The Chinese men’s fashion market is growing by leaps and bounds. But, if you’re looking to enter this market quickly, you’ll need to know how to fast-track your way in. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to do just that. So, read on to learn more!
China Fashion Industry: a bit Context
No more than a decade ago, China had one of the world’s most isolated economies, and its fashion industry was similarly parochial. But with increased openness and economic reforms came an influx of international brands that swarmed into this booming market. This has led to greater sophistication of the Chinese consumer, who is becoming more knowledgeable about what’s happening in fashion.
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The need to look good is an almost universal phenomenon, and the Chinese are no exception. With increased spending power, a better standard of living, improved education, and a growing culture of sophistication, an increasing number of young Chinese men have started to think about their fashion choices. While it’s still early for China’s male consumer segment, there has been an immense increase in spending power among younger Chinese men. They are more style-conscious and aware of fashion trends, especially international brands that have entered the market.
Essential Data About Chinese Men’s Fashion Market
As the world’s most populous country and a rapidly growing middle class, China is an important market for fashion brands looking to sell their products. Here we look at some essential data about the Chinese men’s fashion market.
Increasing numbers of Chinese men are willing to spend money on clothing. Men’s fashion sales in China increased gradually between 2009 and 2019, reaching a total of 594.9 billion RMB in 2019, representing a 4.07 percent raise over the previous year’s total. Aside from that, male customers spend an average of over 1,500 RMB on apparel each year.
Meanwhile, Chinese men are becoming more concerned with personal appearance, particularly when traveling abroad. This growing culture of spending on clothing has boosted the stature of male fashion brands in China, making it easier for foreign companies to sell their products there.
China’s menswear retail market share surpassed that of the United States in 2015, reaching $276 billion 400 million; however, when compared to the per capita consumption of clothing in several countries, China’s value is the lowest, at only 200 US dollars/person, out of a total of ten countries.
It accounts for one-fifth of the population of the United States and fifteen percent of the people of the United Kingdom, and there is still significant space for growth in domestic apparel demand, with the market expected to continue to develop fast in the coming years.
What men demographic in China, consume fashion items the most
Men aged 25-49 account for 53.1 percent of men’s fashion market share, and men between the ages of 18 and 30 make up over thirty percent; this reflects a trend that more young people in China are willing to spend on menswear. At the same time, brands looking to cater to this group should ensure they promote their products on social media. Given China’s widespread use of mobile phones, around 75 percent of Chinese men between the ages of 13 and 29 use their mobiles to shop online – preferring this method to shopping in-store or browsing through magazines.
There is a significant gap between the price that Chinese and foreign brands charge for apparel products: foreign companies usually price their products at a much higher level in the domestic market. In this case, Chinese brands can’t compete in terms of pricing.
Nonetheless, many foreign companies still benefit from entering the Chinese market: developing the brand’s reputation here will also bring benefits once it is exported to other countries; likewise, selling premium products below cost price in China to build demand for this market can also be of use once shipped, as consumers will then see the foreign brand as a good buy. Moreover, many Chinese people believe some foreign brands are of higher quality than domestic ones, so once they have purchased some foreign-made products, they will be more willing to pay more in the future.
Trends in the Chinese Men’s Fashion Market
First and foremost, before we discuss how you can advertise your men’s fashion brand in China, you must understand your target demographic. What is it that is causing all of these sales? As a newer shop or brand, will you immediately have some customers? Without a doubt, this is not the case. Let’s look at some of the current fashion trends in the Chinese men’s fashion sector.
A growing interest in Fashion
Today’s youth are pretty adventurous, and their dress code often blurs the lines between male and female categories.
Some of the biggest trends in Chinese men’s fashion include streetwear, luxury brands, and athleisure. Streetwear is becoming increasingly popular among young people in China, as it is seen as cool and stylish. Luxury brands are also popular among Chinese men, as they are seen as a symbol of success and status. Athleisure is also gaining popularity in China, as more people are looking for clothing that is both comfortable and stylish.
As mentioned, Chinese youth are very experimental with their fashion choices. One of the latest trends in China is the rise of street style and male fashions. As such, younger men can often be seen attending local pop-up shops and testing out new styles to see what people think.
On the flip side, many young Chinese men dress like they’re ready for a night on the town, even if it’s only Wednesday at 3:00 PM. It’s all about looking sharp and carefree.
Streetwear is an excellent way to get your foot in the door and grab some Chinese men’s fashion market share. As stated before, China has one of the most competitive markets globally. If done correctly, showing up to shop local but casual can often win you some hearts and wallets.
High-end Fashion targetted at Men
Although sales of women’s high-end apparel are still the highest, in recent years, high-end menswear sales have grown faster than women’s attire. Brands such as Stella McCartney and Isabel Marant were originally focused on designing clothing for female consumers but now create collections that cater to both genders with equal success!
The Challenges of Selling in China’s Men’s Fashion Market
The Chinese men’s fashion market can be a tough one. However, if executed correctly, you will find it well worth your while. Oversaturation is an understatement for China’s men’s fashion market. Every corner you turn to has yet another shop selling the same thing you are trying to sell or already have in your shop.
In this case, it’s vital to do your research before venturing into China’s market. Are there already a lot of competitors in the area? Do they have a loyal following, and what can you do better? These are essential questions to ask yourself in the future.
Price-sensitive is another issue that many brands face every day in the Chinese market. While you are at the top of your game with faster delivery, more affordable prices, or better service, don’t be surprised if this doesn’t win over everyone in China overnight.
It takes time to build a loyal customer base for any brand. Patience is key here. And remember that not every shopper will want to spend an arm and a leg on your clothing. That’s okay; China is used to this right now. However, it can become costly if you are not careful.
The best way to combat price-sensitive customers is to provide quality products at reasonable prices. This way, all demographics will buy into your brand no matter their lifestyle or budget.
How To Sell Men’s Fashion Brands in China
How can you gain a foothold in a market that is already crowded with top-tier companies, both domestic and international? Domestic brands will typically be less expensive than international ones, or at least that is the norm because they have lower operating costs. As a foreign brand, you must work twice or three times as hard as a domestic company to have a winning strategy.
It is also possible to have a domestic and international presence to have a better chance in the sector. It will be expensive for you, but it is unquestionably a high-risk, high-reward investment.
Sell Menswear Online in China
The most valuable advice you will receive if you want to expand your brand or business in the Chinese market is to establish an online presence for yourself. Having an online store that can provide the same or better level of service as brick-and-mortar stores without the costs associated with it will set you ahead of your competitors.
The best e-commerce platform for selling a men’s fashion brand in China will vary depending on your specific needs and goals. However, some popular options to consider include Tmall and JD.com. Indeed, these two platforms have the highest average basket and benefit from the trust of Chinese consumers.
Plus, they both have a cross-border option, which is a precious option for companies that have yet to register their brand and products in China.
You can also go through the more traditional distribution route, however, you won’t have the advantage of having full control over your brand in the country and will be susceptible to a Changement of heart by your distributors. Plus, finding a reliable distributor in China still requires you to work on your brand awareness. The competition is harsh and to put it simply, distributors will always go for the brand that has potential from the get-go and require less amount of work to get sales going.
Market your brand in China: Build Brand Awareness
You will also need to build a relationship with your customers. Not only does this mean having an online presence, but it also means having physical stores where you can talk to people directly. This way, you can know the needs and wants of your target audience better than before, and your product range will become more relevant to them.
However, if you aim for an online presence, you must ask yourself if your target audience is the urban Chinese market. If it is, you should launch your website in either Mandarin or Cantonese to cater to them.
Through Baidu SEO & SEM
Baidu is the most popular search engine in China. This means that your target audience is likely to be searching for information on men’s fashion on Baidu. by having a strong presence on Baidu and a high trust ranking, you’re indicating to potential customers that your brand is reputable and trustworthy
Baidu has a strong focus on mobile users. In China, the majority of internet users access the web through their mobile devices. This means that your menswear brand will be able to reach a large number of potential customers through Baidu’s mobile platform.
Baidu also offers a wide range of advertising options, including both text and banner ads. This means you can target your ads specifically to users who are interested in menswear, which will help you achieve a higher ROI on your campaign.
To get started, you can create ads on Baidu that target keywords related to your brand or products. You can also use Baidu SEO to gain organic traffic. For that, you’ll have to optimize your website for the Chinese search engine. Additionally, consider creating content on popular Chinese social media platforms like Weibo and Douban, and linking back to your website for backlinks.
Through Chinese Social Media
There are a few key reasons why promoting your men’s fashion brand on social media is key to success in China. Firstly, social media is one of the most effective ways to reach out to potential customers in China. With over 1 billion active users on platforms like WeChat and Weibo, you can rapidly increase your brand awareness and build a strong customer base.
Secondly, social media allows you to connect with customers directly and create a two-way dialogue. This is important for building trust and rapport with customers, which is essential for any successful business.
Finally, by engaging with customers on social media, you can better understand their needs and preferences, and develop products and marketing campaigns that resonate with them.
There are several social media platforms in China that would be good for promoting a menswear brand. WeChat and Weibo are two of the most popular social media platforms in China and they would be a good place to start.
Each of these platforms has its own unique strengths and weaknesses when it comes to promoting menswear brands. For example, Weibo is great for reaching a large audience quickly, but the messages tend to be short and concise. WeChat is great for engaging with customers that are already familiar with your brand – to work on customer loyalty.
Other platforms such as Douban, Zhihu, and Baidu Tieba would also be worth considering to increase your online presence and increase organic mention of your brand by fashion consumers.
Here are a few key things to keep in mind when promoting a men’s fashion brand on social media in China:
- Make sure your visuals are of high quality and reflect the upscale image of your brand.
- Focus on content that is relevant to Chinese consumers, such as fashion tips, celebrity style, and seasonal trends.
- Use popular Chinese hashtags to increase exposure for your brand.
- Create an official company account to access the platform’s marketing tools and improve your brand legitimacy online.
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