WHAT IS EXACTLY CROSS-BORDER E-COMMERCE?
Cross-border e-commerce is define as import and export activities of cross-border trade conducted through e-commerce methods by transaction subjects from different customs borders. It is mainly classified into B2B and B2C.
Today, e-commerce in china become a big tool of purchasing. Because chinese people middle class is increasing, they can buy more expensive products. The more important access to information open their mind to others countries. They want better quality products. They want to show their purchasing power to the others. Reason why cross-border e-commerce increase as fast.
FIRST STEP : KNOW JURISDICTION OF CROSS-BORDER E-COMMERCE IN CHINA
A changing of the cross-border e-commerce legislation was announced. It concern the « bonded warehouse ». This wharehouses are warehousing facilities dedicated for storing overseas goods. It allow sellers to send easier their products to China without being subjected to commercial import duties or quality control measures.
This type of warehouses allowed cross-border e-commerce to increase, that’s why when governement said that they want to cancelled this warehouses, retailers were very worried.
But, on January 1st 2017, the government annouced that they would’nt close the warehouses. They allow retailers to continue this practice in the future. But, they seted up an new import tax.
Governement allowed too the creation of 5 new zone to located « bonded warehouses » in Dalian, Hefei, Chengdu, Qingdao and Suzhou.
A BEAUTIFUL FUTURE VIEW IS OPENING FOR CHINA CROSS-BORDER E-COMMERCE
Chinese consumer are more and more informed. They want quality and foreign products are synonym of quality. The China cross-border e-commerce market is expected to grow significantly.
The chinese ministry of commerce annonced that cross-border e-commerce reached 6.5 trillion yuan in 2016. They also said that they plan an annual grow of 30 percent in the next few years with more than 58 million consumers buying via cross-border e-commerce.
This market will more than double by 2020. Its a very good perspective for cross-border e-commerce.
FOCUS ON THE CHINESE CROSS-BORDER SHOPPER
The chineses cross-border shoppers are mostly coming from the middle class. There are youngs, around 30 years old. A thing very astonish : the largest portion of these shoppers are males. According to the report of the China E-commerce Research center, males represent 62.6% of cross-border e-commerce shoppers. Your target lives mostly in big cities such as : Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. Growth is also present in smaller cities.
This shoppers spend an average of $473 each on cross-border purchases. This figure will considerably improve in the next 5 years. You have clearly a significant opportunity to do cross-border e-commerce in China.
ABOVE ALL, YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHICH KIND OF GOODS CONSUMERS BUY?
Chinese consumers purchase a lot of goods on the cross-border e-commerce, but, several categories are clearly more popular than others.
The two most popular overseas goods are cosmetics and baby products.
This is due to all the scandals occured in China. (counterfeiting, dangerous goods, food scandals…). Domestic products are considered han inferior than foreing products.
Besides, regulation about the cross-border goods is more stricts and retailers have to inform consumer about all the characteristics of products.
Today, chinese consumer wants to know what he purchase. He has a better purchase power and he wants to use it for better quality. He wants better goods for his children and for him.
WHICH E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS COULD YOU CHOOSE?
You could find different platforms, popular among chineses consumers and than offer different benefits for you. The most popular platform is Kaola.com. Tmall, the giant of e-commerce is at the seconde place. You have also platforms such as JD, Little Red Book, Yangmatou, Wechat store …
Kaola.com, a website, launched in 2015, is today the most important cross-border e-commerce platform in china. At the begining it was only a platform for australian retailers, to sell their products in China. Now, all all foreign retailers are allow to sell on that platform. You can see more than 40 countries now sell their products throught the Kaola platform.
Kaola is the best platform if you want to do cross-border e-commerce, because, they are dedicated to this particular market.
Tmall is the most important platform in China, but it’s also reserved for the most successful players. In most case, brands are rejected from Tmall (85%). Tmall only selects brands that already have a strong image, reputation and do significant sales from China. If you start launching your cross-border e-commerce it will be difficault to start with Tmall.
XiaoHongShu (Little Red Book)
XiaoHongShu is a little bit different thant the other platforms. The site is a mix between a social media app and a e-commerce platform. The platform is relatively new, it was launch in 2014, but, has already a user base of over 25 million people.
The particular mix of the site allow users to post pictures of their purchases to their communities. They can purchase and chat directly on the same site.
On XiaoHingShu, cometics and beauty products are very popular because most of the users are young women between 18-30 years old.
This site is also quite accessible to smaller brands hoping to expand to China.
Launched in 2009, Yangmatou is the The first mover in China cross-border e-commerce.
Yangmatou offers a big range of good on the site but it is focuses primarily on the most popular categories, it’s mean baby products, beauty products, nutrition products, clothes, shoes, and handbags.
The products available on the website have very detailed descriptions to inform the consumer. Besides, it allow trust. Chinese consumers want to be inform because of the lot of scandals, they want to know that products are genuine.
Yangmatou registered over 10.000 daily orders and more than 1 million users.
An other effective alternative to this platforms is to use WeChat Stores. WeChat store is the best and most effective tool. These are stores hosted within this app that are linked to an official account. Besides, payment is made extremely convenient and fast to encourage impulse purchase. The percent of WeChat users that have made purchases from WeChat stores has more than doubled from 15% in 2015 to 31% in 2016.
And now, if it was your turn to become a cross-border retailer?
You need to contact specialists of the chinese e-commerce to help you boost your brand in China.
We are a specialist e-commerce agency based in Shanghai, the economic heart of China’s modern miracle. We understand e-commerce and the real methods for success in this lucrative market.