How can foreign eCommerce sellers crack the Chinese market?

China accounts for 40% of eCommerce globally and Chinese consumers like to buy from international websites, but restrictive regulations and the dominance of domestic online retailers Alibaba and JD.com make it tough for foreign firms to have an impact. 

Daniil Silvestrov, Director of International Operations at Admitad, a network of advertising affiliate programs, offers some tips on how international merchants can better capture some of the Chinese market.

  1. Localisation is essential. Translate your website and make sure that the translation is accurate. Also, learn the cultural norms and holiday calendar to avoid overlooking major shopping days
  2. Establish reputational excellence. Retailers must convince consumers they’re trustworthy and reliable in order to gain a substantial online following.
  3. Cater to local preferences. Make sure your eCommerce site is mobile-optimised – 70% of online purchases in China are made on mobile phones.

“This crowded and rapidly growing market is always receptive to technologies that simplify routine processes associated with choosing goods and executing a purchase,” said Silvestrov. “This opens up the opportunity for the emergence and development of new players who will take into account all the local characteristics of Chinese buyers and the market itself.”