Chinese consumers embrace E-Commerce. Habbits, intensity and service unimaginable in the west lead to a historic first: The retail E-Commerce sales in China will in the year 2021 account for more than 50% of retail sales.
In this craze the cross border E-Commerce stands for reliable, high quality foreign goods. From a western perspective it is a good way to enter the Chinese market. Best known player is TMALL Global from the Alibaba universe. Typically brands test the waters with cross border before setting up a local store. But don’t think with Cross Border you can only target a very little audience. In fact, in 2020 1 out of 4 Chinese online shoppers buys cross-border.
Now, global retail giant Amazon found its way to participate. Their offer to Chinese consumers is the Amazon Global Store program.
Let us first have a quick look to better understand the Chinese consumer.
First lection: there is no “one” Chinese consumer.
China has many advantages growing your business, from a huge population to a giant market with common language, currency and laws. But the country and its people are very colorful and diverse. Think cold winters in the north (i.e. famous ice festival in Harbin) and hot tropical summers in the south (i.e. Hainan).
The growth comes from the rising middle class.
What unites the Chinese consumers is that they are all online savy. Nearly everybody is on WeChat.
This super App invented the “mini programs” some time ago. It is like an app inside an app. Quick at hand and with full functionality. Even Amazon has a mini program inside WeChat.
So, how can you sell to China using Amazon?
The Global Store provides Chinese customers access to shops from Amazon USA, Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Vendors are enabled to establish a presence without the hassle of setting foot a land. Operations are fully handled by the local Amazon team. Of course you could advertise your German Shop URL to Chinese consumers. One way would be to generate awareness in WeChat groups. Note that despite other rumors Amazon is not blocked in China. But users would need to buy with an international credit card and in a foreign language. Plus the annoyance of taking care of the international shipping. All this is taken care of by the Amazon Global Store setup. Fore example your Chinese customers pay for their purchases on Amazon with WeChat pay or Alipay. Plus they get free international shipping for China Prime members.
To join the ride you need to sign a contract with Amazon China. Once done, they will help you advertise your products on the Global Store. As always, there is no such thing as a free lunch. In order to be found and to get users to buy some effort and budget is required.
Amazon offers advertising options but they are somewhat limited compared to what is possible in Germany or in the USA.
So, how to grow your sales on the China Amazon Global Store?
Key to success is to understand the customer journey in China. People do like to research products.
- Increase your reviews and ratings instore.
- Don’t just auto translate your texts. Keywords must be adopted to locally common search keywords.
- Localize your media and understand customer needs. Show “use case” pictures and videos with Chinese consumers, not westerns. Focus product benefits on local needs.
- Be visible on relevant other platforms. The trick to understand here is the user behavior. Users copy the title of the product detail page and look it up on other platforms like TMALL Global, WeChat and RED (Xiaohongshu). You need to work with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and Key Opinion Consumers (KOCs), China’s version of influencers to boost your visibility.
- Pricing and Promotions are very relevant. Make a competitive analysis and understand what types of discounts are common, match your pricing to local market prices.
How to start?
At Chinawechatting we have made good experience boosting the Amazon shop. It is especially rewarding if set up properly before the big shopping festivals in China like the Singles Day on November 11 oder the summer sale on June 18th.
- Introduction Workshop for better understanding the topic and how your company can benefit
- Competitor analysis “on the ground” with teams in Shanghai and Chengdu -from Amazon Product Detail Pages to Baidu Search Results to RED (Xiaohongshu) Postings
- Local experts in Online Marketing
- Native speakers help you with the right translation
Please feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation.