Due the growing trend of e-commerce in China, is imperative for brands have presence in this powerful tool.

Companies have to understand their potential online consumers in order to catch and keep them.

In China, the middle class increase, the rising disposable incomes and the internet penetration on mobile devices have been responsible for Chinese quick economy growth.

Nowadays, China has 632 million internet users and it’s expected reach more than 730 million by 2016.

In 2013, e-commerce transactions totaled $296.57 billion, representing 41.2% growth from 2012. With a growth so fast, KPMG estimates China’s online retail sales will reach $540 billion.

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As shoppers are more disposed to buy online, it’s expected online spending per consumer to reach US$1,880 by 2018 in comparison to US$1,040 in 2013.

To be successful in e-commerce is important know the habits of China’s online shoppers.

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has published a study about Chinese online shoppers and their habits before and during purchases.

Official brand websites:

Online shoppers don’t consider so important the official brand websites. As reported by BCG, they spend less than 0.5 percent of their time into the official sites. To the contrary, they spend 80 percent of their time online on e-commerce sites, video and news, compare to the 20 percent on search engines, micro-blogs and forums.

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They are loyal to their favorites:

The BCG report reveals that Chinese users spend between 50 and 80 percent of their online time on only a few websites that correspond with their favorite sites. There are five key websites where users spend more time, Baidu, Youku, Sina, QQ, and Taobao. Around 40 percent of online activities of Chinese netizens are focused on those sites.

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Therefore, brands have to put their marketing efforts into the most popular websites for Chinese consumers in order to access them.

“Self-education” about brands:

It is a fact that Chinese online buyers have the necessity to know extensive details about goods and brands before they purchase.

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As reported by BCG,around 90 percent netizens’ activities related with the products are in order to product education and not for online purchase. That means that online users are seeking information about products to have the big picture of them and evaluate the brand and the product.

The importance of Weibo:

Social media play an important role during the purchasing decisions.The product’ information that users are able to find through social networks become essential and decisive to consumers.

According to the BCG survey, online users follow an average of company-run microblogs, however less than 20 percent pay attention to those accounts.

It is important manage the kind of content that companies are posting because not all content is relevant for online users. For instance, posts related to price and promotions are the most interesting, while brand and company news are not relevant.

Online and offline experiences have to be connected:

Companies have to pay attention to online and offline experiences.Despite that internet exert a big influence on users, around 40 percent still think that offline information is equally or more essential than online.

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It turns out that they complement each other very well and can lead to better sales than just using one or the other. What we are talking about here is O2O, online to off or off line to on line experiences that can lead Chinese shoppers to go wherever you want them to i.e to your retail shop or your e-commerce shop if you use those strategies well.

Therefore it’s very important for brands to be able to support online strategies through offline presence.

To be successful in China, brands have to keep in mind the previous advices and focus their marketing strategies on the growing online market.

If you want to increase your presence in China and have the chance to attract more Chinese consumers, don’t hesitate to contact us, we are your digital marketing agency.

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