Cross-border website in China: what are the opportunities for Western companies?
As you probably may know the e-commerce in China is booming and the figures can make you loose your mind. Last year this segment increased by 25% and reached RMB 13 billion (more than 1,7 billion of euros). Then, the Chinese e-commerce market is incredibly exciting thanks to its size and its rapid growth. But the last tendency in China is the development of the cross-border shopping.
What is the cross-border shopping?
The cross-border shopping allows the Chinese consumers to buy products abroad through e-commerce website.
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This technique deserves to be known by more company wishing to sell their products in China. Is actually an excellent way to enter the Chinese market.
The cross-border e-commerce market is flourishing in China as the consumers are more and more willing to buy their products from abroad e-commerce website if they offer them a good service (as a fast delivery, a free returns…). Actually a cross border site in China will have to compete with the e-commerce giant such as Tmall. That’s why you need to have a clear and different positioning to succeed.
Why opening a cross-border e-commerce website?
A lot of foreign brands first, decide to open an e-commerce shop using the Tmall or Shangpin platforms. Why? Because it’s a generic platform which take care of the payments services and all the others problems such as the logistics and the regulatory issues.
But if you only use these platforms the Chinese consumers won’t be able to perceive your brand identity as the platform is quite standardize. The online customers experience is not as good as it can be if the consumers buy your products on your own website.
ASH eshop on Shangpin
Topshop eshop on Shangpin
Then if you want to control your image, the best think to do is to control your own platform where you’ll be able to diffuse your company’s values.
What are the opportunities for the Western companies?
Actually, the opportunities are huge. According to iResearch, cross-border online trade in China reached RMB 3,100 billion in 2013 and is expected to increase to RMB 6,500 billion in 2016.
The Chinese bought for RMB 76.7 billion of foreign products online in 2013, according to the e-commerce Research Center in China. It believes that this volume will reach RMB 1,000 billion in 2018. With their purchasing power increasing every year, the Chinese are more and more looking to buy their products abroad. They are very attracted by cosmetics products, fashion and luxury products.
Moreover, the Chinese government is beginning to facilitate online sales from platforms hosted outside of Mainland China as before it was quite difficult. Then it’s the good time to launch your own e-commerce platform.
Then, the environment is excellent for the Western companies with the desire of developing their company in China.
Then, how to develop your own website in China and becoming attractive to the Chinese Consumers?
What’s really important to understand is that everything works differently in China. If you want to succeed you’ll need to develop a powerful marketing digital strategy. In fact, the Chinese are hyper-connected compared to the Western countries’ population. An online presence will allow you to be credible and more desirable for your Chinese target.
But what is beyond everything crucial is the SEO. You have to be present on the Chinese most powerful search engine: Baidu.
For more information on how the Baidu’s SEO work, read this
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The opportunities are right now excellent in China, and the only thing I can advise you is to try your luck!