The China market opportunity is huge, and it is still growing. Rapid urbanisation, increased affluence and digital commerce have seen private consumption rise dramatically. It is forecast to grow another 50% by 2020. With the rise in demand for overseas goods, such as baby formula and health supplements, it is no surprise that China’s e-commerce market will continue on an upward trajectory.
For foreign businesses, cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) presents wonderful opportunities. For 2016 Single’s Day, which is equivalent to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Alibaba generated a record-breaking A$23.2 billion in sales in a 24 hour period. This was 32% more than last year’s figures. Huge sales were purchased from international brands; mostly from Japan, United States, South Korea and Australia.
Some of China’s top e-commerce players are:
With a market share of 51.3%, Tmall is China’s largest B2C e-commerce platform. It focuses on offering authentic, quality goods. In 2014, Tmall Global was launched; providing a platform for international businesses to easily reach Chinese consumers.
Known as China’s equivalent of Amazon, JD.com has experienced rapid growth in recent years. It has an extensive product offering as well as a cross-border service, JD Worldwide – allowing merchants to sell directly to Chinese consumers without a Chinese presence.
Another fast-growing platform, Suning.com is China’s third largest B2C companies with the total number of SKU exceeding 3 million.
As cross-border e-commerce continues to grow in China, it is important that you understand consumption needs of the Chinese consumer and the different opportunities presented by e-commerce platforms.
While e-commerce platforms help to facilitate transactions with Chinese digital consumers, international brands need to invest in their positioning and marketing to raise awareness for their product to succeed in China. Creating and managing an official Chinese website is a great way to take control of your brand in the Chinese digital ecosystem, build trust with Chinese consumers and to ensure that your products rank highly for relevant keywords on the four major search engines.
If you want to further increase your brand reach and build a loyal following, WeChat marketing is a very effective way to achieve this.