Do you know How to Sell to China anything? Not yet? OK, did you know that the market in China is just as huge as its potential? No matter what you are selling, selling online to the Chinese market should definitely be on your radar. The country leads the world in smartphone, beer, grocery, art and antique purchases. China is rapidly developing new spending habits, and discretionary purchases are being made everyday by the Chinese, and you want to make sure that your business is in the position to offer some of the products this market is purchasing.  

eCommerce is a multi-hundred-billion dollar business in China alone. With more than 485 million internet users in the country, 193 million online shoppers and over 20,000 eCommerce sites, this is no surprise. It is also worth mentioning that the government is investing in increasing online trading. Another factor that drives the enormous potential of China’s market is their love of western products. They are willing to pay considerably more for western products and brands they feel can be trusted to be authentic–or not bearing the label, “Made in China”.

Know How to Sell to China:

Although it can take years to start to turn a profit in China, it doesn’t have to when you are well prepared and have the right tools, information and services to help guide you. Because China has the largest population in the world and is extremely diverse, the payoff will be big when you master how to sell to China’s market. Most of Chinese consumers are looking for the highest quality for the lowest cost. After all, who doesn’t love a good deal?

The affluent middle class comprises a sizeable chunk of China’s online consumer base because the majority of this population lives where there are very little brick and mortar stores that are carrying the foreign merchandise and brands they would like to purchase, so they turn to online retailers. This is why it is essential that you create a strong business strategy and align your business with the right partners that will help increase your chances of succeeding in China. Building strong networks, outsourcing wisely and responsibly and partnering with well-established existing entities will also help you.


China’s market has some unique expectations and characteristics. You will want to be familiar with Chinese consumer behaviour, just as you would with any other market. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about breaking into the Chinese online marketplace.

  • Have a strong social media presence. Most of China’s shoppers share their online finds across various social media platforms.
  • Offer fast and easy shipping. Consider using online payment platforms that are popular with online retailers, as well as a cash on delivery (COD) option. Remember that China is still largely a cash based economic system, and that many consumers are not comfortable paying for something they have yet to receive.
  • Have a well designed official website for your business or products. Make sure that your site is designed with Chinese aesthetics and tastes in mind. This may involve altering your logo, colours or fonts. Official websites are beginning to carry more weight than TV or radio commercials as well as print advertising, whether it be magazine, newspaper or billboard.
  • Provide your customers with after purchase product support and a guarantee. Chinese consumers are more likely to buy your products when they know that they will be able to handle any problems should they arise once they have received the product or service. Buyers do a lot of comparison shopping, so it would benefit you to do whatever you can to make your product more attractive.

Know What to Sell in China:

Since Confucianism and Chinese culture are woven together, it is important that you take the time to learn about both. Understanding China’s history and how Confucianism impacts the way business is conducted and how it impacts consumer purchases and interests. For instance, social status is very important. Many of China’s consumers are willing to pay top dollar for items that reflect social standing. Some of these items include jewellery, cars, clothes and mobile devices. You will also want to become familiar with guanxi. Grasping cultural aspects such as this can help you better determine what products or services to offer online. Hone in on your target audience and offer products or services that they will want to buy.

Both China’s wealthy and affluent middle class is where you will most likely want to focus your efforts. Particularly the affluent middle class that is growing quickly. One of the main concerns of these two groups is the welfare and safety of their children. With recent hazardous materials being found in toys and formula, they are not only willing to, but would rather pay more for products they know can be trusted to be safe for their households and children. This is particularly exaggerated due to the limiting of one child per family. These consumers have no problem indulging their children, and tend to have more money to put into their well being and entertainment because there is only one child per household. China’s wealthy upper class is more interested in luxury items and brands. And with substandard counterfeit products running rampant in the country, they are actively seeking authentic western brands and products.

Although MerchMiner helps to expedite the process of getting your products into the online marketplace by providing you with consumer information and analytics, you will need to follow the appropriate protocol for exporting to China. Find out about Australian Government Initiatives for potential business owners on the Export Finance Navigation  website. For Australian export and import laws click here. For the  prohibited and restricted exports click here.

Don’t make a costly mistake that may jeopardise your selling online in China in the future.

For more information on how MerchMiner fits into your business strategy and how to be successful selling services or products to China, click here.