The Chinese online consumer market offers a lot of opportunities for many companies all around the world. At this moment China can count more than 731 million users, which resembles the entire population of Europe. The power of Chinese consumers is definitely a force to reckon with.
In addition to having a significant number of internet users, China has also a substantial number of online shoppers. In 2016 these online shoppers have spent a massive 5.16 trillion yuan (1.05 trillion dollars), no other country can compete with that. Not even the U.S.
What remarkable about the purchases itself is that the goods are increasingly from overseas businesses. If the purchases overseas keep rising, it is estimated that in 2020 the Chinese online shoppers will spend over 204 billion dollars on these foreign businesses.
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Being the world’s second biggest economy and having an enormous number of internet users, China’s online consumers market offers a lot of opportunities for domestic companies and definitely for foreign businesses.
With that being said, there is also a down-side to all the positive points about the Chinese online consumer market. For starters, it’s a complicated market to enter and to maintain a share. It’s a unique environment and there is no other market in the world, you can compare it to. The Chinese online consumer market will definitely surprise you and not to mention challenge you.
Here are some tips from that you must keep in mind before entering the China’s online consumer market.
1. Overseas Chinese community
To start, there are estimated 50 million Chinese citizens living in foreign countries. This can also be a target group for your brand, because this demographic group can have arguably a huge influence on their friends or family members back home. You can reach them through the social media network WeChat. You initially target the Chinese civilians abroad and additionally you will indirectly reach the online consumers in mainland China.
2. Learn from businesses who have failed but also who have succeeded
Acquire information from other companies who have experimented with different business ideas. It this case, it doesn’t matter if the company has failed or was successful. As a result, you will not make the same mistakes from a failed company and gain consumer insights from success stories.
‘’The failures teach just as much, if not more’’
3. Accessible for mobile devises
This may sound a bit redundant and obvious but it is essential for your brand to be accessible and to optimize the mobile functions. Data shows that 95% of China’s internet users use their mobile device, and mobile e-commerce accounts for 71% of China’s total e-commerce.
Interacting with friends, ordering food or paying a doctor’s visit, Chinese consumers use their mobile device for this and so much more. It can’t be weird enough, Chinese consumers are highly dependent to their mobile device because they can do almost everything with it.
4. Offer easy payment options
It is essential to offer your Chinese consumer a payment option that they us on a daily basis. The most popular payment options are Alipay and WeChat Pay, added together they dominate the mobile payment market in China, representing 92% of the market share. By implementing Alipay or WeChat Pay, the consumers feel at ease and are satisfied with your brand’s payment services.
5. Get discovered
Another key component for a starting business is to get discovered and noticed by the Chinese consumers. For a new company, it’s not easy to get noticed and to be top of mind with your target group. However, you should absolutely fight for this because if you don’t get noticed, your brand will not exist for the Chinese consumers.
A great way to get discovered is to invest in optimizing for Chinese search engines like Baidu and Soso, also known as the Chinese version Google. Local technology vendors can help restructure website content so it’s more compatible with the Chinese internet infrastructure on things that impact the consumer experience like load times and keywords.
6. Understand the Chinese consumer culture
The last tip is that you have to understand the Chinese consumer culture and its nuances. For instance, Chinese consumers are very visual and love to see products from all different angles. As a company, you must respond to this demand and offer many photos and sometimes even videos. While doing this your consumers will be very stratified and would love to shop at your web shop.
In addition to that, Chinese consumers also like to interact with the seller before the purchase. Your brand could achieve this by opening a chat on WeChat, so you can keep in touch with your customer and build a professional relationship. Besides interacting with the consumer, you can also give a positive customer service and leave a valuable impression.
While the Chinese online consumer market offers a lot of opportunities, it is definitely a complicated market to enter and leave your mark.
Need help to market your brand to Chinese consumers? Gentlemen Marketing Agency is the specialist in marketing to China. Feel free to contact us.