Often we run into clients who are considering China as a potential market. They come and they want to sell on Amazon.cn, or they want to sell at JD.com, or TMall or whatever it might be. E-commerce is a very powerful way to sell your product, but you cannot start selling in China right away. There are some very basic things that we want to do before we get started to help avoid trouble down the road.
1. What’s the market like?
First, we want to understand if there is a market for the product(s) you have in mind for China. On e-commerce websites, you can see what kind of traffic other resellers are getting on specific kinds of products.
When you have a new product or a new category, how can you tell if there is a market in China? A little bit more due diligence is required. How did you do your market study in your home country? Is your market selling well? What market segments are buying? Look at those areas in China, and how people typically in those channels are getting their products. Once you answer these questions, you’ll be able to determine what the market for your product looks like.
2. Bringing your product to China
Speed is everything in China. In fact, among the ratings consumers make on e-commerce websites in China, delivery speed is in the top 3.
Once we have determined there is a market, and we want to play in this market, how do we make it easy for the customer to buy…and get the product into their hands fast? Find a local partner that has a warehouse, fulfillment capabilities, and can physically get your product into the country. This is not rocket science by any stretch of the imagination. But this is a very important step, as it makes it easy for the customer to buy.
What are the other important things that we can do to make it easy for the customer to buy? Putting on a platform that they are used to working with. Giving them payment options so they can pay by bank transfer, or Alipay, WeChat wallet, and even cash on delivery.
E-Commerce in China: Key Steps for Getting Started from Christina Li on Vimeo.
3. Optimize the whole process
The third and final phase involves optimization. What are some things we could do to optimize our e-commerce sales process? We want to have a good rating on the platforms we are selling on. How do we maintain a good rating? It’s related to the customer service. There are three customer service major measures in China. Did I get a quality product? Was it on time? Did I get the service and support I needed? These are the three things to be tracking, and whenever there is a problem in any of those areas, you must immediately assist that customer as quickly and effectively as you can.
Ready to kick-start e-commerce in China? Download this step-by-step tip sheet below to get started today.