E-commerce in China has undergone tremendous changes in the past few years. It went from 3% of the Chinese total retail in 2009 to 15% in 2014 according to Mintel research firm. This makes it the largest e-commerce sector in the world with around400 million online shoppers. China has become the key market where every e-commerce website wishes to succeed.
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Here are 10 advices to help your website succeed on the Chinese internet:
Baidu, THE Chinese search engine
Foreign e-commerce players in China have to have their website registered on Baidu. This search engine indeed owned a 81.7% market share in the second quarter of 2014.It is therefore vital for your website to be referenced on Baidu. However your website also has to be highly ranked in the leading search engine’s results in order to be noticed by the online shoppers!
There are indeed a lot of domestic e-commerce websites in China that are longer established and that also are ultra-present on the Chinese internet. This is why, your online shopping website should have an efficient SEO strategy tailored to Baidu, in order to stand out on the leading search engine.
Have a Chinese website
Baidu is a Chinese search engine and therefore it logically gives priority to websites written in Chinese. A website in mandarin is the best way to reach the high ranks on Baidu and a greater amount of online shoppers.
Hosted in China
Baidu is also taking into account the country of registration of the website. Baidu will give it a strong penalty to websites registered outside of mainland China and pages will hardly ever upload.
Chinese online shoppers are buying on the Internet to save time and money. They have upscale standards, so that it is important to understand what is appealing to them. At first, the content must be clear, the price and other essential information should be visible at first glance. Chinese online shoppers are also really demanding on the illustrations of the content.
They want quality pictures and videos to make sure of the quality of the product they are buying. They need to have a short paying process, we recommend not to exceed three steps in the process. Baidu cannot read Flash and Java items so your Chinese website should only use html content to display the illustrations.
While they are looking for information, Chinese tend to form phrases and not actual keywords for their research. So that the longer are keywords, the better they will work.
E-commerce players willing to launch their website in China have to make a list of the best keywords that will suit their website and stick to them. In order to help Baidu to spot the keywords, they have to be placed in the titles and descriptions of the pages.
Baidu is always promoting the websites it owns on top of the others. The leading search engine recently announced a partnership with Dalian Wanda Group and Tencent to create an e-commerce platform to compete against the platforms owned by the leader of Chinese e-commerce: Alibaba. In order to compete with the Chinese e-commerce giants, your website should only use Chinese backlinks coming from trusted websites.
Chinese online shoppers want to be able to trust the website they will be buying their products from. This is why they love to look up the previous customer reviews, to make sure that what they will buy form the website is genuine and safe. An essential to add to your website are customer reviews, in order to have the trust of online shoppers.
Submitting your website to Baidu, means you have to avoid selling products or publishing content that are considered illegal in China. Respecting the censure is another step to be trusted by the leading search engine in China.
A complete website
To appeal Chinese online shoppers, a online shopping website should be a reliable source of information with trusted backlinks and that offers reviews of previous customers. The website should also offer multiple services such as, online assistance services, fast and free delivery all over the country. The website should finally be easy to use and have both good web and mobile platforms. Indeed 50% of the Chinese online shoppers in 2013 used their mobile to shop.
Online Shopping Platforms
E-commerce in China has become a lifestyle in China and most of the foreign companies selling in China are doing it through the Chinese specialized online shopping platforms. These platforms are indeed already trusted by online shoppers of the country and they know how to appeal the local consumers. This is why Brands like Topshop, Burberry, Nike and Adidas chose to trust these longer established platforms and opened their brand’s stores on the platforms. They also have their personal e-commerce website but having both enables these foreign brands to have more visibility. via
There are several types of e-commerce platforms on the Chinese internet to suit your type of business. Shangpin is a Chinese luxury e-commerce website and the one that the British brand Topshop chose to open a store onto. Tmall, Alibaba’s B2B platform, is very well known in China and is also a good way to gain more Chinese online customers quickly this was the choice of Nike, Adidas, and Burberry.
Opening an e-commerce website in China requires knowing what appeals Chinese customers when they shop online, and sometimes having a flagship store on famous Chinese online platform is also a good way to form a vast base of Chinese of online customers.
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