Why sell online in China?
Today 700m+ people in China buy products online. The digital e-commerce landscape is very mature with fast delivery and the average Chinese consumer buys everything from napkins to Swiss watches on their phones. With another 700m potential customers yet to go online, no brand can afford to disregard the Chinese market.
If your brand is well established on your local market the chances are high that Chinese consumers already buys your products from professional buyers in China or retail stores in your country. However, you need to take control of your brand image and pricing towards Chinese end consumers and pave way for the future expansion.
How to begin?
Your journey to consistent online sales in China starts with establishing online stores on the various e-commerce and social media platforms. To ensure that we understand your brand and your needs, please use the ”contact us” form to get in touch.
The total e-commerce market
E-commerce is a major driver of China’s retail economy, with sales growing more than 30% in 2019 to reach $1.989 trillion. 25% of all China’s retail sales occur online, by far the highest rate in the world. More than half of all online sales happens in China due to the strong links to mobil first adaption, digital payment solutions and social media. Today global luxury brands such as Gucci, Givenchy, Tiffanys, LV and Moncler are all present with e-stores on various Chinese e-commerce platforms. The total e-commerce market is forecasted for continuous growth and reach 3.85 trillion U.S. dollars in 2023.
The largest marketplaces
Tmall.com (天猫) is a business-to-consumer (B2C) online retail operated in China by Alibaba Group. It is a platform to sell brand name goods to consumers in mainland China with over 700m users. The platform has around 65% of all online sales traffic. It’s Tmall Global holds around 32% of the cross-border e-commerce market share.
Taobao (淘宝网) is a Chinese online shopping website owned by Alibaba. Taobao Marketplace facilitates consumer-to-consumer (C2C) retail by providing a platform for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to open online stores that mainly cater to consumers in Chinese-speaking regions. Buyers can assess seller backgrounds by information available on the site, including ratings, comments and complaints.
WeChat (微信) is a social media and messaging app with 1.1 billion monthly users owned by Tencent. Through its mini programs, retailers and brands can use WeChat to provide a new way to grow e-commerce sales and implement omnichannel functionality. Brands and influencers can interact directly with its users to provide a unique experience and use big data to successfully convert to sales via WeChat Pay all seamlessly without leaving the app.
Sina Weibo (新浪微博) is a Chinese microblogging website. It is similar to Twitter and has more than 500 million monthly users. In addition to ads, Weibo allows brands and other content providers to live stream and operate its own pages that offers e-commerce to its followers.
RED (小红书) is an online social content and e-commerce platform with 300 million total users and 100 million monthly active users. Its users are primarily women that uses the platform to find reviews of cosmetics and apparel by KOCs (Key Opinion Consumers). The platform offers live streaming and e-commerce functions allowing brands and KOCs to sell products directly to their followers.
Douyin (抖音) is a booming short-video app in China. According to Statista, as of February 2022, Douyin reported having 86.8% of its users livestreaming content in China and its users spent at least 89 minutes watching videos on the platform each day. Different from other platforms, Douyin’s advantage lies in the content ecology, and its unique short video + livestreaming combination model has also become the marketing strategy of many businesses. Short videos are responsible for seeding and can attract traffic for livestreaming, effectively stimulating user demand and conversion efficiency.
Poizon (得物) is a social eCommerce app where trend-pursuing Chinese millennials and Gen-Z love to socialize and shop. After a consumer places an order and it arrives at Dewu, Dewu will first inspect the product to make sure it’s authentic. Dewu started as a sneaker eCommerce platform, but nowadays you can find many categories.
Vipshop (唯品会) is a Chinese company that operates the e-commerce website VIP.com based in Guangzhou. Vipshop rose to prominence through its success in convincing brands to use it as a means to sell unsold inventory similar to an outlet, allowing it to sell authentic branded products below standard prices. It has around 30 million monthly active users.