Understanding Chinese e-commerce
Chinese e-commerce is fastest growing market. The number of online purchases in 2018 accounted for 29% of the total distribution market.
This growth is due to the increasing number of companies and the trust which consumers place have towards online marketplaces. Foreign brands have also found fertile soil in this powerful market for their markets.
For European countries such as Italy, France or Germany, Chinese e-commerce is a unique opportunity to publicise their products and reap new profit opportunities.
Platforms and joint venture for online sales to Chinese consumers
The term ‘Made in Italy’ is a unique selling point for brands in the Chinese market which can grants small/medium brands new expansion opportunities.
Sales volume and profits can be increased through partnerships with local agencies. Brands can leverage two digital payment platforms, which are the best methods to target Chinese consumers, or the existing e-commerce websites to reach Chinese consumers.
The former facilitate the relationship between producer and consumer, eliminating intermediation, and are the most effective tools to reach the Asian market.
E-commerce in China is hindered by numerous obstacles and requires countless documentation, such as a VATS (value-added telecoms and services) license from the Ministry of Information.
In any case it is impossible to obtain more than 50% of the company. Hence, to work in the Chinese market, one must develop joint venture partnership with the main e-commerce distributors.
The competitive advantage
Compared to their Western counterparts, Chinese delivery times are incredibly efficient with 1-2 day wait through standard delivery.
The Chinese market also has superior client services as they interact with customers each step of their purchasing journey either through bots or staff members.
Customer messages requesting information about a product are answered within seconds, failure to do so means the customer turns to the competing site.
Main Chinese e-commerce platforms
Chinese online sales platforms are a world apart from the ones we know, the majority of which have overtaken, both in terms of revenue and users, Western giants Amazon and E-bay.
In short, here are the main platforms for anyone who intends to target this market:
Taobao.com (Consumer to Consumer "C2C")has over 800 million products with 200 million daily active users.
Tmall.com (Business to Consumer "B2C"): Alibaba’s platform with over 18,000 international brands.
JD.COM, membro dei Global Fortune 500,part of the Fortune 500 group, it is the largest B2C platform in China. Its IT infrastructure is among the most advanced in the world.
Yihaodian.com:the primary B2C platform for F&B products from all over the globe.
Italian brands can therefore achieve the "eCommerce China" objective by promoting themselves on the most important Chinese e-commerce systems. To be sure of their success, they can rely on the services of Digital Retex, the European company certified to open, configure and consolidate a WeChat account.