Sell to China with cross-border WeChat e-shop is a smart investment for new brands looking to enter China market.
Cross-Border refers to an online trade between a business and a consumer located in a different country through marketplace platforms and e-commerce sites.
The Covid-19 has put the cross-border at the forefront with international travel shutdown.
Cross-border commerce has become a quite effective way for international companies to develop into China market without setting up a company in China.
It is quite attractive for SME, or for new brands to test the market before investing further.
Cross-border commerce is a relay of growth for brands outside of China to start entering the Chinese market while minimizing the risk.
China is a digital mobile country where you can do everything on mobile, especially on WeChat. You can sell to China with cross-border WeChat e-shop.
Social Selling with WeChat in China is growing fast. Social commerce is growing at 40% rate versus 20% for traditional e-commerce. It represents already USD360 billions in China versus USD 36 billions in US.
CBEC (Cross-border e-commerce) represents more than $100 billions in 2020, including social commerce.
All these numbers show that it is the smart choice for international companies to enter China with CBEC if not yet in China, and that social commerce can be the first step. This is even more true for SME.
How to enter and sell to China market for new brands?
Branding is first in China. Without brand e-reputation and awareness, you cannot succeed.
First step to enter China is to develop your brand awareness on Chinese social media, WeChat and Weibo in particular.
It will take 2 years about to establish your brand in China.
You need first to open a WeChat official account: Check here How to open a WeChat official account?
With WeChat, you will nurture your leads and develop a community. WeChat has lots of tools which can help you to grow your community and brand awareness, as it is really at the heart of the customer journey.
Then you can start to sell your products with WeChat with an e-shop.
Sell to China with cross-border WeChat e-shop, is really the most cost effective way to test or enter the market for SME or small brands.
WeChat stores give the brands the opportunity of entering the market step by step. The cross-border store is leveraging WeChat power to build a direct relationship with your customers.
Later-on when you are ready committing substantial investment, you can open store on Tmall global or JD.com worldwide, or any other platforms. In parallel, you must keep your social selling on WeChat as social selling will continue to grow in China in coming years.
When you will open stores on main traditional e-commerce platforms, you should consider a cross-platform strategy to be put in place.
Regarding comparison between main Ecommerce platforms and WeChat shop, herein for reference:
- WeChat social commerce is a good China market entry point for western brands to enter China thanks to its integrated ecosystem
- Tmall or JD.com are promotion heavy platforms with dominating traffic resource, more suitable for well known brands. You need ready to invest for long term
The WeChat store
The shop itself is built within WeChat, and linked with your official account.
The consumer will use a smartphone to browse products in your WeChat store. It is only one click away from making a purchase.
Then She/he will use WeChat pay to pay in one click.
Without leaving WeChat, consumers can finish a closed-loop purchasing process from learning about your products to finishing the payment.
When set up a WeChat store, it also requires to integrate the payment method with WeChat pay, to connect the shop with a warehouse, to register in China customs, and tie into a foreign payment gateway in the backend.
Of course, the WeChat store must be built in Chinese.
Strategy of CBEC shipping
In China, it is better to have short time delivery. It is then better to organize the supply Chain using the bonded importing model.
Many e-commerce pilot zones/free trade zones have been set up. You can then store your goods in a bonded warehouse in China mainland. The bonded warehouse model is more suitable for higher sales volumes and long-term solution.
On the payment is completed in WeChat, the logistic operator at the free trade zone connected to the WeChat store clears customs and dispatch the product.
Most of the FTZ logistics operators manage the WeChat stores stocks, inventories and distribution.
It is also possible to use the personal parcel or Business commercial shipping at the very start of entering China, but it gives longer delivery time. It is called the direct shipping model, products are shipped one by one.
Opening a Cross-border shop in WeChat
It is a project by itself.
It requires to follow a process and planning to be managed. It takes between one and 2 months to accomplish all steps.
We recommend brands to use a digital marketing expert with CBEC expertise to open a cross-border shop in WeChat together with the opening of the official account.
Emotion Digital can support your strategy to enter into China, help you to set up your WeChat marketing solutions and CBEC WeChat store.
Sell to China with cross-border WeChat e-shop is the right approach to enter China for unknown or small brands in China.
Benefit from our integrated Chinese social media approach with expertise on WeChat marketing to increase your brand awareness, boost and nurture your leads and sales.
Contact us, if you want to know more about China cross-border e-commerce and China marketing.
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Written by : Jean-Yves Laguillez