China’s e-commerce market is now in full swing, representing a staggering $2,200 billion in sales in 2014. The Chinese increasingly use the Web in B2B mode to find customers or suppliers. Here then are 4 tips to make your company more visible with Chinese people on the Web.
- Translate your website into Simplified Chinese. Even if 70% of Chinese shoppers who buy online abroad have a reasonable command of English, according to a PayPal survey, almost 42% of them believe that they would be more inclined to buy on foreign sites if these could be surfed in their own language. Even if you do not have the necessary resources for translating your website just yet, you can start by creating your multilingual E*Page which Europages will translate into Simplified Chinese.
- Lay out your website accordingly. You should bear in mind certain cultural codes for your website’s Chinese audience. There are common mistakes to be avoided, such as writing in red, which the Chinese see as a means of communicating the end of a relationship (even though red is a traditionally symbolic colour of happiness). Another important consideration: the Chinese prefer to have lots of information and a wide choice of products on the sites they visit, rather than the sparse, pared down sites Westerners tend to prefer.
- Take account of purchase cycle specificities. As explained on the Marketing China site, many Western companies who have established commercial relations with Chinese businesses for the sale of capital goods fail to realise that purchase cycles in China tend to differ with those practised in the Western world. In the West, needs are generally defined and specifications established before making contact with suppliers. In China, however, contact is often made with suppliers before the need has even been clearly identified.
- Underscore your products’ authenticity. This is a way in which to differentiate yourself from the competition. By focusing on the authenticity and safety of the products or services proposed, you will appeal to customers who will be more likely to return. This is especially the case for businesses operating in high-growth sectors (ready-to-wear clothing, cosmetics, luxury goods, etc.).
Have you noticed any distinctive characteristics concerning B2B e-commerce in China? If you have, by all means share them with us!