Chinese consumers are the growth engine of the world, they are confident, ready to spend. Since March 2020, all restrictions implemented in China have kept most of China virus free which make them optimistic.
And among Chinese consumers, the most powerful group is female. Chinese women are empowered to decide on their lives. Chinese female consumers account for 3/4 purchases in China.
It is a huge opportunity for western brands if they are able to adapt to the current consumer environment.
Prior to Covid-19, China was already part of the most advanced countries in terms of digitalization, with half of the Worldwide e-commerce in China. Companies already engaged in digital transformations were able to accelerate momentum, and successfull cater for increased demand for online shopping and other digital services.
Aside for on-line shopping, Chinese consumers have embraced new digital activities that do not require in-person interactions, leading to at in at-home occasions. This is what we call the stay-home economy. We can mention the huge increase of e-learning, in-home wellness and fitness, e-gaming activities.
Chinese consumers have become more health and quality conscious as a result of Covid-19.They are trying to improve their health and ability to fight against virus. In particular, female from 20s to 40s are now able to push for consumption upgrade taking into account quality, health and safety, premium brands. You can read more about female consumers with article from Natalie Meyer(https://www.chinaskinny.com/blog/chinese-female-consumers/)
The safety of the family group and personal health have become among top concerns of chinese consumers, and this has impacted the consumer behavior. One third of consumers have switched to new brands during the pandemic, driven by factors such as availability, discounts, and promotions, as well as perceptions of safety.
Trust is even more vital as consumers navigate an uncertain environment with majority of consumers turning to brands that they trust. In this sense, brand story and purpose are critical to build trust. And building e-reputation is a must for any western company entering China market which is the reason Why WeChat is a must for your business
Chinese consumers are the growth engine of the world. For brands to be successful in China market, it means that they need to adapt to the change of behaviors of consumers and change of the consumer environment which has shifted:
Accelerate on-line and omnichannel strategy: On-line must be seen as must do. It is important to maximize the efficiency of each channel, and to consider the interaction of different channels (on line or offline), social commerce and traditional e-commerce. Social Selling with WeChat in China is growing fact. All social commerce is growing currently at 40% rate and should be part of the omnichannel strategy.
Innovate product offer and services to answer to shift of consumers behavior and expectations, in particular regarding health and safety criteria.
Be agile and reactive regarding market approach to face fast changing environment
Review brand story to make sure that the purpose of the brand is well clarified. Purpose of the brand has also become a main criteria for young consumers to choose a brand
How to promote a brand and sell in China market is different from the approach in the western countries. You cannot copy what you do in western countries.
Branding is everything in China
Many consumers have been cheated with counterfeit products, fake reputable brands and domestic brands that are expensive but of poor quality; accordingly, they become cautious towards unbranded products.
Additionally, Chinese people buy brands not only for the functions they have but also to reflect their social status and improve how other people perceive about them.
Chinese consumers are willing to pay more if the brand can bring them prestige and respect among their social circle. Brand positioning should be first focus for a new brand in China.
In your branding, you need also adapt to Chinese culture and Chinese consumers behaviors. The localisation of the brand is an important step to succeed in China.
You need to buil-up your e-reputation to promote a brand
China social media users are far more active than in other countries and Chinese people are doing everything in their life with their mobile,
Also social media has a larger impact on the buying decisions of Chinese consumers than on those of any other country. If a Chinese consumer sees a product being discussed positively on a social media site, especially by a friend or acquaintance, they are far more likely to actually purchase the product than his or her counterpart in other countries. Peer recommendations have huge influence in Chinese culture, as formal institutions are less likely to be trusted.
Digital marketing and social media should be first step
Weibo and WeChat are two largest social networking platforms in China. They both have significant influence and play an indispensable role in life.
Wechat is the most powerful APP in China. It is the personal messaging app, social media platform, online payment tool, online shopping place and more; all included in just ONE app. For brands, It is a must to be active on WeChat to sell in China, Check How to open a WeChat official account?
Meanwhile, Weibo, similar to Twitter in western world, is a more open social media platform where users come to socialize with friends and new people, entertain themselves with funny, viral videos as well as discover trendy topics or hot social information.
How to promote a brand and sell in China market?
No matter which platform you choose to do your branding on Chinese social media, high-quality content that users repost or share is the most important element
Weibo is an open platform where even non-followers can view your Weibo posts and the posting default setting is public. In addition, everyone can also see the reposts, comments or likes
Therefore, Weibo is very suitable for viral campaigns or viral contents, which aim to boost brand awareness extensively. Unlike Weibo, WeChat is a closer community.
Normally, WeChat users can only see posts pushed by social accounts to which they subscribe. So your followers on Wechat tend to be more condense and targeted.
Besides, in WeChat, our contact lists are usually the people that we already know such as relatives, friends and colleagues; so we tend to be a bit extra concerned regarding what we share. Therefore, contents on Wechat may not reach a massive audience but can create powerful word of mouth effect.
Besides Weibo and WeChat, there are many other social media which can be also used depending on products and targets.
You need create engagement within a community
Engagement will be created thanks to WeChat interactions with engaging contents. Groups will be set up in order to make emerged KOC ( key opinion consumers) with time to generate more engagement from groups members. Interactive campaigns with games and giveaways are also quite effective in China to generate engagement The use of KOLs could also influence a lot the audience and purchasing decisions but it has become quite expensive. Livestreaming with KOL has become quite powerful in China
Then you can develop E-commerce to sell in China
Social commerce is gaining traction in China. This is understandable when social media is already a place for Chinese consumers to discover new brands, read reviews/ opinions/ experiences of other people with products and services before making purchases. The online shopping function of social media such as WeChat just makes the whole buying process faster, more convenient and thus the conversion rate of social commerce is very high.
The WeChat store is an e-commerce platform that exists within the WeChat app. Thanks to mobile payment, the WeChat offers on-click payment which gives smooth consumer experience.
WeChat has its own online payment tool – Wechat Pay that is very powerful in driving sales on the platform. Brands can open Wechat shops, which are linked to their social accounts to sell their products or services. These shops are very well-integrated with Wechat by using its interface, online payment, chat function for customer service, log-in and sharing functions …
Then you can enter the e-commerce platforms such as Tmall, JD.com, TaoBao if you are visible in China. It takes 1 to 2 years presence on social media to get enough visibility.
Tmall holds the biggest marketshare in the e commerce market in China at 57%, It mainly focuses on premium brands, but it also the most expensive marketplace. However it is the right way to sell your products after your brand has become visible, while keeping also social selling active to keep strong relationship with your communities
Do you need a website to promote a brand and sell in China?
Keep in mind that it is useless to use Google, Facebook, western website….in China due to firewall.
For SEO, you must use Baidu and you must have a Chinese marketing strategy.
WeChat official account will be your Website in China. It is no need on most of cases to build a chinese Website.
Do you want to know more how to promote a brand and sell in China?
Emotion Digital can support your strategy to enter into China market, help you to set up your WeChat marketing solutions and WeChat stores.
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 have more questions how to promote a brand and sell in China, if you want to know more about WeChat marketing, how to enter China market.
Do you know that you can sell in China without going through e-commerce platforms?
Social selling with WeChat in China is exploding with growth of more than 100%, far more than in any other country in the world, this with an e-commerce market 3 times larger than the U.S. market which is the second largest market.
The different regulations regarding the use of personal is also beneficial to the growth of social selling.
Social selling with WeChat in China is also exploding.
WeChat is the largest social network in China with over a billion users. It covers all the functions of social selling for both brands and consumers.
Without leaving the platform, you can learn about the products, communicate with your network, buy the products, do customer services. It is not possible to do this on the platforms we know in the Western world.
Low cost for greater efficiency, especially with visual and interactive mini-programs that engage and sell to customers
The features of social sharing reduce customer acquisition costs, and that is really the power of WeChat with a good marketing strategy. Consumers then become promoters. And this reduces acquisition costs
Targeted marketing with the use of data collected by WeChat, using users’ social circles and CRM
The ability to retain customers through a number of features that allow promotional activities, games,…
For consumers, they benefit from a continuous customer experience. Customers can play games, send gifts, customizeproducts, pay for purchases, ask questions about products and all this without ever leaving the platform.
This power of WeChat for social selling comes from the ability to create and use mini-programs in the WeChat platform. Most mini-programs can be created by app developers in a matter of days or weeks. Pages are less than 2MB, and can be easily shared in WeChat.
The benefits of mini-programs for brands are:
Making their own shops with visual slides, videos…
Offering customer service
Analyze customer data to improve offering and target marketing
Loyalty to customers
These mini-programs allow brands to control their traffic, and e-commerce traffic data.
Social selling with WeChat in China is particularly suitable for small companies without large marketing budget or structure in China. Emotion Digital can help you to develop your social selling strategy in China, just fill-up the form with your questions https://www.emotiondigital.fr/#contact
It must be part of any digital marketing strategy to penetrate China market in B to C.