China is the fastest growing consumer market in the world with about 7.7% estimated growth rate for the next ten years, this surely have humongous potential. Lest we forget that China has about 1.4 billion population with a growing number of young people holding the buying power. Most companies realise this and they are busy entering the market or planning to.
Though one would want to know and understand that Chinese markets are different and as such needs to be treated differently. The most important basic things is to study the differences in customs, practices and cultures for if you avert these, you could be investing in fruitless business. Chinese people hold on (and rightfully so) to their cultures and that is why you want to play to their cultures. For example, if you sell cooked-food products, incorporate some noodles and Chinese rice and one or two portions of their vegetables.
Some tips you can use in targeting the Chinese markets:
WeChat: yes, WeChat is like “Chinese Facebook” or WhatsApp & Twitter. You need to understand how this social media works and how you can utilise it to get more business.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Unlike in South Africa, Chinese people are technologically advanced and their purchasing power is influenced by online advertising (this includes online mobile). And they buy from the internet – it’s common to them. You can do the simplest thing by knowing and searching on the internet the keywords most Chinese people search for. That should give you an idea already.
Create a Chinese name for your product: If you have a South African/Western name for your product or service, you can always find out what is the name in Chinese language and localise it or create sub-name in Chinese.
Chinese Website: Create a website and convert it into Chinese for it to be easy to search and use by Chinese buyers.
Target the young ones: Many businesses enter the markets in China and they fail dismally, mainly because they assumed if the product did so well elsewhere, so will the Chinese buy. Unfortunately the old still hold dear to their culture and the attitude of how they have been raised still play a major role in attracting the right customers. Young people on the other are more relaxed about the cultures & traditions and willing to explore.
Target Regions: Like in South Africa, different regions and cities hold different cultures and values. The attitude and spending habits and overall behaviour towards new products are different from city-to-city. Get to know what the cities want in order to sell successfully. For more information of cause, you can attend this year’s China Trader Expo. It’s happening 09-12 Novembers 2016.