Guide to Sell to Chinese Consumers

The Chinese market is not that easy for foreign enterprises to enter due to the Chinese government’s favouring of domestic brands, as well as huge differences in technology and business cultures.

China’s rapid financial expansion caused societal changes and it led to an accelerated shift toward consumption within specific demographics. For example, Jeffrey Towson, author of the best-selling ‘The One Hour China Book’, puts forward the example of Chinese mothers, whom he calls “super consumers”, as market influencers who control spending within the family unit.

 

Business Model Roll Out

It’s essential to understand China’s unique business features to adapt western marketing model to the Chinese market. Hertz, for example, failed to capitalize the market trying to launch a traditional car hire service. Chinese car hire firm eHi however quickly realized that offering an additional chauffeur-driven service could be more appealing in China’s gridlocked streets, an option which today accounts for over 50 percent of their revenue.

 

Embracing Chinese social media with local content 

Building and promoting a brand via social media by circulating the right information to target consumer groups is a crucial strategy in the digital world, especially in China. Its digital population is estimated at 616.5 million social media users, that is more than the entire population of the European Union. China Daily stated in one of the articles that Chinese Internet users have spent over 39.8 billion hours on social media platforms in the first half of 2017.

With the growing social media impact in China, Chinese consumers have built a deep trust towards the digital circle. More than half of post-90s consumers know about new products and brands via social media. Today, China hosts an ultra-consumerist society that drives retailers and brands to convert social media postings into profit. For example, if a consumer sees a product on Wechat moments, retailers should provide the option to purchase the product directly. By making the purchase process seamless, retailers lead their consumers to impulse buying without going through an extensive thought process on whether the product is necessary.

 

FOMO Syndrome

“Fear Of Missing Out” plays a big role in spontaneous shopping. Brands must leverage consumer psychology implementing time-limited and holiday-based promotions. For example, JD.com saw a 50 percent increase in sales during this year’s 618 festival by offering discounted promotions, generating USD$ 17.6 billion in transaction value within two weeks.

Another way to encourage spontaneous buying is to design time-limited campaigns, as Roger Dubuis did. The campaign, called Race Against Time, was designed to last only 8888 minutes, with only 88 pieces of watches available for sales. By using the number 8 – a lucky number in Chinese culture, Roger Dubuis could drive more engagement from the users and ensure maximum success.

  • 5 million visualizations
  • 207 000 engagement in total and 17 000 engagements for social commerce
  • 7 500 followers gained

 

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China’s All-In-One App Ecosystem

In China people are used to all-in-one apps combining multiple options, including payment scheme. E-commerce site Alibaba offers social and entertainment features built-in app since 2009, while social platforms like Wechat allow users to buy or sell products, read the news, book tickets, send monetary gifts, and pay for bills.

 

All within the app. There are plans, too, to expand Wechat Wallet into international markets. Numerous news sites, games apps, and e-commerce sites also intelligently integrate a clear “Buy” button within their platforms to help users to complete transactions.

 

E-shopping Dominates in China

Today brands need to follow a solid digital marketing strategy to make sure they are easily foundable anywhere, at any time.

Selling online to China from a foreign market is currently offered on Alibaba’s Tmall and JD Worldwide, but is an option not suited to every company as both of these platforms charge heavy fees, deposits and commission costs, and only operate with companies that meet a certain turnover.

Read FAQ about crossborder in China 

Comparing to the US and UK’s ecosystem where apps are still very separated, China is already on the next version of seamless online shopping.  Chinese e-shoppers are very well familiar with all-in-one apps; thus, they have a continuous demand for higher efficiency in their apps.

Miniprogram are also super popular in 2019 source

Considering that 94% of Chinese use WeChat every day, there is thus no better app in China to give visibility to your brand. However, in addition to an official account, you can now create your mini-program. There are several advantages to this.

 

E-shopping in China with integrated digital platforms within has enabled an amazing impulse for buying culture that has not happened to any other country in the world. As impulsive shopping dominates the market, it is important for brands to incorporate suitable marketing strategies aimed at reaching more consumers while keeping their shopping fever on edge.

 

Read also how to reach hundred of Chinese distributors 

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