As more Chinese shift toward e-commerce and away from traditional brick and mortar stores, putting together a robust online selling strategy is becoming one of the crucial aspects of company’s marketing strategy. There are several factors that set apart Chinese online consumers from their counterparts in the West. Those differences and subtleties would require certain adjustments in your approach, both from marketing and technical standpoints.
The most important of those factors are listed below:
- China’s consumer behaviour changes very quickly. What could have been a correct assumption a year ago may have turned upside down by now. Such behavior changes require constant monitoring coupled with test-and-trial approach;
- Thanks to abundance of choice, online shoppers become increasingly impatient. If a product page takes too long to load or a description is not clear enough – they simply move on. It is essential to refine your message taking into account that e-shoppers would not read lengthy product description but just scan them for the information;
- It must be taken into account that men and women shop differently: men tend to be more focused on searching for a specific product or functionality while women may spend longer time browsing through different products;
- Consumers’ behaviour in 1st tier cities differ from those in the lower tiers. Shoppers in Shanghai or Beijing tend to look for value and are generally more sophisticated. In 2nd and 3rd tier cities, shoppers would rely more on a brand’s perceived image as a guarantee of a good overall value;
- It is essential making the purchase itself a quick and seamless process with multiple payment and delivery options in order to maximize the convenience for your customers;
- Trust is the most important decision factor for online shoppers, it is what makes them to chose one brand over the other. Of course, trust is something that is earned over time and the strategy to build it should be a part of the overall marketing plan.
Listen to the online buzz about your brand. Big brands hire entire teams to monitor their online reputation that is tied to managing marketing campaigns through social media.
How can you build trust of your brand? Here are the steps:
- Integrate your online selling strategy with the social media campaign that engages all major platforms. Nothing works better than a word-of-mouth, especially if the recommendation is coming from a friend;
- Invest in getting to know your customers better and stay connected with them. Consider offering incentives or gifts if they follow you, share information about the purchase with others, write a review or recommend your brand through social sharing;
- Listen to the online buzz about your brand. Big brands hire entire teams to monitor their online reputation that is tied to managing marketing campaigns through social media;
- The last option which is, perhaps, not for everyone is leveraging trusted experts or appropriate celebrities. In China, it has also been a very successful strategy of big brands in building trust;