Chinese consumers are totally different from the rest of the world. A lot of international brands failed in China because of the lack of some information about what the Chinese customers really want. It’s not complicated to understand Chinese people, you can work with a digital marketing in order to help you to find the right marketing strategies to enter in China.
Stop thinking that China and western are the same because they are definitely not.
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Chinese Consumers don’t have the same profile as in the West
While in the West, the most interesting potential customers for a brand are relatively old people with a stable situation and a high salary, it’s different in China. In general, young people tend to be better paid. Indeed, more and more people are choosing to leave their native village to educate themselves in the big cities. They are therefore more trained than their parents and can aspire to better positions. The most interesting potential customers are from another generation. They are younger, they have more purchasing power, better wages, but also a different way of thinking. They are more open to Western products and trends. Because they are more receptive to Western culture, but also because they have more opportunity to travel than their parents had at the time. Chinese thirties also have another way of consuming than previous generations. They can spend their money more easily, especially for products with good qualities and services that will cause them an “experience”.
They do not easily trust a brand
Unlike Westerners, it is more complicated for the Chinese to trust a brand or a product. Indeed, in China, fake products are common. Trademark counterfeiting, internet fraud, and food scandals are commonplace across the country. That’s why the Chinese have become very suspicious of the products they buy. It can sometimes be difficult to discern a good product from a bad one. In addition, they know that regulations in China are not strict enough to give them confidence in a product. They do not believe in the advertised merits of television or radio ads and prefer to search the internet. They are much more hesitant to buy and will learn more about the product to be sure not to be scammed. The government has estimated that at least 1 online shopper out of 3 has already been scammed. That’s why the Chinese people really appreciate being assisted, advised and reassured during the buying process. They tend to be more demanding of sellers and will, on average, ask more questions than Westerners would have.
Reputation is paramount
In connection with the previous point, one can easily understand that the Chinese place a lot of importance on the reputation of a brand. Since they do not trust products they do not know, they will search about it online and look for other users’ opinions. Therefore, they are also on average more likely than Westerners to share their opinions and comments on the products they buy. Nearly 75% of customers would share their opinion on a purchase on networks or forums at least once a month (against less than 20% in the United States). By sharing this on their social networks, such as WeChat and Weibo, they will also let others know that this brand/product is trustworthy. This will be a very important factor that could trigger the desire for their relatives to buy this product as well. That’s why you have to be very careful about your e-reputation in China more than elsewhere because it determines your success or not.
E-commerce is highly developed
The Chinese are generally very busy. They have a very fast pace of life, especially in big cities. So though they like to go shopping, e-commerce is still a very effective way to save time and money. Indeed, on the internet, they have access to a much wider choice of clothes without having to spend hours searching on the shelves. It’s easy to target what you’re looking for. In addition, promotions are relatively common, which not only saves time but also money! Delivery services are very advanced, cheap and very fast. This is why e-commerce is so developed, much more than elsewhere. While on average in a week, only 9% of consumers buy a product through their phones. In China, this figure rises to 1 in 4! It is also explainable because they spend a lot of time on applications, on which it is very easy and very fast to order something. All banking information is pre-recorded in their phones, which makes the purchase process very easy and encourages them to consume.
They do not like independent websites
While Westerners tend to prefer to order products on the official website of the brand, the Chinese prefer e-commerce platforms. Tmall and JD.com are the two main ones in the country. They are so important that they control about 90% of the e-commerce traffic in China. With more than 500 million users, it’s hard for brand-independent sites to be seen, as e-commerce platforms are far too shady.
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