E-Commerce in China

E-Commerce in China is the largest online market in the world.
As the digital economy takes shape,more people and businesses around the world are going online.
The number of internet users in China reached around 804.5 million in 2018.

Your 2022 Guide to E-Commerce in China.

Overview of E-Commerce in China.

China is the largest e-commerce market worldwide, accounting for about Almost 50% of global transactions according to recent Market surveys. China’s online retail engagement was more than 710 million digital transactions and reached $2.30 trillion in 2020, with forecasts to reach $3.56 trillion by 2024. In 2021, China’s e-commerce market was predicted to be larger than the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and France combined. In addition, China’s e-commerce sales in 2021 hope to be 53% of total retail sales; China will be the 1st country in the world with more online sales than offline sales.

Attracting thousands of entrepreneurs and companies daily, China is one of the most lucrative markets worldwide. In China’s population of almost 1.4 billion people, China’s rapid increase in wages has contributed mainly to significant growth in consumption and an increasing purchasing power. In addition, the development of various new technologies-related industries and China’s digitalization significantly contributed to the success of most industries in China: E-commerce.

If you are a small-scale or large business, you might be interested in e-commerce in China and finding out about the solutions. The Corporation China eCommerce article will go through the basics of Chinese eCommerce platforms and give you more advice on successfully entering the Chinese market as a foreign brand.

Find out more about our online marketing services.

Corporation China E-Commerce.

Corporation China is one of the most used E-Commerce agencies in China, with services in e-commerce, SEO, and online platforms.

The Top 5 considerations when entering the Chinese online e-Commerce Market.

China E-commerce in: Very competitive.
The Chinese eCommerce platforms need many resources.
Return on Investment.
Discounts pricing on e-commerce stores.
Ideas on how to succeed in China’s eCommerce.

There are challenges of doing e-commerce in China, we provide pathways and solutions of overcoming them all.

E-Commerce is extremely competitive in China.

Having a presence on Chinese eCommerce platforms is essential for brands and companies that want to succeed in the Chinese market. As a result, brands are ready to invest money on the most popular platforms, such as Tmall or JD.com. There are reasons for this. Indeed, most Chinese people regularly purchase products online, as it is now straightforward and convenient, thanks to the platforms’ excellent user experience and advanced digital payment gateways.

China’s digitalization and the most prominent usage of smartphones connected to the internet have contributed significantly to this growth as consumers are always on their smartphones.

It is estimated that companies selling on Chinese eCommerce platforms can increase their sales by 25%. In 2019 eCommerce accounted for more than one-third of China’s GDP.

Looking at the worldwide increase in e-commerce sales, China is by far the most, with 868 billion dollars as of 2021, and is expected to reach 1,885billion dollars by 2024.

China is the global leader when it comes to the e-commerce industry

Like anywhere else, selling goods on e-commerce platforms is not always as rewarding as expected. Because China is constantly evolving and attracting the world’s biggest companies, there is tough competition comprising Chinese local and foreign brands.

The competition can be fierce because of Chinese brands’ aggressive pricing and competitiveness. As a result, Chinese companies are highly reactive to their competitors and can find inspiration (or even copy) from other brands to create their version of it and sell it cheaper. Moreover, they don’t shy away from “shady” practices such as writing fake comments about your products or Brand.
Set yourself apart from the local competition on Chinese eCommerce platforms.

To stand out, be more creative, offer unique products, be competitive in price and quality, and most importantly, create brand awareness. You will have to take advantage of having an international brand; higher quality products will help analyze the Chinese market and competitors.

The Chinese eCommerce platforms need many resources.

If your Brand is already well-known, it is pretty easy to get on Tmall or JD.com. Most foreign companies expanding their activities in China already have at least an online presence in China.

Why will it be harder to make it if my Company does not have strong brand awareness in China?

In reality, Chinese consumers are reluctant to buy products from companies they have never heard of. So, selling your products through renowned E-Commerce in China platforms such as Tmall or JD.com is necessary. Still, at the same time, it is harder for smaller companies due to the strict rules and conditions each platform has set up.

Many Chinese eCommerce platforms want to ensure that your business will be lucrative and reliable enough for users to enjoy a fantastic shopping experience?

Is a physical store needed in China?

It will be helpful as Chinese eCommerce platforms would be reassured that your customer base can directly check your products before buying them. Having a physical store in China is also proof that you are legit and successful.

Can I create my website to sell products engaging Chinese eCommerce platforms?

Your website might get sales, but not that it will be challenging for you to be profitable. Indeed, as mentioned earlier, Chinese consumers are highly cautious about international brands not registered in mainland China. Chinese trust renowned eCommerce platforms as they know that brands have been selected and that stores are subjected to strict rules.

Having a website means making your Company visible on the internet, as it gives credibility.

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Return On Investment.

For many companies, Return on Investment is most important, so you must be aware of the following.

Products have not been adapted to the Chinese market.

Not competitive, unique, too expensive, not marketed well, and lacking visibility.

Platform fees are too expensive for the Company’s budget.

Having a store on any of the big online stores in China comes at a high price, so does the advertise of your store. As well as a self designed website potentially ends up not looking globally professional and leads to no real returns.

To be effective in digital marketing you truly need to consider employing a digital designer who knows the Chinese online market and have set entry level strategies that produce quick and effective results. Another important aspect of a standalone website professionally designed is it’s ongoing search engine optimization. Corporation China has tailored budget specific online bundles that will suit most smaller to middle sized businesses. These bundles all include initial design and layout of the proposed website, it’s optimization and it’s ongoing search engine optimization backed with weekly and monthly reports. From these reports suggestions and considerations are assessed and strategies drawn up and implemented thereafter.

Discounts on Chinese eCommerce platforms for Chinese consumers is always a winner. Chinese consumers are strongly motivated with discounted sevices or products.  E-vouchers and e-coupons on your WeChat official account followers will help promote your Brand powerfully in China.

Discount on Chinese eCommerce platforms ideas?

Reducing your margin if you want to sell your products in China and give e-vouchers and coupons to your clients through social media like WeChat and the tools available on Chinese eCommerce platforms. Also, don’t forget the special events (shopping festivals) that are extremely popular in China: Singles’ day (11/11), Valentine’s day, and Golden Week, where you’ll be able to play with flash sales and limited editions.

Ideas on how to succeed in China’s eCommerce.

E Commerce in China - Be creative

Be Pro-active!

A brand’s success is tied to how active it is on e-commerce websites and social media. JD and Tmall require businesses to be very active in optimizing and redesigning their online store, managing their ads, optimizing their traffic, etc. Taking part in special events (Single’s day, Golden Week, Valentine’s Day, Christmas) is also essential to boost your sales and gain visibility.

Be Creative!

Whether for advertising or marketing your products, you must be creative to stand out more than your competitors.

Be Responsive!

Most Chinese consumers like to ask questions about your Brand or product, so you must be ready to reply. For example, it is essential to have a WeChat official account so that they can discuss with you via online chat. Please encourage them to purchase by giving them vouchers or e-coupons.

What are the most popular to do e-commerce online marketplaces in China?

The Chinese e-commerce landscape is diverse, and you should be able to find one that fits your needs and business goals. Most Chinese eCommerce platforms have pros and cons, depending on the client.

Tmall.

Tmall is one of the biggest online e-commerce platforms to have a store on. Founded in 2008 by Jack Ma of Alibaba group, it has a subsidiary of the e-commerce giant Taobao (淘宝网) and is now China’s largest eCommerce platform in revenue. However, small stands out from its competitors thanks to its strict standards in terms of quality and renown. Tmall, customer experience comes first. Tmall was able to position itself at the top of China’s E-Commerce market share.

It is the most popular Chinese eCommerce platform and the best platform for local Chinese and international retailers.

Tmall mainly operates in larger cities, with disposable income high, and has the highest consumer basket values in the e-Commerce market.

Tmall’s gross sales volume increased from 850 billion yuan to 3 252 billion yuan in 2020 (more than three times higher)! Tmall is also China’s eCommerce leader, with most of the China market share.

Tmall online store.

The list product categories popular are Vitamins, baby care products, Fashion, and electronic products.
Tmall leads in the Chinese Cross border e-commerce market with its Tmall Global Platform (天猫国际).
Tmall Luxury Pavilion- Tmall also created a unique platform targeting luxury brands.

Tmall is best suited for high-end international brands. Corporation China can help you become a seller on Alibaba’s giant Tmall, the selling requirements, setup, and fees.

E Commerce in China Taobao

Taobao.

Taobao is the first Chinese eCommerce platform and is still one of the prominent leaders in terms of traffic. In addition, it has become a product search engine for Chinese consumers.

Taobao is Tmall’s small sister application. It differs from Tmall mainly by its lower entry requirements and some of the platform’s features, such as Taobao live.

When on Taobao, users may be redirected to Tmall; the contrary is not valid. Made online retailers that already have a Chinese business license and Companies like a WFOE with limited resources, Taobao is the best way to enter the China market. Taobao benefits from the most significant monthly traffic of any Chinese eCommerce app except Pinduoduo.

JD.com.

Founded in 1998, JD (which stands for Jingdong 京东) was, in the beginning, a consumer store that diversified in time with electronics, computers, mobile phones, and others. Now, JD.com has over 550 million active customers and is now China’s second-largest E-commerce platform.

JD Home Appliance.

JD.com standards for online shopping through various products, from fresh food, electronic appliances, and apparel to cosmetics.
JD Logistics allows for a short delivery time and a bonus for Chinese consumers.
JD also offers a cross-border option for foreign companies that have yet to establish operations in China but want to reach Chinese customers.

Corporation China will guide you through each step of becoming a prosperous merchant on one of China’s most popular eCommerce platforms.

Red Mall.

In its beginning, users solely used RED MALL to review products and share their shopping experiences. However, to expand its activities and monetize, it has become a combination of Pinterest and Instagram, with e-commerce features. In addition, RED also created its cross-border eCommerce platform: ‘Fulishe’ (福利社).

On Xiaohongshu, people can post and share their product reviews,lifestyle stories, travel blogs, and lifestyle stories via images and short videos.

It operates RED Mall, a platform on which Chinese consumers can purchase international products.

Although RED is not a significant eCommerce player, is good at lifestyle and beauty.


Pinduoduo.

Pinduoduo is a lower-Cost e-commerce platform in china.

Pinduoduo, despite its vast monthly traffic,

founded in 2015, Pinduoduo is the fastest-growing tech company in the world, generating over RMB1.5 Trillion gross merchandise value and 943.4 monthly active users as of 2021.

Suppose you want to export your fresh products to China. In that case, you should choose Pinduoduo as China’s largest e-commerce agriculture-focused platform. Pinduoduo directly connects farmers and distributors with consumers. As a result, Pinduoduo has revolutionized e-commerce, becoming a social commerce platform and a (C2M) consumer-to-manufacturer.

Pinduoduo is the #1 app selling fresh products.

It is also essential to know that Pinduoduo is a meager cost to consumers and merchants due to its policy of “no commission.” However, you must pay the payment function supplier a 0.6% service fee. So, how does Pinduoduo make a profit?

Pinduoduo mainly monetizes via advertising, with 90% of its revenues coming from online marketing services such as affiliation programs and flash sales. That explains why Pinduoduo revolutionized Chinese eCommerce platforms with an innovative marketing strategy, fast process, and low-cost system.

Corporation China can assist in becoming a Pinduoduo seller.

Tik Tok flagship store.

Douyin (Tik Tok) Flagship Store – China Social eCommerce:

With more than 700 million active daily users in China as of 2021, Douyin, also known as Tik Tok, is one of China’s most lucrative and promising apps. Douyin launched its flagship stores in March 2021, available for brand accounts on its platform, marking a significant jump into e-commerce.

Douyin was a way to promote new products until now via short videos and Douyin live-streaming.

Brands can now create their flagship stores on Douyin, which helps them increase conversion rates. Douyin’s goal is to reach 1 trillion yuan in e-commerce revenue by the end of the year to be one of the tops in the Chinese market.

Chinese cross-border E-Commerce Platforms.

Suning: Offer both local and cross-border platforms. Ideal for electronics brands and home appliances.
Kaola: Kaola is the largest cross-border eCommerce platform in China, with most of the market share.
VIP: The Flash sales app is China’s most significant in most extensive Beauty and Lifestyle products.

How to succeed as a foreign Brand on Chinese eCommerce Platforms.

Websites, Baidu SEO & SEM for traffic & credibility. Your success in China will depend on your visibility. You can start by focusing on China’s most popular search engine: Baidu (百度), where more than 70% of online research is conducted. Then, after creating your official Chinese website ( .CN), focus on Baidu to increase visibility and reputation. foBaidu SEO is one of the most cost-efficient ways of gaining traffic and managing controlling the online reputation of your Brand.

To be visible on Baidu, you can use some marketing solutions.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
TPay Per Click (PPC).
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and use keywords to increase your online presence on Baidu.

What are the Top Social MediaApps in Chinese E-commerce.

WeChat 微信 The #1 social network in China.

With more than 1.3 million monthly active users, WeChat is the most popular app in China. Even though it was initially a messaging-type app, the app owned by Tencent in 2011 quickly became a vast ecosystem of services. As a result, WeChat is a must-have for every citizen and business as it has become an essential role in the e-commerce industry in China.

Wechat posts and mini-programs.

To successfully promote your Brand via WeChat, create an Official Account. Suppose your Brand is still not in China. In that case, Corporation China will assist you in finding and reaching your target audience by improving your brand awareness and creating your Official WeChat account.

WeChat wallet (china’s most used digital payment ) is compatible with JD and JDcom. In addition, the WeChat mini-program and store is also an online shopping platform in China.

Sina Weibo 微博 The place to be commercial.

It is one of China’s most popular social media apps, with more than 553 million monthly active users, with 94% of its user base using mobile apps. Like Twitter, Weibo’s social media is one of the most efficient platforms for creating buzz and gaining visibility. Mainly private, WeChat Weibo is open to advertising, and its users are also. Weibo is the place to advertise and engage commercially with your followers.

Weibo attracted more than 150 000 companies wanting to develop their e-reputation. As a result, brands must create an Official Weibo Account to improve their presence in China.

It is estimated that more than 64% of Weibo users follow at least one Brand on Weibo.

Weibo marketing tools are..

Weibo Paid Ads.
Weibo Influencers.
Weibo Lucky draw & lottery.
Weibo #hashtag.

Compared to other China social media platforms, Weibo’s relatively cheap advertising options and its open nature make it an exciting platform for foreign players. The app’s audience varies and reaches users in many (most) Chinese cities.

KOLs to promote your Brand.

Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) are one of the best ways to promote your Brand and your product in China. They act like influencers who can sell hundreds (or even millions) of products fast. If you want to hire a KOL, please contact us.

Branding is everything in China.

Branding is one of the most critical aspects of conquering the market in China. Many Chinese consumers want to buy a product many because of its Brand. They want to purchase premium and reputable brands with a good brand story.

E-reputation increases sales.

You must ensure that you get good comments for your Brand on forums, social media, and other websites. This is because Chinese consumers only trust brands with good comments and recommendations from friends or family and on media platforms.

If you want to manage your brand image in China successfully, you can contact us, and we’ll take care of everything.

TaoBao Store.

Taobao is a sub-division of Alibaba and Tmall’s older brother. Around 80% of Chinese online shoppers use Taobao, and with over 800 million product listings it is China’s largest online marketplace featuring C2C, B2C, and B2B e-commerce.

Requirements for opening a TaoBao Store.

Passport.
Chinese Bank Card & Allipay account.
ICP License (for B2C & B2B).
E Commerce in China Taobao

Bring your Brand to China

Bringing your brand to China, Marco Pearman-Parish the CEO of Corporation China discusses the many opportunities in China and ways to ensure your brand’s success in the complex Chinese market.