Recommended ways to reach chinese traveler market during Covid-19 pandemic
COVID situation is still unstable until mid-2021. Some countries have already had the vaccine and some countries had to suffer side effects, causing them to be temporarily suspended. Many countries, including China, still have strong measures to restrict entry and exit. For the overall picture, it still looks uncertain. Without Chinese tourists, Thai businesses were unable to survive and needed to find a better way to penetrate the Chinese market locally to increase chances of selling more products under this endless epidemic.
Opportunities of Chinese Digital Marketing and Internet Trends
In 2020, the overall picture of Chinese Internet users and social networks continues to increase. Many restrictions caused by the epidemic, could be a factor that contributes to the Internet accessibility of the Chinese target audience or the Chinese tourist market. Among 1.44 billion Chinese population, about 891 million people with access to 1.61 billion electronic devices, 940 million internet accounts and 931 million social media accounts, which people in urban cities accounted for 61.9% of the total population. These statistics have become a huge market in terms of both quantity and quality. It is a tremendous purchasing power that anyone would want to take part.
Entering the Chinese market during COVID-19 through e-commerce
If your store doesn’t have Chinese tourists like before COVID-19 and you don’t know how long it will take for this to return to normal again. Having a space for target groups for the online market can be conveniently accessible from their country, which can increase the opportunity to sell more products.
The arrival of COVID-19 is shaking up the global ecommerce trend, including China. This can be seen from the increase in statistics over the past year for shopping through a number of e-commerce platforms in China such as T-mall, JD.com, Taobao, Pinduoduo, Sunning and VIP. It allows foreign brands and businesses to open e-commerce stores to sell products to Chinese people via cross-border ecommerce. This will help them to see your products and access your store through an E-commerce platform without the hassle of investing in opening a store in China.
Each E-commerce platform has its advantages and disadvantages. The suitability depends on the size and style of the brand and business. For example, Tmall is a highly reliable ecommerce platform for brands to open an e-shop, it selects reliable companies with high quality and reputable to sell.
Even the most popular platform in China like Taobao, both large and small brands can open a store on the platform, but one of the biggest disadvantages is that it requires a bank account in China. It also has many counterfeit items, which will result in your product being met with low quality products.
From the survey, over 80% of foreign brands used to penetrate the Chinese market through Tmall, especially luxury brands.
Social Commerce, an online store that can makes you feel closer to consumers
For some e-commerce platforms, there may be a chat function for brands or stores to send messages to communicate with consumers directly. There are limitations in managing the storefront, as it must follow the template as provided by the platform. However, it can offer you in terms of customer closeness, timely response and allows you to customize the storefront layout. That is, Social Commerce, the hottest social media platform in China. WeChat is not only a messaging app, but it is an app for daily life starting from waking up, ordering food, calling for a car, and dating.
WeChat also has functions such as WeChat Official Account, just like Line Official Account that Thai people use, to communicate with customers, and a WeChat Mini Program that is ‘similar to’ Line Shopping, allowing customers to buy products directly from the brand via LINE. WeChat Mini Program is not a shop template, it’s a function that allows businesses to develop applications on WeChat, just like a branded application embedded in WeChat that can do everything from talking to persuade customers through chat, introduce products, ask questions, after-sales service and make payment. In addition, almost all Chinese people use WeChat to send messages on a daily basis. It is not different from the way Thai people send messages via LINE, so it is ideal for doing digital marketing in China.
Sell products to enter the Chinese tourist market through all platforms with KOL and KOC
Most people are likely to look forward to Key Opinion Leaders (KOL), who are thoughtful and able to lead others, also known as influencers. Some marketers may be confused about what KOC, or Key Opinion Customer, who is a customer of a brand that actually uses the product and has its own social groups. Both KOL and KOC affect the purchase decision and it gives opportunity to attract customers through their voices.
For KOL and KOC, they can help sell brand’s products through Live Streaming in the form of live product sales. This can be done through e-commerce platforms that have Live Streaming functions or their own platform, including product promotion by creating content in the form of text, video or clips through social platforms i.e. Weibo, Wechat, Bilibili, Douyin, Xiao Hong Shu RED and Baidu. This can be seen through Live Streaming in China that can help close sales automatically.
Cross-border e-commerce, Chinese products reach customers faster than ever before.
When knowing the channels to sell products to China, the next thing that is equally important is to deliver products to consumers through air, sea and land transportation such as
Plane: There are carriers to China via air including DHL and SF Express. Air shipping is the fastest but it is also the most expensive method. Suitable for luxury products that focus on fast service, takes only 3-5 days.
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Vehicle is Another way to help you transport small quantities in one container, which will charge the price according to the weight of the product. Even if you ship just one item, it can be attached to someone else’s container for very little cost. The disadvantage is that it takes up to 7-15 days at least.with a vehicle transportation service provider including Yunda, Bangkok Orient or BeStar, etc.
Ship is the most popular method used by many brands worldwide due to the lowest cost, but takes the longest time. This will be suitable to transport goods in bulk but it will take about 10-15 days, so it is suitable for businesses that have a lot of products to stock in China when an order comes in, the product can be delivered immediately from the warehouse, which there are many service providers offering the service.
Chinese government foresees the large demand of foreign businesses to trade through cross-border e-commerce. It is supported with more than 105 pilot zones across China to build warehouses to support foreign products waiting to be delivered to customers in China, even Tmall also has Alibaba warehouse to provide products from overseas to stock and will charge the delivery fee when the order comes in. There is a storage charge based on the number of days x rental per day x goods in the warehouse, and 11.9% tax on sales, making it easier and faster to buy and sell goods in China.
These are just a few details for ways to penetrate the Chinese market during the pandemic. There are other details, such as getting approval to open a store on an e-commerce platform, contacting the shipping company and dealing with imposed taxes.
We are V-Click Technology, a technology marketing company from Greater China that served to connect international brands and businesses to reach the target audience in China for over a decade. With a one-stop Chinese online marketing service that is ready to take care of everything for you from start to finish. If interested, you can send in your enquiries or contact us at Sales@v-click.co.th.