Why Aussie Companies Need to Know Social To Nail eCommerce in Asia

Why Aussie Companies Need to Know Social To Nail eCommerce in Asia
SHARE
THIS



Mathew McDougall from digital marketing agency Digital Jungle looks at the differences of eCommerce between here and Asia.

We all know about E-commerce. It’s the business of buying and/or selling products and services online. Whether you’re talking B2C, B2B or C2C, giving it a crack in a foreign market will always be different from one to the other because each one has its own specific culture and characteristics.

The main difference between the Chinese market and the Western market is social media. Many Western companies failed in trying to enter China, including household names such as Groupon or eBay. This was due to a lack of knowledge regarding China’s social media landscape.  The digital landscape in China is different in terms of social media, search engine and laws. Therefore, brands cannot expect consumers to behave the same way as the ones in the West. These consequences are usually unexpected by brands and prevent them from breaking into the Chinese market. In short, launching an e-commerce platform in the country requires a great deal of knowledge of the market.

When launching a company anywhere understanding the competition is paramount. China’s e-commerce market is dominated by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd [IPO-BABA.N]. The company owns; Taobao, China’s eBay doppelganger; Tmall, another B2C platform for sophisticated brands and finally; Juhuasuan, a third platform for group buying.

According to CNNIC’s internet development statistics report, the Internet users population increased by 2.3% from 618million, in 2013, to 632 million, in June 2014. The penetration of Internet users is less than half of the population but this still represents a significant number of potential consumers. This is why China is expected to be the number one online market by 2015 despite the average netizen spending only 25 hours on the Internet every week. This could be considered as a weak amount of hours compared to Western consumers. Nevertheless, the huge population offers ample opportunity for online campaigns to reach an important target group.

Understanding the local social media landscape is another hurdle.  As you may know, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google and even Snapchat are not allowed in China. Sina Weibo and WeChat are the most popular platforms in China but there is much more to it than that. Chinese social media is much more complex and fragmented than you may realize. Thus, it is important to know who exactly you are targeting, understand their unique online behaviors and what platforms they favor. Without underestimating this important point let us now examine the ecommerce trends in the Chinese market.

According to a study from We-Are-Social in 2014, 81% of Chinese Netizens (Internet users) access the Internet via mobile device. That’s 511.920 million Chinese consumers going online via mobile. The increase of Internet users came from the connections via mobile devices in 2013. In fact, according to Reuters. the number of mobile shoppers increased 42% between December and June. 2013 Spending a lot of their time on smartphones, Chinese consumers are used to purchasing online. According to Robert Wang (Business Consulting manager), Chinese costumers would like to do their online shopping during working hours. What is interesting and different from the West is that costumers can actually contact sellers via online chat to resolve pre-sale and post-sale problems rather than use call center services.

Debit card and cash on delivery are the dominant payments methods for online purchases on platforms such as Taobao. In addition, some Chinese consumers use the Alipay (Alibaba Group) app to pay for everything. By everything I mean taxi rides, electricity/water bills, rent and even sending money to friends. Alipay is the current leader in China in terms of online payment business as Paypal is not popular in the country.

In an attempt to compete with Alipay, WeChat has recently partnered with a Taxi app providing an online payment tab via the app. WeChat has an impressive 355 millions active users across the world and provides the opportunity to communicate and pay via the same platform. This is its unique selling point. Just like its competitor Alipay, WeChat can be used to book a flight, a taxi, transfer money (locally or internationally), pay bills, buy in-store or on delivery.

Website design is also a factor to take into account. An e-commerce platform should utilize colors and layouts that have been adapted to Chinese consumers. East Asian websites are more inclined to use bright/primary colors such as red, blue, green and yellow. Oppositely, Westerners appreciate clean and understated content. Unsurprisingly, Chinese netizens will stay longer and be more likely to make a purchase on a platform that is easy to navigate. Despite the obviousness of this statement, the web design process is more complicated than you might think. Chinese websites tolerate or even appreciate invasive advertising such as web banners and pop-ups. In comparison, Westerners will avid sites with heavy advertising.

More important than the price factor when making a purchasing decision, is the brand reputation. Thus, when developing an ecommerce strategy keep in mind that a Chinese consumer is more inclined to purchase from a brand if they have heard about it before through advertising either a campaign or from their friends, family or fellow netizens.

As you might expect, when doing eCommerce in China there is an incredible number of potential consumers, owing to the staggering number of Internet and smartphone users. On the other hand, what you might not expect when doing eCommerce in China is the complexity of factors that are fundamentally different from the West. In addition, the behavior of online consumers differs between China and the West. Chinese consumers expect a different kind of content and are use to receiving information in a certain way. Chinese consumers are very comfortable purchasing goods online, either through apps or websites. Knowing how successful the eCommerce market is in China means this might be the perfect time for your brand to expand in to the Chinese market.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Kellogg’s Creates AR Halloween Trick Or Treat Experience Via Shazam & Orchard

Breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s has joined forces with Shazam and digital agency Orchard to deliver a first-of-its-kind augmented reality (AR) Halloween Trick or Treat experience for families. The campaign, which leverages Shazam’s visual recognition platform and recently-launched AR platform, sees Kellogg’s pilot the replacement of physical gifts in cereal packs with a digital experience that […]

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency
  • Advertising

Kraft Heinz Appoints Cummins&Partners As New Creative Agency

Kraft Heinz today confirmed the appointment of Cummins&Partners as its new Creative agency after an extensive pitch process. They will be responsible for brand strategy and integrated creative across the expanding Kraft Heinz portfolio including Kraft, Heinz and Golden Circle. A Kraft Heinz spokesperson said: “After an exhaustive search involving a competitive pitch, we have made […]

Patrick Delany (CEO, Fox Sports), Hugh Marks (CEO, Nine Entertainment Co), Miranda Devine (Columnist, News Corp), Michael Miller (Executive Chairman, News Corp Australasia), Grant Blackley (CEO & Managing Director, Southern Cross Austereo) at Radio Alive 2017
  • Media

Media Bosses Weigh In On Ten-CBS Deal

Do you enjoy articles featuring industry big-wigs? Well, it doesn't come much bigger and wiggier than this, we say.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Kantar TNS’ Ali Dexter Joins T Garage As Director Of Insights & Strategy
  • Marketing

Kantar TNS’ Ali Dexter Joins T Garage As Director Of Insights & Strategy

Melbourne-based market research consulting agency T Garage has announced the appointment of Ali Dexter as its director of insights and strategy. Dexter joins T Garage from Kantar TNS, where she was the director of its Qualitative division. Prior to that, Dexter held a number of senior roles at Kantar TNS in the US and Vietnam.  “After […]

XXXX on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Jeff Bottari/AP Images for Adobe)
  • Advertising

Adobe Releases Advertising Cloud App

Not one, but two Adobe announcements. The tech elves have been busy this week, not that we're inferring Adobe is Santa.

Facebook Updates Its VR Offering
  • Technology

Facebook Updates Its VR Offering

Do you loathe Facebook for nicking all the ad cash? Well, why not scream "A pox upon you Zuckerberg" while reading this.

InterContinental Perth City Centre Chooses Bonfire To Build Digital Strategy
  • Marketing

InterContinental Perth City Centre Chooses Bonfire To Build Digital Strategy

Luxury hotel InterContinental Perth City Centre is officially set to open this Sunday, and has already taken strides towards developing a comprehensive online search strategy with digital agency Bonfire. The investment reinforces the desire of the hotel to promote its luxury business facilities, which include corporate and bespoke event spaces designed for local, national and […]

Datalabs Announces New Hire And Promotion
  • Marketing

Datalabs Announces New Hire And Promotion

Aussie data visualisation and content marketing analytics agency Datalabs has announced the appointment of Marc de Chellis to run its business development, as well as the promotion of Cass Lilley to accounts and project manager. De Chellis (pictured above, second from the left) joins Datalabs from Launchpad App Development, where he held the role of […]

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Advertising

Inskin Grows Sydney Team With New Designer

Digital advertising provider Inskin, continues to expand its Sydney team, hiring Marc Gundesen as a junior digital designer. Gundesen (pictured above) brings a breadth of skills in web design, animation and account management, and will report to Inskin’s lead designer, Jay McCalla. He joins Inskin from Budgy Smuggler, where he worked as a graphic designer, […]

Agent99 PR Signs Finance Industry Thought Leader Vanessa Stoykov For TV Show Launch
  • Marketing

Agent99 PR Signs Finance Industry Thought Leader Vanessa Stoykov For TV Show Launch

Independent communications agency Agent99 Public Relations has welcomed respected founder of No More Practice Education and founder and CEO of Evolution Media Group, Vanessa Stoykov, to its client stable. Agent99 will be supporting the launch of her Learn from the Money Masters – The Investment Series show on Channel Nine. Stoykov has over two decades […]

Susie Porter & Jacki Weaver Lend Support To Young Filmmaker In Crowdfunding Campaign
  • Media

Susie Porter & Jacki Weaver Lend Support To Young Filmmaker In Crowdfunding Campaign

A new crowdfunded short film is shining the light on barriers for women filmmakers, thanks in part to Aussie actresses Susi Porter and Jackie Weaver. Starring Porter, Beverly explores a bizarre love triangle in middle-class suburbia. It is an unflinching coming-of-age comic drama exploring sexual awakening in the era of technology, and the universal yearning […]