China’s online shoppers are showing the stamina of Ironmen. Less than three weeks after the Single’s Day frenzy, they were tapping and clicking up a storm for America’s Black Friday. Shopper’s Fatigue? Not the Chinese.
A recent Nielsen survey found 38% of shoppers in Tier 1 cities, and 27% in Tier 2 currently make cross border purchases online. This was confirmed on Single’s Day, when a third of all shoppers bought goods from an international brand or merchant. 88% of respondents are interested in buying from overseas next year according to Nielsen.
It’s hard for Chinese shoppers to miss America’s version for Single’s Day. Black Friday ads have been sprouting up across the major online platforms including QQ, Baidu, Taobao, Alipay and even Ctrip.
The #2015BlackFriday# hashtag on Weibo inspired 150,000 discussions and 450 million views by yesterday. Over 50,000 articles bombarded WeChat users covering deals and purchasing guides. In the week leading up to Black Friday, there were around 90,000 searches a day on Taobao for Black Friday, many looking for dàigòu – shopping agents, who could buy the discounted goods in the U.S.
Yet just having discounted goods is no sure way to attract Chinese shoppers. For a start, they need to be able to pay using the systems they like, such as Alipay. By far the fastest-growing Black Friday related search terms on Baidu were ‘Alipay Black Friday’ which grew 41,400% in the week and ‘Black Friday Alipay’ which grew 6,700%. Transactions through Alipay grew 700% on last year.
Cross border commerce is a great way to test if Chinese consumers want your goods before investing in a market entry. For example, boutique NY fashion house Otte opened a store in Shanghai after discovering China’s hearty appetite for their clothes, with over 50% of their export sales going to the Mainland. It’s a low-risk approach to test the market. As a starting point, contact China Skinny for a site audit to ensure your store and site are optimised to reach Chinese. Go to Page 2 to see this week’s China news and highlights.