The water filter market in China has been expanding at a fast rate these last few years. According to PIM China, a market research company, 70% of the national public water is non-drinkable and extremely polluted. The Chinese government even found during their research in 2011 several toxic substances such as mercury and arsenic.
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The water filter market in China
More and more Chinese people are concerned about their health and decide to purchase advanced technology home water purifiers. PIM estimated that there would be 40 million units sold and half of Chinese families will use a water purifier by 2020. This would result in a total market average revenue (Replacement filters + water purifier) of US$28 billion.
The report titled “China Water Purifiers Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2020” published by TechSCi Research stated that the water purifier market to grow by 25% (CAGR) between 2015 and 2020. The biggest geographical markets in China are East China, South Central, North and then other regions.
The main players in the market are Qin Yuan, Angel and Midea (14% of market share in 2012), Litree and Qlife.
Sell your water purifiers on JD.com and Tmall
If you are looking into selling your water purifiers online, there are two names you have to know about to reach your Chinese customers JD.com and Tmall.com. They respectively rank at the second and third rank of China Internet Magazine’s TOP 100 E-Commerce companies in China.
The first website you can use to sell your products is JD.com, also called Jing Dong Shang Cheng (京东商城 in Chinese), is a Chinese B2C website founded by Liu Qiangdong in 1998 which is headquartered in Beijing.
Then you have Taobao B2C e-commerce website’s Tmall.com which is called Tian Miao天猫in Chinese. It went online in 2008 and sells different kinds of products from apparel to household products. Taobao and Tmall are owned by Jack Ma’s group Alibaba group
Here is how it looks like to sell a water purifier on JD.com and Tmall
Be on the first pages of Baidu
Why Baidu? Thanks to the Great Firewall of China, Google is not the leader of the Chinese search engine market. The leader, with 80% of the search engine market in China is Baidu. There are also smaller players such as Qihoo 360 and Sogou but the main search engine on which you want to be visible when Chinese customers are looking for water purifiers is Baidu.
Baidu SEO is very different from Google. You have to adapt your website and thus SEO strategy to comply with Baidu’s requirements and Chinese government’s rules. You may also optimize your website so that you rank among the first for a selected set of keywords. Another way to use Baidu is to do PPC. This basically means that you pay a certain amount to Baidu in order to rank better on certain keywords.
You can see on this print screen that Aosmith ranks first on Baidu. They may have used a combination of PPC and SEO optimisation strategies.
Example on Baidu – Keyword: jìng shuǐ qì -净水器 > Aosmith ranks first
Do some online PR
Now that you know where you can sell your products, you have to attract Chinese visitors to these websites but most importantly, you have to raise your brand awareness. Using online PR by doing interviews for online websites, will make your brand more visible to the Chinese potential customer.
You have for example, Da Shi Shui, a website dedicated to water purification with several sections such as news, after services, etc.
Share relevant information on Chinese main social media
Half of the Chinese population is connected to the internet. According to China Internet Watch, there are more than 660 million Chinese netizens. It is estimated that about 90% of them own a social media account.
You can see here Midea’s official account on WeChat which allows its followers to look at Midea’s last product, buy online, send some queries to the after-sale department and much more. As for Weibo, Midea has several accounts for Fridges or Air-conditioning systems for example (from 79 to 287 thousands of followers depending on the account) The main account for household appliances has 87 000 followers.
The main Chinese social media platforms are WeChat, Weibo, Qzone, QQ and Ren Ren. WeChat, the most famous social media, is an instant messaging mobile app developed by Tencent. About 7 out of 10 Chinese adults Internet users use the mobile app actively.
The second very used social media platform is a microblogging platform called Weibo. Weibo has more than 222 million active users in China. Information spreads very fast in China because of the fact that a large majority of the Chinese population uses social media platforms. The word-of-mouth is very important and highly valued in China. They also tend to share easily negative comments online through social media but also blogs and forums.
Be aware of your reputation online
That is actually the reason why you should build a strong reputation online. In fact, Chinese people attach importance to brands’ reputation and “Face”. The Mian Zi or Face in English is deeply rooted in the Chinese culture. If you want Chinese people to purchase your water purifiers it should not only be visible but also maintain a high profile even if it is not a luxury brand. Also, you should be aware of negative comments and press published online by constantly monitoring news related to your brand.
To conclude, you will have to optimize your website for Baidu, maintain a good e-reputation, be aware of negative feedback, and undertake several online PR actions to improve your water purifier brand awareness.
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7 things Digital Marketers should know about China: Digital marketing trends in China are very dynamic, c… https://t.co/dMz5ZZZ9rc
— Olivier VEROT (@Olivierverot) 20 mai 2016