Online Marketing Strategy for Your Venture on Chinese Market
As the number of people connected by Internet continues to grow at a phenomenal rate, the Internet has changed forever the way we communicate, and thus, the way we do business. In just a few years, Internet has consolidated being an essential marketing and advertising channel for businesses. In parallel, online shopping has become more and more popular, no matter in developed regions or the emerging markets.
In China, one of the biggest markets in the world with over 1.3 billion people, online business has been growing dramatically since the Internet set up in China in 1994. According to CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center), China’s total Internet users have exceeded 564 million by the end of 2012: – 420 million of them are using mobile surfing online – 309 million of them are checking micro-blogging – 242 million of them go shopping online
Undoubtedly, online business is vital to any company wanting to venture on Chinese market.
Under this backdrop, now both local Chinese companies and foreign companies are putting more efforts on developing online marketing strategy in China. The question is which strategy is the best?
To put it simply, strategy is a combination of different tools that suits your business well. And there is no fixed mode of marketing. Because it changes so quickly! All strategies that can promote your business efficiently are best ones. Before worrying about the mess of strategies, let’s first take a look at the 3 most important online marketing tools you can use for your venture on Chinese market.
1. A Chinese website Certainly, a Chinese website is a must for any businesses plan to set their foot on the Chinese market. People make decisions upon the information they get. A Chinese website gives a company a home for its visitors to get necessary information about the products and services.
Don’t expect a Chinese visitor to understand an English site well no matter how good the English is. Yet making a Chinese website is far more than just translating your current website into Chinese. Localization is the key! Not only contents is important, but also the display of the contents and the layout of the whole site, taking care of the local culture and internet habits.
2. E-commerce platform With decades of development, China has fostered a group of mature B2C e-commerce platforms: Taobao, Tmall, JD, Paipai, and Dangdang etc. Among them, Taobao and Tmall operated by Alibaba Group are the most prominent ones with combined sales of $157 billion in 2012. And they created an amazing record to reach $3 billion —Yes, Billion— sales in a single day (November 11th 24-hour online shopfest). It’s a big market for all companies!
3. SNS Another significant trend for Chinese e-commerce market is the burgeoning of SNS (Social Networks). Networking has played an important role in the life of Chinese people ever since the nation was created. And SNS shapes it in a modern way. CNNIC reported that nearly 80% of Chinese netizens pay close attention to commercial information on social networking sites, and almost 40% of netizens will regard friends’ comments as references to help with their own shopping decisions. In addition, 37.2% of netizens will share their favorite items, brands and stores on SNS, and more than 25% of them would complain on SNS if they had bad shopping experience.
Partly due to the Internet restriction in China, the most popular social networking sites in China are local ones with concepts similar to western sites: Weibo, like Twitter, over 500 million users Renren, like Facebook, around 200 million users Wechat, like Viber, over 300 million users The data only is enough to make it clear that SNS is the area no B2C company could afford to ignore!
A shared feature of these 3 online marketing tools, they are all unique for Chinese market with strong implication of Chinese culture. Therefore, before you leaping into online marketing in Chinese market, it’s better for you to know more about Chinese culture and people, or choose a trusted and experienced partner like SAOS to help refine your strategy. Anyway, you should not think China and Chinese people with a stereotyped outdated view.