By Bo Wu | February 16, 2017

How is trust gained before buying a product online in China?

Have I heard about this brand or company before? 

Do my family and network know it and recommend it?

Can I trust the products enough to buy?

Fakes and poor quality

Scared of overwhelming fakes with poor qualities on the online market places, for a Chinese consumer, it is important to feel they are buying original and authentic products with good price, positive reputation and practical usage that’s worth their money. Therefore, certificates and detailed product information, recommendation by network like friends and family or Key Opinion Leaders from social media, and not to mention encouraging deals with discount, are all vital factors to build trust and boost sales.

Trust-building in China

Trust-building in China may not be easy (nor cheap), therefore it seems like big famous international brands have more advantages now. But for unknown or less known foreign brands that exist on Chinese ecommerce platforms, here are some concrete tips to start with:

  • Create correct copywriting in Chinese about your brand and products, that well describes the products’ origin, unique selling points, quality assurance, etc.
  • Include lots of attractive product images or videos that show clearly the usage of the products – remember the consumers only get to see your best products online!
  • Train the Customer Service to understand your brand and products, while Chinese consumers do contact them via instant messaging system (like Aliwangwang on Alibaba’s platforms) before buying. The provided information and good service attitude can both gain consumers’ trust and build good brand reputation. Customer Service’s right response on customer reviews would also make a difference.

Events drive sales

While trust is build and value is created, the sales is then boosted while Chinese consumers feel they have a good bargain and great deal. Online events with discounted campaigns drive 90% of the sales, while the Alibaba-created-event “Singles’ Day” (or Double 11 – November 11) has broken the world record of online shopping. There are 20+ other online events which drives online sales in different type, focus and categories, and is essential to include in marketing planning. Some of these events on Alibaba platforms are e.g.:

  • Spring Festival (Chinese New Year): the biggest family event (somewhat like Christmas in the West), where it is custom to give presents or food gift boxes to relatives and friends. It is important to know that main shopping happens 2-3 weeks before the national holiday starts. It is therefore important to plan your marketing campaigns in due time before the holidays, as most Chinese people travel back to their families for the holidays.
  • Mid-year Sale in June: A week of promotional prices on all products as Tmall mid-year sale
  • Qixi Festival (normally in August): Chinese Valentine’s Day. Couples generously spend on each other; Chocolate, jewelry, and flowers are popular gifts.

Nordic Web Shop

The last couple of months our Nordic Multibrand Store on TMall Global representing Nordic brands have focused on the following events within the Food & Health category:

  • Spring Festival: Campaign during 13-31 January. Consumers can get coupons and be given a small gift with every purchase.
  • Valentine’s Day: Promotion on chocolate during 5-14 February with coupons.
Contact me for details
Bo Wu
Brand Manager
+45 53 68 60 69