China is the largest e-commerce market in the world and Chinese consumers are projected to cover almost half of the global luxury market with a spending power of more than $6.4 billion by 2025. Given this huge potential, many international companies wish to tap into the Chinese lucrative market to reach its diverse and culturally unique audience.
Here are a few key do’s and don’ts to consider before your China market entry.
#1. DO choose the right partner for your business in China
Do you want to promote your business in China, but you don’t know where to start? A reputable partner that is familiar with the business environment, laws and regulations, and cultural features in China is indispensable for this purpose. From market research to product localization, from registering your business to legal assistance, up to building a solid brand awareness among the Chinese internet users. The right partner can support your business along your digital road to China.
#2. DON’T be hasty
Many companies expect to see results in the China market quickly. The first thing to consider is that if a brand or a product is not known in China, it takes time (years, not months) and a significant budget to build brand awareness and win customers loyalty. Plus, Chinese consumers are naturally wary. Entering China market could be a long and difficult process: understanding and accepting this will help make the process go more smoothly.
#3. DO understand that marketing tools in China are different
Digital marketing passes through different channels: search engines, social networks but also e-commerce platforms. The Chinese leaders of these sectors are completely different from those we are used to in the West. A brand that wishes to carry out a digital marketing strategy in China can’t simply mirror the same activities that worked in Western countries. Marketing China requires flexibility and a capacity to adapt to a completely different online ecosystem.
#4. DON’T target a large user base
Addressing a too large user base is one of the most common mistakes made by Western companies on Chinese social networks. With too general content, companies are unable to interact with web users. Brands should reduce their range of action, identify consumers expectations and determine the best way to communicate with potential customers.
#5. DO work with Key Opinion Leaders
To reach Chinese customers, brands should not speak directly about themselves. They should take advantage of influencer marketing and engage industry KOLs to do it for them on social media instead and earn the trust of their new customers this way.
#6. DON’T underestimate the importance of feedback
Word-of-mouth is an essential brand-building tool for companies selling in China. Chinese consumers say family members and friends are a major source of product information, based on which they make purchase decisions. Moreover, before deciding to make a purchase, Chinese consumers tend to do some online research, particularly when it comes to international brands not very well known in China yet. With 75% of all online users leaving feedback about purchases at least once a month, it’s clear that getting positive online reviews is very important.
#7. DO focus on E-commerce
The penetration of e-commerce in China has reached China’s e-commerce sales surpassed the combined total of Europe and the United States. Today, China has the largest digital buyer population in the world, reaching 71.1% of the total Chinese population. Considering the amount of population in China, this means that there are over a billion people on China’s shopping apps purchasing products.
#8. DON’T neglect Chinese holidays
Not only Chinese consumers love to shop, but they also tend to do more shopping during certain times of the year. For example, during the Chinese New Year or online shopping festivals as Singles’ Day by Alibaba, and 618 by JD.com. Last year, Chinese consumer spending on Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars on Singles’ Day. If your marketing strategy to China is not taking advantage of these spikes in online shopping, then you’re probably missing a big opportunity.
Ensure you have taken the above key points into consideration before your China market entry.
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