The Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing to Chinese Consumers

Two Chinese women shopping

Chinese consumers are projected to have a spending power of more than $6.4 billion by the year 2025. If you’d like to tap into this lucrative market, you’ll have to develop a strategy that takes into account the distinctions of this demographic. Here are a few key do’s and don’ts that could ultimately make or break your success in reaching and converting this diverse and culturally unique audience.

Do focus on E-commerce and M-commerce.

PwC found that 75% of Chinese consumers shop online at least weekly. That’s a pretty stark difference from the global average of just 21%. Why such a boom? It’s a combination of increased access to smartphones and rapid growth in adoption of social media. Either way, if you want to get your brand in front of more people in this sector, you absolutely must invest heavily in reaching them via online and mobile campaigns.

Don’t underestimate the importance of feedback.

Before deciding to make a purchase, Chinese consumers tend to spend a good deal of time researching online, particularly when it comes to the reviews left by other customers. The online review app Dianping (China’s version of Yelp) boasts over 200 million users, and that’s just one of the many places to read product recommendations. And with 75% of all online users leaving feedback about purchases at least once a month, it’s clear that getting positive online reviews is of the utmost importance.

Do cater to their tastes and preferences.

We’ve already talked about the importance of localizing your marketing messages, products and services to appeal to your target audience, but beyond this, it’s also important to understand what their preferences and tastes are. For instance, recent buying patterns indicate that Chinese consumers are opting for American brands. Furthermore, according to research by Boston Consulting Group, more than 60% of shoppers from this segment say they are willing to pay more for products that are made in the US. Do your homework to get a good idea of what your ideal customer is looking for and then develop your marketing strategy around that.

Don’t neglect Chinese holidays.

Not only do Chinese consumers love to shop, but they also tend to do more of it during certain times of the year. For example, during the Chinese New Year, it is traditional for people to purchase meaningful gifts for friends and family. Even more prominent is Singles’ Day, which is basically a Chinese shopping holiday similar to America’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday. (This year, Singles’ Day raked in $17.8 billion in sales, up from $14.3 billion last year.) If you are not taking advantage of these spikes in online shopping, you are missing a tremendous opportunity.

As you can already see, the Chinese market has some unique characteristics which must be accounted for in order for an outside brand to be successful. By keeping the above do’s and don’ts in mind, you will be able to develop a more targeted, culturally sensitive approach that will get better results. And, of course, if you find you could use some guidance at any point during the process, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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