What jewelers should do to attract Chinese tourists ?


Chinese tourism is booming especially in Hong Kong, France, the UK or Italy. Are jewelers prepared to welcome this new public of luxury goods shoppers ? We will try to answer this question in the following article and to provide examples of good practices. 


The value of Chinese tourists

The value of Chinese tourists for the luxury good sector and especially jewelers is not in dispute. Indeed with an estimated market of over £1.4 billion to the UK economy Chinese tourists are the new star customers of luxury goods for the 10 next years. (more information here)

The question for retailers and brand of jewelry is now how to connect to these fastest-growing highest-spending consumers. Cultural and language barriers exist but it could be possible to deals with that with a relevant marketing strategy.

To connect with the Chinese tourists ones needs to understand the motivation behind their luxury spending behavior.  We will see a few aspects of what should be taken into account.




The notion of “Face”

The concept of  ‘face’ is a key to understand the consumption habits of chinese people. It is not easy to translate this concept which is more or less the idea of “reputation” and “social status” in Europe. To improve your business and social life in China it is essential to have and show face. In China, a Rolex watch sends out a far more meaningful message than in the West. It reflects your ideal and your desire to succeed.

Gifts are also very important in China when it comes to face as they represent the value of both the giver and receiver. In China you can let the price of your gift in the box. That is a major difference with the West where we prefer to hide it.

Europe is seen to have the most up-to-date products especially when it comes to fashion, watch and jewelry. So for European brand understanding the notion of “face”  is a key success factor in a society in which there are more than a million millionaires, and where the number is growing fast.


Shopping for Chinese tourists

The richest chinese live in major cities like Shanghai, Beijing or Guangzhou. Most of those who live beyond these cities feel left behind of the latest trends. So they come to Hong Kong or some other european countries like France or Italy to get it in luxury mall like Harrods in the UK or LVMH store in Paris.

For a culture that demands face Chinese people find it insulting that many luxury brands does not make the effort to communicate properly with them while taking their spending for granted. Putting up badly translated stuff in Mandarin pages on a website is a classical example of disrespect.


How to attract Chinese tourists ?

What follows are the key steps to attract and sell to the Chinese tourists. First it is important to make Chinese tourist be aware of who you are, where you are and what you sell so that they can plan a visit when deciding their holiday itinerary.

Chinese social media can be used to tell them what is new in your store and that they will receive a warm welcome. Chinese people will like it as such an attention is rare. It will get you on their “shopping radar” so to speak.

High-profile jewellers could have Mandarin pages. But notice that if it is written in Flash coding even if the pages look beautiful, Baidu – the Chinese search engine equivalent of Google – cannot see this kind of coding and  the pages will not be well ranked in searches.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) on Baidu with a classic WordPress website will greatly enhance the ranking of a shop. For jewelry retailers in particular, there is very little key words in competition like “luxury jeweler” and “watch shop”.


Social Media and digital communication for jeweler

For jewelry retailer Mandarin apps or mobile apps can be a dedicated digital format that is user friendly, reinforces your message and requires less data.

Use of Mandarin is needed

In store: with welcome sign in Mandarin in the window. It can be the simple use of the phrase ni hao 你好 which can be translated by “hello”. But to truly have an impact, it is useful to add a Chinese staff.

Mandarin point of sale could be used with a dedicated display area created.

A Mandarin catalogue can be useful for customers. But iPads with Mandarin information that can be updated are even better. Fixing them to a wall is even more engaging.

You can include in the videos displayed informations about the means of payment. Having a China Union Pay (CUP) facility that allows direct payment from Chinese accounts is the less you can do if you want to make Chinese tourists feel ill at ease.  Putting CUP signage in the window is also an instantly recognisable invitation to enter a store.  Remember you must not have a on store marketing OR an online marketing. You must have both in a complementary way. What’s needed is a truly O2O (Online to Offline) strategy.

For jewelry brands it is not only important to highlight the latest products, the newest models and designs, but also to let Chinese tourists know where they can buy them.


In case of criticism against your services and /or products you should react fast with chinese consumers and adopt a rather humble position saying that you will try your best to fix things. This will show respect to Chinese tourists who appreciate pedagogical brands and brands who engage their consumers.

Marketing to China