China next Double12 (Shopping Festival) will arrive, it is a good event for Brands, here are our new Tips for Brands to Sell on Tmall.
China will soon become the world’s largest retail market in 2020 while overtaking the US market. Indeed, according to a report, expenses in retail should grow by 7.5% this year to hit over $5.6 trillion, while the US market should reach $5.5trillion.
The US-China trade war slows down the Chinese economy but thanks to the increasing popularity of the E-commerce platform and the rising spending in lower-tier cities (2nd and 3rd tiers), China’s retail market is overcoming the current macroeconomic challenge.
China is an attractive market and merchants looking to develop their sales through online business can only be happy of the following news.
China’s online business in a couple words:
- 96% of Chinese online shoppers purchase product on a daily or weekly basis, which is more than anywhere else in the world
- 85% of online purchase occurs on the digital market place
“In China, E-commerce is more than just a way to buy products, it’s a lifestyle”
Also, we can’t talk about E-commerce business without talking about the market leader: Alibaba.
As figures talk more than long sentences, here are some facts about Alibaba:
- Alibaba owns three of the top E-commerce platforms in China: Tmall, Tmall Global & Taobao
- Alibaba is currently the market leader in China with 57% share of all retail E-commerce transaction
- Alibaba annual gross merchandise value reach over $430 billion
- In its 4th quarter of the fiscal year 2019, the company generated a revenue of $11.8 billion, meaning a rise of 54% compared to 2018
But let’s get into more details about the giant’s core retail businesses.
How to describe Tmall:
- An online E-commerce platform for China’s domestic market
- The biggest B2C platform in China
- Counts around 18,000 brands
- Allow businesses to open an online store
- An online E-commerce platform for China’s domestic market
- Biggest E-commerce platform based in China operating in C2C
- Merchants on the platform are mainly individuals and small businesses (around 10 million)
- Over 1 billion products listed on the platform
- More than 189 million daily active users
- One of the top 10 most visited websites in the world
- An online E-commerce platform for businesses not domiciled in China
- The most preferred online market for international brands willing to penetrate the Chinese market
- Represent more than 70,000 brands in 50,000 online stores
- Brands from 63 countries currently selling products on the Tmall Global
- 80% of these companies sold products for the first time on the platform in 2016
- The perfect tool to reach Chinese high-end online shoppers
In total, in 2016 these three platforms represented 493 million monthly active users…
Also, we’ll focus here on Tmall global and give you new tips on how to develop your business in China.
First, let’s have a look at who are the main users of the platform:
- Mostly female
- Young male more and more active
- Age: 16 to 28 years old
What are the top categories of product sold on Tmall Global:
- Personal Care
Key elements to sell products on the platform:
Importance of the market place:
In China, netizens are very pride of their country. And buying products form domestic marketplaces is very important for them. And considering that 85% one online sales in China occurs through domestic one, the choice of your marketplace has to be your 1st preoccupation.
You can’t pretend to be willing to sell products in China without understanding the Chinese culture. Also, your website will have to be in Chinese, your design has to match Chinese standards, etc.
Give them a reason to buy cross-border products.
In the past, Chinese people used to buy cross-border products due to poor quality products within China. 74% of online shoppers already proceed to this purchasing behavior. But nowadays, Chinese products turn out to be higher quality. So, more than a quality product you’ll have to show them how important your brand is and how much people love it. They act like sheep here. They buy what people buy.
Understand the local marketing process.
China has a strong shopping culture. You’ll see in this country many forms of “shopping holiday” going from the Double 11, 12/12 or 618 happening in June. Therefore, you’ll have to create special promotions for each of these holidays while keep pushing on other strategies such as: building a strong reputation through social media, using influencer/KOL, etc.
Chinese are in relationship with their favorite brands.
You need to show them interest. Create engagement and interaction. Like with your loved one, if you don’t make any effort to keep them nearby you, but instead act like boring and the random “brand”, they might go to see other brands… Use chats, games, give them coupons or discounts from time to time, give them news about trends and how cool is your brand. Make them dream about you.
As you probably understood, from now on to attract new customers and strengthen your brand loyalty, you’ll have to understand the Chinese culture perfectly but also to spice up your relationship with your lovely customers.
No worries, we’ll help you to do so.
Getting new customers in China: a business love affair
In China, people love confident, trusted, strong and sexy company. Nobody wants to do business with a Mr.Nobody… not even if you’re cheap.
Keep in mind that the environment is very specific here. And everything is about reputation.
Reputation = Trust = Sales = Reputation = More Sales = Big Success
Be ready, we’ll give you here some news tips to build up the reputation you need to reach your goals and make millions (RMB to start with…).
Step 1: be sure they know who you are.
You may have a beautiful store on Tmall Global, it doesn’t mean they know you. Just try something: type your brand/company name on Baidu.
- You don’t Baidu? Ouch… very bad start.
- You know Baidu but can’t find anything? Very bad start.
- You can find plenty of articles and forums talking about you? Very Good!
Visibility in China is very important. There has been many fake companies/products and counterfeits in the country. And there are still suffering from this bad reputation. Also, Chinese netizens feel very concerns about it and sure they check your company before buying anything from you.
Here’s how to make you visible in China:
- Make a website in Chinese with a Chinese domain
- Open an official account on Weibo.
Weibo is the Chinese twitter. Probably the most popular social media in China. It’s the perfect tool for your company to target a large audience and engage with potential customers. Many KOL and micro-influencers also operate on this platform. And having just a post of one of them can bring you many new followers and a fast-growing reputation! Having a Weibo account is a must-do.
- Show yourself on Baidu
Baidu is the Chinese Google. And netizens are constantly looking for information on Baidu, especially before purchasing something. They’ll try to look for your brand, your company, if there is any reviews or comments on you, etc. If you have a Chinese website and a Weibo account, its good. But it won’t be enough. Cause in China… they don’t trust corporate communication. So, what else can you do on Baidu?
- Baidu Baike page: the Chinese version of Wikipedia. Create your company page
- Baidu Zhidao & Zhihu: perfect to deliver information and get positive feedbacks
- Baidu SEO: appears on the first-page through strategic keywords
- Forums: people need to talk about you
- PR: if they can find articles talking about your brand it will be perfect!
Step 2: Be a rocket man and build your fame
From now, you should be a minimum visible. It’s good. People will know you’re not a scam. But in a business environment counting thousands of brands… you’ll have to face fierce competition and therefore differentiate yourself.
- Create engagement WeChat
WeChat is like the Chinese Facebook, everybody use it. It’s an amazing messenger App offering a “moment” system allowing people to share content such as Text/pictures/music and videos with others. Through this tool, you can also join and create personal groups. This is a good way for people to exchange information about brands/products and recommend any solution for problems they may face.
- Open an official account to interact with your followers
- Create groups for people to interact about your brand
- Use WeChat mini-programs: an amazing tool to create engagement
- Create a company brochure: perfect for business development when meeting distributors
- Douyin: The Video King
Douyin is a video sharing app that enjoyed very fast-growing popularity among young generations. It’s the perfect app to create content, share it and target a wild audience. More than promotion, you can also sell your products directly through the app. Douyin is also a very intuitive and fun application. People are willing to spend more time on this app than WeChat or Weibo, and if using KOL you can get amazing results on it! Recently, a young lady made a buzz while sharing a simple PPT and manage to get over 1 million RMB sales in a day. Pretty convincing isn’t it?
- Open an account
- Create engaging content
- Use KOL (following your industry)
- Importance of PR/forums/reviews and comments
We talk about it previously but let’s emphasis it a bit more. It’s actually an important part of your e-reputation. As we mentioned before, when people will look for information about you. And it also goes through how many articles talk about your product, what are the comments and reviews given by your product users? What do they think about the quality of it? Etc.
- You’ll need articles talking about brand/company
- You’ll need hundreds of people giving positives reviews of your products
- You’ll need to be present among discussion in different forums
Following all these news tips, we hope you’ll manage to successfully develop your brand in China and get the success you deserve.
If you have any questions on how to perform on the Chinese market and how to develop an amazing reputation in China, feel free to contact us.
We are the Gentlemen Agency
The most sympathetic Marketing Agency in China:
- Expert in the e-Commerce in China
- Digital Marketing Specialist
- We are result-oriented
- Deep knowledge of the Chinese market
- Ask (by email )on our case study for more information