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The furniture industry goes Online in China

furniture

Do you want to market your furniture brand in China?

The infatuation from Chinese for interior decoration and furnishing of their home is booming?

Years ago, you will probably never imagine that Chinese could be interested in furniture… The Chinese way of style is changing…

Before it was like this

old chinese lifestyle

Now it is like this

New chinese lifestyle

The rise of a middle class in China has changed the consumption landscape patterns in China turning to other expenditure than food. We can even distinguished consumers categories of furnishing: First the very rich one and not really regarding on prices. Those are more attracted to Western-style furniture, classical Chinese style and even “Avant-Gardiste” one; Second the one that is more attracted to luxury and trendy brands and third the one who represent the middle class and are looking for both price and quality.

Secondly, according to a report from the national statistics office in China, there is an urbanization phenomenon affecting China these recent years, reaching a rate of 54.7% in 2014 and increasing by 1% each year. This trend has contributed to the development of the furniture industry in China.

What is the trend in the furniture industry? We see here that this sector goes mainly through the online channel and we will see how companies manage to attract their leads on their online site.

The furniture market is targeting BtoB customers

There are two Leading experts sites in furniture in China: Alibaba and Made in China.com.

alibaba

The e-commerce site Alibaba has long been considered as a major player in the Chinese market. Alibaba is taking the growth of the furniture sector as an opportunity by collaborating with several professional of household appliances including Midea and Haier. Alibaba’s goal is to create the largest distribution site of appliances optimizing supply and demand.

made in china

We all know the success of e-commerce site Made-in-China, especially for high-tech products. The site is also known for the sale of furniture and decorations with a wide range of choices and prices from the cheapest to most expensive one.

Most of Quality Supplier prefer to sell via their Website as explain the founder of Nakesi.

If you manufacture nice products, it is better to have a nice website, nice photos and do not be compare to the lost cost companies that you have on Alibaba and made in China.

nakesi-furniture

More information about this entrepreneur. 

 

The furniture market targets BtoC customer

There are two major trends noticeable in China for furniture passing both by the online channel.

The first is people purchasing directly through The Internet and the second is to let people pre-visualize the products on Internet then after that they might go directly to shop at the same store.

Ethnicraft founded by a group of Belgian entrepreneurs managed to take into account these two broad parameters leading a well-established online marketing strategy in which we will detail some of the points below:

Choosing the right SEO strategy

SEO

Get a local SEO strategy, knowing the search habits of Chinese consumers, the importance of Meta description on Baidu, the ALT images on Baidu for a better ranking … etc. You’ve probably heard of all of these methods to optimize your SEO on Baidu?

There are others methods … If you want to optimize your online SEO there are two things that you absolutely need to know:

  • The first is the creation of content through articles on websites, blogs, and forums. This is what Ethnicraft has managed to do perfectly. You can find links to interesting articles and interviews on blogs, forums, and discussions here. Why create content? More you create relevant content regarding your brand and products and more you will have the influence on the sector and more visibility. More visibility means more traffic and, therefore, potential buyers. After writing these articles, Ethnicraft has seen the results on the following keywords:

“European furniture brands” ranked to the 5th place of the first page.

“Where to buy furniture in Shanghai” ranked to the first place of the first page.

“Shanghai furniture exhibition in 2015” ranked to the first and second place.

Ethnicraft

  • The second is to understand the interest of Chinese for Baidu search engine for their furniture searches. Just ask your Chinese friend and you will understand the importance of this search engine in everyday Chinese life. “Where can I find a stylized white living room?” Your Chinese friend answers you surely:” Baidu Yi Xia Ba “which means” Go Baidu. “Baidu has become a verb in itself.

There are two points on which you can work on the Weibo social network, take the example of Ethnicraft:

Quanyou is one of the largest companies specializing in the sale of furniture in China.

Qumei (曲 美) moves to a more particular furniture design by focusing on a modern furniture and original style.

There is an interesting article about thing to learn about SEO strategy.

Social Media Advertising: Promoting  your online shop on social networks.

Social networks are a way to promote your online shop.

You all know the Weibo social media in China, it is a particularly interesting tool to promote its goods and its online store.

There are two points on which you can work on the Weibo social network, take the example of Ethnicraft:

  • Make your audience dream with design page and which corresponds to the universe in where you want to bring your audience. Here the example below of Weibo Ethnicraft slides with pictures that immerse the user in Ethnicraft’s world.

Ethnicraft design weibo

Ethnicraft weibo

  • The second point is the type of content you’ll broadcast on Weibo, here the brand sells the simple, true and authentic side of wooden furniture. The post has managed to harvest 42 to 78 like shares. The information spread quickly on social networks, allowing you to generate traffic in a specific time.

Ethnicraft Weibo post

If you want to know more about social media in China, you can take a look here.

Banner ads

The idea is to optimize the data you can collect from users visiting your website and using it in a creatively way. We must not fall into the trap to harass and overwhelm your audience with retargeting banners. Take another strategical approach way. You have to tailor your advertising based on The Internet, on Chinese buying habits and tastes? Be creative

The video tool

Ethnicraft takes you into his world by highlighting the main brand strength: massive wooden furniture. The image below shows the authenticity of the materials used by Ethnicraft with wood from Indonesia in Java.

Ethnicraft wood

The video below is explaining you the concept Ethnicraft and ideas of the brand with values such as comfort, relaxation, and style.

The trend O2O confirmed in the furniture market

o2o

The e-commerce trend of the O2O model is beginning to have some success in China. But what is the O2O? This is a combination between marketing and sales online with those that are offline. What does it consist in?

The principle is simple: the company uses its own website as a product exhibition platform with the ability for the users to order and pay online. Then, we come to offline where consumers go directly on site shop to get the product that has interested them.

The benefits of o2o method? A way to boost the products sale and especially concerning logistics by reducing inventory-related problems.

Brands such as Easyhome with the site and Juran.cn and Meilele.com have started to build their e-commerce platforms online before expanding their coverage by opening stores.

Here we will show you an example of O2O with the brand Ethnicraft. After the success experienced in Singapore and Malaysia, the brand decided to expand its showroom of 185 square meters to Shanghai. The idea is that consumer can get an overview of the products on the online website and then choose the products that interest them and after that order online. If the consumer wants to see and touch the products, he can make an appointment with the showroom in Shanghai and enjoy the experience for real.

There is an interesting article about o2o and digital opportunities for developing your brand in China.

To conclude, the Chinese furniture industry is opening up more and more in the digital age and that’s only the beginning.

Further readings

Ikea and its competition in China

2015: The Golden Age of Social Media in China

How to market a Furniture brand in China?

Understanding the E-marketing in Asia

One Comment to "The furniture industry goes Online in China"

  1. Reply
    Michael Muranski
    May 24, 2016 at 9:37 am

    The rest of the markets in the world have mostly gone online and it was about time for the furniture market to take this step as well. You should be able to navigate through and purchase all sorts of furniture designs without even leaving the house. http://www.iqmatics.com/webstore/

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