Guide To Sell Furnitures in China

THE CHINESE FURNITURE MARKET : A MARKET WITH A HIGH POTENTIAL

Furnitures in China is a huge Industry.

Today, the furniture market in China is considered as the world’s largest exporter and manufacturer of furniture products. In 2016, the turnover was more than 35 billion of dollars and the market is expected to increase more and more for the next 5 years.

The Furniture Market in China is highly competitive with more than 60 000 brands.

But, China is changing and now, China is not only an exporter and producer but more and more a consumer market. The increase of the wealth and the opening of the country to the western countries change everything. Consumers are now really attentive to their interior, the decoration and furnitures in China. Chinese consumers like buy online and be delivered and of course, they like foreign brands.

Furnitures in China

SEGMENTATION OF THE FURNITURE MARKET

Because brands are so numerous on the furniture market in China, supply is very diversified. Products can be divided in 2 different parts :

  • Residential furnitures wich include furnitures of house like table and chairs, bed, sofa… It’s mainly for a B2C target.
  • Non Residential Furnitures wich are more for a B2B target like offices, restaurants, hospitals, hostel and more others.

THE CHINESE CONSUMER

If you have to understand one thing in China, is that the concept of face is really important. Everything is about how you look, how you are for the others. And because the « face » influence their life, it also influences their consumption behaviors.

Their housing is an image of them, that’s why they will do everything they can to have the best interior.

International furniture brands are very popular in China because they are reputed to be better in quality and Chinese consumers are very concerned about quality because the Chinese market is crowded of counterfeits.

The Chinese consumer is very particular. Whatever the amount of his purchase, he will always try to find information about the brand to be sure of the quality and the reliability of his purchase.

However, the new consumer generations are very different and want new aesthetics. The Chinese style is a bit dead, and they prefer a new and modern western style. And also, buy inter nation products to show your wealth.

THREE MAIN GROUPS OF TARGETS

“The Avid Consumers”:

  • A rich group of consumers with high incomes
  • No concern for prices
  • Interest in Western Style, Classical Chinese style or avant-garde furniture.

 “Luxury Consumers”:

  • High interest in brands
  • Furniture which can reflect their taste and style
  • Seek for trends in markets, aesthetics, lifestyle.

“Average Consumers”:

  • Represents the largest categories of consumers
  • Search for best quality / price
  • Purchase of proximity

CONSUMPTION TRENDS OF THE CHINESE FURNITURE MARKET

 

Kids furniture market

  • Kids are like little emperors in China, therefore parents will buy everything to make them happy.
  • Increase of family income: The desire of parents to improve the living conditions of their children. 72% of Chinese parents purchase furniture for their kids.

Eco-Friendly trend

  • Chinese consumers are more and more concerned about environmental products. They understand that their country is very polluted, and they want to change that. That’s why they are very sensitive for environmentally friendly products. They are ready to invest and pay a higher price for this category of furniture.
  • The eco-friendly products are supported by the Chinese government, which has a strong interest in the country’s environmental issues.

Soft Decoration: the New Style

  • Characterized by the decorative attributes that can be found in homes (curtains, lighting, ornaments, frames and paintings).
  • This favors the development of furniture and personalized services.
  • Target group of consumers seeking refinement, change and distinction.
  • Home made and DIY furniture are becoming more popular among Chinese consumers.

Offices and Hotels also want Western Furnitures

  • Western style aesthetic with spacious and open areas.
  • A willingness to offer comfortable working place by purchasing premium furniture.
  • The need to change for hotels their furniture and decorations every five years (demand of furniture replacement is about 13 billion RMB in 2017).

HOW TO SUCCEED ON THE CHINESE FURNITURE MARKET?

FIRST STEP : UNDERSTAND HOW THE DISTRIBUTION WORKS IN CHINA

Usually, when Chinese consumers buy furniture, they go to furniture shops or supermarkets.

For the imported products, they are mainly sale in specialized shops or premium shopping malls.

However, the e-commerce is becoming the go to option for most consumers. It is convenient and easy notably because of Tencent and Alibaba ecosystem that allows consumers to navigate smoothly via  their e-commerce app and e-wallet.

Actually, e-commerce in China is the only channel that continues to grow and offers many opportunities for foreign brands.

The key : be creative, you have to create a universe where the consumer can project himself.

In China, everything goes quickly, you need to be very fast to be the first one.

You also have the M-commerce (mobile-phone commerce), really popular on the furniture market. The M-commerce create new opportunities for consumers. It’s the perfect balance between distribution supply online and offline. Chinese consumers know how to do a lot of researches online before buying something. The online part allows them to find information.

The online Chinese furniture market will be a vector of stimulation in the close future. Notably because the amount of online shoppers in China contribute to this increasing.

HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR FURNITURE BRAND IN CHINA?

You have a lot of different ways to increase the visibility of your furniture brand in China, but I will give you the main key to develop your brand image and awareness in order to target Chinese consumers and increase your sales.

SEO ON CHINESE SEARCH ENGINES

In China, the number one search engine is not Google but Baidu with more than 80% of market share. Baidu is THE search engine you need to include in your SEO strategy if you want to succeed on the Chinese market.

The SEO on Baidu is crucial to build a long-term strategy. 75% of the researches are  done on Baidu. You have to be visible on Baidu.

How can you do that ?

  1. Keywords: They have to have a good research volume and be precise, the reason being Baidu keyword algorithm is very sophisticated. Another must is to use mandarin. Your target audience will use Chinese mandarin and Baidu is not good with other language, it will always prioritize Chinese mandarin language.
  2. In addition, your website need to be hosted in china : « .cn » if you want to be ranked on Baidu.
  3. Your website have to be Mobile Friendly because Chinese users are very connected and surf a lot on their smartphones. This has become a ranking criterion for all search engines in China.
  4. Think about third party website. Ranking your website is not enough. Netizens should be able to find you in every Baidu results related with the furniture market in China. We call this strategy “Undercover SEO

CROSS-BORDER E-COMMERCE FOR FOREIGN BRANDS

If you are new to China, the best way to sell your products is to use a cross-border e-commerce platform… at least to start. These platforms are dedicated to foreign brands. That’s why, when Chinese consumers are looking for international product, they consult this kind of platforms.

The main benefit for you is that you don’t need anymore to have an intermediary to sale your products. You can do it directly by yourself, which ends the worries of finding and working with a Chinese distributor.

E-REPUTATION : A PURCHASE CRITERIA IN CHINA

In China, if you don’t invest in an e-reputation strategy, it will be extremely hard to succeed.

Reputation is everything in China. Many brands never make any sale because they didn’t have enough awareness in China, in other words, Chinese consumers never heard of them before. Due to all the scandals, Chinese consumers need to be reassured. They no longer trust brands which doesn’t have a good awareness on internet.

In addition, Chinese consumers are strongly reception to recommendation from their peers.

Be present online, on the social media, forums, publish contents and encourage consumers to make positive comments about your brand will help you to develop your awareness and improve your brand image.

BE ON CHINESE SOCIAL MEDIA

Make sure you have Official Account on Chinese Social media. The two most popular social media platforms are Wechat and Weibo. However, new social media are emerging all the time and should not be ignored such as Red (little red book), Douyin (chinese Tiktok) or Toutiao to mentioned just a few.

WECHAT

Wechat is the most popular social media with 1 billions user in 2019. It’s the perfect place to communicate with your consumers and publish content. Use wechat as a CRM, a newsletter tool or even as an e-commerce platform.

Make sure to have interesting and orginal content that can be shared and make poeples want to follow you. Read content will now appears in the Wow section of the discovery option of Wechat, meaning users friends can now see what their contact have been seeing.

WEIBO

Weibo is the second most used Chinese Social Media. It’s a micro blogging platform where consumers consult brands profile for offers and follows KOLs on many topics. Debate often sparks on Weibo making it a perfect tool for buzz marketing. It’s also really convenient to communicate with your consumers and potential consumers via Weibo.

You only have to create your Weibo Official Account which allow you to develop a strong and smart communication stratey to target a lot of consumers.

KOL – KEY OPINION LEADERS

KOLs are really powerful in China. They are simply users who drive traffic on their pages with good and interesting contents. Chinese consumers love following KOLs on social media, and they listen to their advice.

You can employ a KOL in your communication effort. This influencer will be the image of your brand. You not only buy their follower base but also their credibility.

It’s an effective way to develop your awareness and brand image in China, because chinese consumers trust more KOLs than brands.

Furnitures in China Marketing

OUR SERVICES

SEO EXPERTS

Our focus is to promote your business with your target closely in mind. By now, you should be aware that the key to sell online is to have a good image and to be reputable. We use digital tools including: Baidu SEO and SEM, E-PR, Media Buying (DSP) & Community Management. Then, we’ll manage the campaign and assure its optimization & success.

We are experienced on Baidu:

  • High knowledge of the Baidu’s functions and ecosystem.
  • A ROI-focused agency.
  • We are effective.
  • We worked with more than 300 western brands.

LEADS GENERATION PROFESSIONALS

We are professionals of the lead generation. To be effective in your lead generation, you first need to develop a good e-reputation. Invest in online advertising and create quality content will help you to develop your e-reputation. Finally, measure results to improve your performances.

Leads generation is our oldest solution, and we actually use  it for our agency itself. We get an average of 350 leads per month (March 2018) by applying the method we offer to company that use our services.

EXPERTS IN DIGITAL SOLUTIONS

  • Website Creation, Development & Auditing.
  • Baidu Search Engine Optimization.
  • Social Media Marketing (Wechat & Weibo).
  • Reputation Management & Community Development.
  • Public Relations & Exposure in Chinese E-Media.
  • Analytics, monthly reports & analysis from our team of experts.

A ROI-FOCUSED AGENCY

We are a ROI-focused agency. The solution is to attract and re-target the most qualified traffic in order to increase your conversion rate.

INTERNATIONAL TEAMS

We are French, Russian, British, Chinese… In other words, International teams here to help you with developing your business in China.

We understand the Chinese professionals: their needs and habits.

We also understand the foreign brands’ difficulties when they tried to enter the Chinese market.

Each member of our teams is specialized in a field. They are experienced and they are effective.

AND IN BONUS

We are a friendly, come over to our office and share a coffee with our china marketing expert while discussing your project.

Cherry on the cake…  our coffee is fantastic 😉

OUR EXPERIENCE, CASE STUDY

ETHNICRAFT

Ethnicraft produces simple, authentic and functional furnitures with contemporary design and respect for the environment and society.

CHALLENGES

  • Leads Generation.
  • Keywords referenced on Baidu.
  • Management of e-reputation.

OUR MISSIONS

  • SEO.
  • Advertising.
  • Press Relations and E-Reputation.

RESULTS

  • 12+ Leads per month.
  • Keywords «Hight-end tourism» referenced in the top 1.
  • High visibility online.

GET IN TOUCH

The furniture market in China is a huge and developing market. Chinese consumers have become consumers that must be taken in account. Their purchasing power is continuously growing and does not seem to show any signs of weakness.

There are opportunities and many companies have made a lot of money. However, about 50% of them have failed and you have to be aware of that.

Working with specialists of the Chinese market is the key to success.