An urban new market has emerged of Chinese males who have become more appearance-conscious. The urban Chinese man is now acutely conscious of his appearance and is spending big money on grooming. As a result, a multi billion-dollar industry of various cosmetic products and services is now a worthwhile industry. Appearance matters more now than before because of the number of career opportunities for males that are directly linked to looks.
Overview of the market
Millennials are the complete opposite of previous generations. The concept of spending time and money on grooming and pampering themselves is not new to them. According to a survey report earlier by China UnionPay Co, China’s bankcard association, 23% of people born in the 1990s spend more than 5,000 RMB a month shopping online, topping all other age groups. And 23% of male consumers, and 15% of women consumers, spend more than 5,000 RMB a month shopping online.
To understand different shopping behaviors influenced by gender is important, whether your e-commerce business is male-focused or you want to attract more male shoppers. From the latest research on China e-commerce shoppers, it has been established that the male market is too big to be ignored. By the end of 2017, +47.4% of e-commerce shoppers in China are male, only 5.2% short from female. Males consist of 64.8% of all the cross border e-commerce customers in China.
Male shoppers are rational and dwell less on making a decision. Male e-commerce shoppers are pragmatic and are less likely to buy something that is not on their shopping list. They see shopping as a mission and prefer a fast and effortless experience, and know what they want. Chinese male shoppers are loyal customers once they find that your brand has worked for them. Men outspend women online by 44% as men are less price sensitive, and sometimes they purchase without regard for the price. Also, they buy electronic/digital products online, which can easily drive up costs.
Electronics/Digital: Chinese male shoppers placed orders mostly with home appliance, mobile, computers, video games & consoles.
Chinese male e-commerce shoppers are will not check e-commerce platforms while they are at work. They are most likely to place an order on their way home, or after they get home.
The majority of male customers shop online on their mobiles, since it is convenient and easy to pay. The younger generation’s purchasing habits are key. Males’ spending on skincare products rose 24% from 2014 to 2015, compared with the 11% growth in overall skincare product spending. Last year China’s male skincare market was worth more than 10 billion RMB and is expected to be worth 15.4 billion RMB by next year, according to a report by CTR Market Research. Based on the new trend, major cosmetic brands are adjusting strategies to better cater to the booming male market.
Challenges: What male shoppers want?
Convenience comes first. Male shoppers prioritize convenience and need to find everything they need in a short period of time. The decision making process will be largely influenced by this, including the process of placing an order & payment. Fast delivery is another important factor. On average, customers will receive their packages in 3.5 days. Credibility must be maintained as male e-commerce shoppers in China don’t take chances and will only shop on sites that are credible and trustworthy. Competition in the industry is fierce and the key is to keep up with young consumers and the new trend, and retain loyalty of existing consumers as well as attract new ones.
How to reach Chinese male consumers?
– Simple & direct user experience. Chinese male e-commerce shoppers want an effortless shopping experience. Make your platform easy to use and navigate by getting to the point quickly, focusing on the products, and using active statements to demonstrate value. Keep it straightforward and convenient. Features like one-click payment or simple login will reduce hassle, and saving time for your users.
– Make your promotion message visible. Chinese male shoppers won’t spend hours finding the best deal. They are impatient so if anything seems troublesome, they will leave. Your promotion message must be loud and obvious, so homepage banners could be very useful. Don’t make them do multiple clicks to search what your promotion is really about – just tell them about the discount you are offering.
– Details are important. Men want more information, and like being presented with different ways of wearing the product. As a result, you need to earn your customer’s trust, and details help a lot. Accurate and concise details such as size/dimensions, delivery costs, price, and availability are essential. Also, detailed product descriptions featuring comparisons to other similar products, and customer reviews with images can assist their shopping experiences. Make sure your images are high pixel, while optimized for different devices.
– Increase credibility. Transparency brings trust from your customers. Increase the level of trust, and convert visitors to loyal customers. Make your contact info visible. Viewers will always view your “About Us” page to know more about the people or business behind the curtain, so you should put efforts into this.
What we can do for your brand?
It is important to make yourself visible and available to Chinese consumers on the platforms that they are familiar with.
Tmall, JD and Yihaodian are popular Chinese e-commerce platforms. Tmall is the most reputable cross border e-commerce platform in China. The cross-border e-commerce platform is associated by Chinese consumers with quality and authenticity in a market place often associated with fake. But Tmall only accepted brands that have already a significant presence and realized high sales in China. That’s why a lot of companies are rejected by the platform, which is to ensure that they keep a high standard. There are two ways to join Tmall’s platform:
- If you are a company with China in-country business operations, you can apply to Tmall. com.
- If you are a company with overseas licenses, you are eligible to Tmall Global.
You need to drive traffic to your shop. One of the most effective ways is to set up QR codes to drive traffic between multiple platforms. A QR Code is a powerful method for driving traffic between multiple platforms. Chinese consumers are addicted to QR codes. They always scan QR codes they see. Use their habits to touch them. Users can scan directly the QR codes and be redirected to one of these online platforms.
Search Engine optimization on Baidu
Baidu is the source of82% of the research made in China. Before buying everything, Chinese consumers will first spend time on Baidu to have more information about your brand.
The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy that works to rank your official website in the natural search results over time. If your ranking on the natural search results is good, you will be more visible and Chinese consumers will trust you.
Aesthetic norms in China are different from Western preferences of a clean design. Chinese consumers like pages with a lot of information, animations and pictures.
Adaptations of content in the Mandarin language need to be made because you have to be understood by your target market. A mandarin website will also allow you to do SEO because when they do research, they use mandarin key words. With SEO, you will gain in visibility, which is the key of success in China. Your website also needs to be hosted in China.
Gentlemen Marketing Agency
Everything and anything is possible. We are French and Chinese team, here to help you develop your business in China. We understand the needs, habits and wants of Chinese consumers. We also understand the foreign brands’ difficulties when they try to enter the Chinese market. Each member of the team is specialized in a field. They have experience and they are effective.