We see a strong demand in the ready-to-wear market for children in China over the last few years. Indeed, many factors explain the development of the market that knows for the moment, happy days. The Chinese market is changing, the improvement of household purchasing power, the lifting of the one-child policy, the growth of the country, can explain changes in consumer attitudes and expectations.
In this article, we will introduce you to the ready-to-wear Children market in China and how to market a brand on it.
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Understanding the Ready-to-Wear Market in China for Children
China is a country with the advantage of being involved at all levels of the value chain in this market. With population strength, the country is the largest ready-to-wear market in the world in terms of consumption of these products. Fashion has become more democratic in the country, appearance takes an important part in the lives of individuals, which contributes to offering good opportunities to companies.
China is considered to be the largest consumer country in the world. The ready-to-wear market is not exempt from this rule with annual growth of around 6%. This market growth is also explained by the restructuring and opening of the international market. Many foreign brands have therefore been able to market in the Middle Empire and thus stimulate sales.
Dramatic growth in the children’s clothing segment
The children’s ready-to-wear market in China is one of the fastest growing segments of the general market. Compared with the general annual market growth of 6%, the segment is growing by more than 9%, demonstrating market development well.
Indeed, the renewal of children’s clothing is stronger than that of men or women since these individuals are still developing. The purchase is thus more often repeated than for the other two segments whose purchase can be carried over in time.
The ready-to-wear market for children can be divided into three categories:
- Baby clothes: which is and will remain the subcategory that will achieve the most growth
- Girls’ clothing: the second growth segment in the market given higher prices than in the boys’ segment and a higher purchase frequency.
- Boys’ clothes.
Actors on the market
Given the potential of the market, foreign brands did not wait long to establish themselves in the segment. These brands dominate the high-end market. We can find on the Chinese market, three major brands that dominate this positioning that are, LaLandee, Mickey and Les Enphants. These brands market their product offerings in specialized and premium stores.
Local brands are positioned on a much lower pricing policy than foreign brands and have the advantage of being marketed on a multitude of channels. The leading brands of the market are Yaduo, Shuihaier, M-linen and Yeeshow.
The distributors play a significant role in the market since they will distribute to buy and import the products. However, as we saw earlier, the market has diversified and is changing, which has contributed to the emergence of new distribution formats in the segment. Specialized stores, E-commerce represents new growth-enhancing formats in the textile and ready-to-wear children’s markets.
Distribution networks: the importance of the physical store
The strong attraction of consumers for physical stores is justified by the fact that many of them prefer to have a concrete image of the product. Product testing is a concept that is still important in the marketplace. Consumers will prefer to go to a store to view the product, touch before purchasing. The sensory dimension strongly influences the segment.
Nevertheless, the growth of online commerce opens new doors to the players since it is considered as an extension of sales formats in multi-channel distribution strategies. The digital sphere will also allow brands to expand their presence and increase their visibility in a market that is becoming increasingly saturated. The online channel represents a real opportunity for the players since the sales represent 4 million of the turnover of the segment. In this segment, 70% of the market is held by Tmall (50%) and JD.com (20%), two major players in online commerce of the country.
The complementarity of these two distribution methods becomes a differentiating tool for brands and an opportunity for competitive advantage to reach the consumer throughout his customer journey.
Analysis of market trends and demand
The more children grow, the greater the demand and the need for clothing. In the baby segment, buyers are looking for safe and comfortable products for the benefit of their children. By the age of three, expectations are different. Parents will favor products that will convey the good taste and individuality of their children. This change in expectations and needs and mainly due to the social development of the child who will begin to engage in an outside life with his peers. The need for differentiation strongly influences their purchases.
Foreign brands have a real advantage over the target of 3 years and more since this need for differentiation plays a lot in the purchase of these brands. Indeed, many parents visit the websites of foreign brands to buy products across Asian borders and give a unique image to their children.
Chinese consumers are generally fond of foreign brands as they are a guarantee of quality and originality with regard to fashion.
How to market your brand of Ready-to-Wear for Children in China?
Here you have the opportunity to embark on a market whose growth potential is not going to stop so early. Nevertheless, to develop your business in the market many steps awaits you and do not hope to transpose your model into China this one will immediately fail.
Here are some tips for setting up and promoting your brand in the market. Nevertheless, if you have no experience and knowledge of the Asian market and particularly of the Chinese market. We invite you to associate or call on actors who will advise you in your strategic choices.
Three key success factors
The most important in the ready-to-wear market for children is:
- Managing your distribution
- Your reputation and brand image
Even if the last two factors are closely related we will develop some ways for the development of your brand.
Opting for a physical distribution and Online
The measures initiated by the government to develop the liberalization of domestic markets allow international brands to develop rapidly in China. Direct investment, franchise agreement or sales intermediary are practices commonly used to improve its visibility and marketing in physical outlets in the territory.
With this in mind, we recommend that you partner with a Chinese distributor to market your products.
Online trading is very popular in the country as we have seen previously. Developing a Store + Online model is a market imperative for the visibility of foreign brands. Cross-border e-commerce is my solution that you can opt to enter the market. Tmall and JD.Com are the main e-commerce platforms in the country.
Develop your online reputation: communication as key opportunity
You have to capitalize on the digital trend in the country. For this, your online marketing strategy is very important. The Chinese are consumers continuously connected with their digital environment. Do not forget that this environment is totally different from the one we know in the West. Transactional sites and mobile apps have been created by Chinese for Chinese, so creating your presence on this new universe is required.
Social media has a strong impact on the purchasing decisions of Chinese people. The country is known for having the largest network of Internet users in the world, representing 900 million people. The social platforms will be relevant to your strategy since consumers, in our case parents, are influenced by the recommendations of friends or family in the purchase of products.
The social media giant: WeChat
WeChat is the window to the social world of China. The application has more than 850 million monthly users and more than 600 million every day. WeChat has become an extension of the person in China. The platform is used on average 4/5 hours per day and allows a diversified use. Individuals have the ability to communicate with instant messaging features, share content through “moment” similar to Facebook wall, pay via WeChat Pay and buy online via the social commerce features of the app.
The platform has become a full-fledged ecosystem that is crucial to exploit for brands entering the market. For this you need to open an official account on the application that will allow you to broadcast content and interact with your customers and prospects.
It is a good way to improve your customer service since it allows a direct link with your consumers. Community Management on the platform is therefore crucial. See a good case study here
You Need a Partner in China ?
Do not hesitate to understand the whole of the Chinese digital ecosystem and its operation to ensure you a place of choice in the market. Many agencies such as Gentlemen Marketing Agency can also help you integrate into the Chinese market by accompanying you in your efforts and being your partner in the field.
Our agency specializing in digital marketing is located in Shanghai. We are committed to partnering with organizations to grow their business in this lucrative market of China.
- Our Website
- Do not hesitate to contact us for more information
- We have Consultant that know this Children Market very well.