Sell products to 1.3B consumers in China. Easy in theory, but… (1 of 3)

Hi, happy Friday! As this is my very first post, I want to briefly introduce myself.

My name is Jia Dong, co-founder of the Marcetable. We are a marketing agency and ecommerce platform that helps you develop brand awareness and sell directly to consumers in China.

Let me tell you the story of how Marcetable was started back in early 2015…
My co-founder, Alex Filler and I began seeing trends and hearing reports that Chinese consumers strongly desire overseas products. We learned that the equivalent of China’s “Black Friday” shopping day, China Singles’ Day (which happens every year on November 11) had hit a record high. We also read that “15% of Chinese tourist spend more than $1,000 a day” when travelling, CNBC reported (read full article here).

Alex and I wondered, “why are Chinese consumers spending so much money and time on shopping, especially when travelling”?

After some research, we now know the answer… Consumers in mainland China have extremely limited access to overseas products. There are many reasons, some examples: the Chinese Government’s effort in blocking overseas content, language barriers and product descriptions written in English, different payment processing systems, logistics and shipping challenges…

You might say, wait a minute! What about Alibaba (Tmall) and JD.com? Yes, they are huge marketplaces that are entering the so-called cross-border ecommerce business. However, Chinese consumers are still utilizing friends living and traveling abroad or other channels to purchase oversea products because:

1) over priced items – legitimate imported products listed on Tmall and JD.com are more expensive (30-40% in average).
2) counterfeit products – many of the so-called imported goods are fake and consumers discover this through learning that the products are shipped from a city within China (this happens a lot, click here to learn more).

As a result, marketplaces such as xiaohongshu.com and ymatou.com have become popular because they provide a platform where consumers in China can connect with Chinese people living overseas (buyers). These buyers spend their time hunting for on-sale products from well-known brands, e.g., LV, Chanel, and reselling them to Chinese consumers.

The second common channel is travel as mentioned. For example, Japan’s retail sales typically spike during Chinese New Years Holiday, when Chinese consumers have time off of work to travel.

I’ll stop here before it gets too long for Friday…

Next week, I will share more details about how you, an American business owner, can leverage this unique opportunity to grow your sales.

JD

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