Are you missing out on the Chinese market opportunity?
This past weekend saw one of the largest gatherings of Chinese consumers in Australia at the MCEC in Melbourne – also known as the retail hub of the country. Two of our Retail Learning leaders went along to check out what is was all about and learn about the influence of the Chinese consumer on our own Australian shores.
In case you’ve been under a rock, or missed the new focus for a lot of Australian retailers, we’ve summarised the key things you need to know about this unique market of golden opportunity.There’s 35 million posts on social media every 60 seconds on China – 7 times the population of Melbourne alone – imagine the opportunities if you were mentioned in these 35 million posts?
#1 WHY THE CHINESE CONSUMER?
If you’ve missed it – China is home to the largest population base in the world. With almost 1.4 billion people, this is a market you can’t afford not to tap in to. China represents $750 billion US in global trade per year and by 2020, half of all Chinese online shoppers will have purchased from cross-border eCommerce. These are more than just amazing statistics – this is an opportunity to grow your brand to a fast-paced consumer market and if you do it right, achieve global success with a Chinese fan base.
#2 WHY NOW?
Technology is changing the face of retail in China, which is no secret. Magic mirrors and Hema stores are rapidly changing the relationship with retailers from one-way to two-way. Along with this is a growing middle class, with now 300 million middle class in China. Chinese consumers want to buy Australian goods, you just need to make sure you’re visible in an increasingly growing marketplace.
#3 WHAT ARE THEY BUYING?
Chinese love Australian goods – which is why Daigou shoppers (shoppers based in Australia who purchase products and send them straight back to China) are becoming so popular. Chinese consumers love Australian wine, beef and milk. There is a massive trend in health and wellness – activewear companies like 2XU and Lorna Jane are doing particularly well with this market. Health products such as Swisse and My Chemist Warehouse are also great examples of companies maximising the Chinese opportunity.
#4 HOW ARE THEY GETTING THEIR GOODS?
This is where technology comes in! Being an Alibaba expo, it’s clear to see the impact that Alibaba and other market places have on opening up opportunities in the Chinese market. Platforms like Weibo mean that Chinese consumers can buy products based on recommendations from KOLs (key opinion leaders) and their friends in an instant. WeChat, being the dominant platform, is also important to get a grasp on to enter the Chinese market.
#5 DO I HAVE TO GO TO CHINA TO REACH THIS MARKET?
Long story short, no you don’t! As evidenced by the packed expo of Chinese consumers buying a huge variety of goods from dog treats through to vitamins and bubble tea, you can utilise the Chinese market here in Australia to build your brand. There are 120 million trips made by Chinese people annually and almost 1.4 million visitors came to Australia from mainland China last year alone. 2.5% of Australians speak Mandarin, which represents 62,000 in this captivated market. Understanding how to tap into this market can boost your sales without having to leave the country.
#6 WHAT DO I DO NOW?
The one thing you can’t do is expect to reach the Chinese consumer with the same strategy you’re using to reach Australians. Even if you don’t want to go into the mainland direct with your product, do your homework; download WeChat, utilise online payment methods, partner with some Chinese KOLs and get to know your consumer!
For inspiration on how to get it right with your China retail strategy, head along to New Retail ‘19 next February to get the inside secrets from retailers who’ve cracked the market and leaders to help you find the next best opportunity for your business.