaged closely with users since WeChat is a conversational platform and Chinese consumers expect (more so than we do in the west) to have personal interactions with brands on such platforms.

WECHAT STORES AS A GAME CHANGER FOR SALES

WeChat stores which are ‘static’ stores which can be linked to your account for promotions, it became a brilliant tool for sales. Therefore, in order to ease payments, WeChat app utilizes e-wallet service.  WeChat links e-retail with social communications in new, interesting & innovative ways which makes this app to be a part of the growing phenomenon of ‘social commerce’ in China.

For instance, the collaboration of high profile Givenchy with Mr. Bags by its ‘flash sales’ sold in 10 minutes Givenchy bags for over 100 000 USD, which made WeChat store very famous.

Due to the simple fact that WeChat does not require a huge initial investment to set up & start driving qualified traffic which converts to sales, this app is a great and effective tool for businesses targeting Chinese consumers.

As WeChat is becoming the do-it-all super platform, more and more official accounts are linked to a WeChat store. Users are used to shopping without leaving WeChat.

How to build a WeChat store?

Nowadays within 3rd party WeChat e-commerce platforms, you can open a WeChat store within 5 minutes, which will be additionally well-designed. All of these platforms offer various types of payments.

2. YOU SHOP (微店)

Youshop is one of the biggest 3rd party WeChat store platforms. YouShop is well recognized by consumers, for product listing it has a clean interface, various options to set-up promotions, including the function to track shipping. Companies are allowed to open WeChat store account and put a deposit in order to guarantee its products, this differs YouShop from other platforms. In this WeChat shopping environment, this previously described factor can play a great role in order to win some level of trust. Additionally, the platform provides English version store, which is very convenient for foreign customers.In terms of requirements, you need to have a personal shop, valid phone number, and valid business license for company shop. The fee for opening the online store is for free. Moreover, payment methods include Credit card, Debit card, WeChat payment, Caifutong, liandong youshi, although it doesn’t support Alipay.

However, in terms of design, it cannot be customized that much. Remarkably, the most of YouShop stores have content structure and quite the same design.

3. YOUZAN (/口袋通)

Youzan is another platform that is used in order to open WeChat store.  It is very convenient to open the online store through this platform since it provides a variety of store templates. Companies can enjoy a variety of functions depending on the type of the store. The design is customized including slide introduction, menus, and music. In order to open the store, you should provide a valid phone number. In terms of payment methods, it includes WeChat payment, cash on a delivery Credit card and Debit card.

This website also provides various functions which enable companies to set up customized options and improve the user experience. These specific functions include food delivery, physical store pick up, and specific time delivery, store pick-up which can let companies benefit from multiple physical locations and save delivery costs.  For instance, the function of a specific delivery time is important for such services as restaurant or flower shop.

In addition, in terms of customized design, Youzan is the best free platform. Users don’t need to have any IT experience since the content can be easily used and edit content. Moreover, Customized slideshow with large picture display and background music, magazine cover page, product display page, customized button, menu bar – all of these functions are included in the template. These templates can be easily used in order to create their WeChat store. The only disadvantage of Youzan is reflected in terms of payment methods it doesn’t support Alipay.

4. JD.COM WeChat Store (微店)

Nowadays the trust and authenticity are vital in customer-seller relationships when it comes to this issue, JD.COM WeChat store is the largest and one of the most trustworthy platforms for customers. Interestingly is that comment function and ratings in WeChat stores are automatically synchronized with the comments on JD.com. Due to that issue, this platform becomes the best cross-platform WeChat store.

Therefore, JD.COM WeChat Store requires to have JD.com seller account, completed set of Business licenses and the company scope of operation must fall in the applicable list of industries. Payment methods include WeChat payment and cash on delivery, however, doesn’t support Alipay. In terms of pros and cons, it is a trusted platform, but you also need to set up a store in JD.com, and it has a limited type of industries. For instance, the store cannot be opened by the restaurants.

Here is the guide to open JD.COM WeChat account:

  • Your company needs to open a website version JD.COM store. Consequently, submit a completed set of legal documents for operating business in Chinese.
  • Products of your company should meet the requirements of the category of the list of industry
  • The code of conduct of JD.COM has to be strictly followed by your company.
  • The monthly fee is 1000 RMB and plus 10% commission.
  • Annual inspection
  • The company should meet the customer satisfaction rating above 8.5 out of 10 and meet the minimal sale quantity requirements.

In terms of drawbacks of JD.COM WeChat store, the design customization is not allowed. in order to differentiate yourself from your competitors, in this case, the most efficient way is to have good sales quantities and customer reviews. However, for new coming companies it becomes harder to compete in the market.

Furthermore, customers for the purpose of getting the authentic product, they are willing to pay a higher price, since JD.COM is one of the most trustful e-commerce platforms. JD.COM WeChat store is a great choice in case if your company have the budget for 24/7 customer service agent and if you have enough resources to manage multiple platform e-commerce channels.

5. Online Shop on TAOBAO/ TMall

Tmall defined the standards of e-commerce in China. In addition, it should be clear to understand for companies what are these expectations and standards from Chinese customers. The Tmall set-up a page link explains user experience on the platform including product discovery and delivery.

In terms of designing for Tmall, there are various standards that you need to follow. There are some of the rules that you need to follow:

  • Description within a large number of pictures of your product: Comparing to Western websites which have from 2 to 5 pictures of each product, in China the extensive product descriptions with dozens of pictures is expected by users. Pictures should contain a description of the way it was shipped to the customer (warehouses, etc.), images of the packaging, the picture being used.
  • Describe and clarify what makes your product different from others: Due to extremely high competition in China, you need to clarify to customers why your product is special and what specific features does it have. This features should include quantitative characteristics and there should be a created story around your brand & product.
  • Certificates of authenticity: In China, it usual to provide pictures of the certificates of authenticity for the specific product. Moreover, you should upload a scanned version of your reseller agreement in order to reassure users in case if you are re-selling a third-party brand.

In order to promote your brand and if you have any questions related to digital marketing, contact us now!

Read more:

Enter Chinese market via ecommerce: JD and Tmall Global

Wechat B2B Marketing in China

Simple introduction about WeChat app

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