Most brands have probably experienced on a fair, exhibition or at another venue to be contacted by an eager Chinese distributor or agent wanting to sell your products in China. In most cases it seems like a good idea and a great opportunity for a foreign retailer, but there are quite a few things to bear in mind before starting sales in China.
Going to China as a lone wolf can be quite challenging even if the collaborator looks reliable but at the end of the day they are often thinking different than we. Brands may get lost in this foreign forest if they don’t have someone with solid experience to help.
Find a partner
Before starting off your China adventure you need to enter a collaboration with a partner that has in-depth knowledge on driving sales and marketing in China. If you are smart think your China adventure as a long-term project and ensure that your partner has an A-Z solution for China market, from digital marketing to selling online to offline trade.
Having a partner is going to increase ROI because the partner can help to manage and control pricing both online and offline, with a good overview on different channels in order to create better strategy for the whole development going forward. Same as online channels, each offline channel will need to be assisted, to provide access for better marketing, displaying, and reports with feedback analyzed.
Marketing / Sales
A partner can help to maximize opportunity online, if an offline platform has or will have their online store, they can build up integration system to link both sides. It will be easier for the brand to manage the sales via one route. Another thing is to have a proper after-sales service to help to follow up on both online and offline platforms in order to better assist partners whilst collecting information from all channels, again, via one route you just have everything together.
The marketing team can deliver bespoke solutions for both online and offline market, and because of the binding contracts they have with multiple marketplaces they are able to make sure to protect your business and your brand. e.g. no channel breaks the price rule even if a platform wants to “get rid of” stock.
Offline / Online
Overrating offline than online isn’t ideal for development in a brand-new territory, you may think offline will increase awareness, however exploring offline whilst strengthening online (cross-border trade) market is a better solution. Safer, Faster, Easier.
Logistics / IT
To find the suitable logistic solution can be significantly difficult. A partner can optimize logistics and timely find the right logistic solution weather it is direct mail or bonded warehouse. At the same time, they can take care of issues such as offline/online store run, out of certain SKUs or have some SKUs broken etc.