Taking your business to China might sound challenging to many entrepreneurs, but what are the most important differences to consider? Here to help you succeed is e-commerce expert of the Asian market, Magnus Omstedt, CEO and Founder of Tritanium Ventures.
This article is based on insights from Get Savvy’s episode with Magnus Omstedt. Get Savvy is Nordea’s business podcast, where we focus on one growth-related topic each week. This podcast is supported by Nordea Startup & Growth, Nordea Connect and Nordea Markets.
We want our listeners to get business savvy and street smart by learning from the masters. Experts in entrepreneurship, e-commerce, technology and social impact are invited to the podcast to share their stories and learnings.
China is the world’s largest online retail market, valued annually at €400 billion, more than 1.5 times the entire European market size. Today e-commerce accounts for 25% of China’s domestic retail market. But the question remains: Can you make it in e-commerce in China?
Magnus Omstedt, CEO and Founder of Tritanium Ventures shares his expertise to help you succeed. Magnus has an extensive background both living and working in China, helping companies enter the market and grow their e-commerce. Below you find his insights on why China’s online marketplace is here to stay and how your business can swim in the same pools.
Focus on human behaviour
First and foremost, do not forget that you are presenting your offering to people, who all have different purchase behaviours and customs. The same methodology applies when entering a new country or region. Chinese purchase behaviour is shaped by the accessibility of online consumption, says Omstedt.
The purchase process is also highly social, with individuals sharing their purchases with their friends and family via social networks before and after the purchase act itself. Consumption trends are set by trusted individuals within their field, called “opiniators.” These individuals are viewed as influencers who can encourage others to follow in their footsteps.
In China, it is all about the accessibility of online platforms and an omnichannel approach. Forget the need for a website, such as “brand.com.” In China, everyone has a smartphone with the pre-installed online shopping websites Taobao and Tmall and the payment system Alipay.
Don't be afraid to offer your products via external websites and platforms. Just make sure that you can control how your brand is shown.
Magnus Omstedt, CEO and Founder of Tritanium Ventures
3 tips for succeeding with e-commerce in China
Here are Magnus Omstedt’s best recommendations for how to succeed with your e-commerce in China.
Make it convenient
The Chinese consumer loves convenience and sees no need for jumping between different websites to fulfill their needs. They want to conduct all their purchases in one spot. Businesses should not be afraid to distribute their offerings via the existing shopping websites, Omstedt says. However, just ensure that your products are presented in line with your brand. One example of an external shopping website is TaoBao, which hosts the majority of China’s online purchases.
Localize but don’t let go of your USP
When entering a new market, it is important to do your research and adapt to the new domestic market’s customs and norms. However, if you localize your brand and offering too much, you might lose your unique selling point. Try to find the balance, and remember to stay true to your brand.
Know your target audience
Localization covers not only how your offerings are presented but also where your offerings are available. It’s a good idea to have a physical presence in China to keep up with the “China speed,” but remember that China is also more developed in terms of payment and delivery solutions than the West. So, the same consumer expectations will apply to your distribution process.
In China, shopping is considered a social act. To further enhance your potential sales volumes, find an appropriate operator to find out what the influencers like, why and also if they are willing to promote your brand.
To get more insights and tips, listen to the full episode here:
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