There’s no shortage of research and analysis emphasising the pulling power that digital channels have over Chinese consumers. Most of these studies focus on ecommerce and social media, whereas good old-fashioned websites typically don’t get due credit.
PWC research earlier this year found that 85% of online Chinese consumers choose a digital channel as the first step in researching a new product, with brand websites cited as one of the main avenues when seeking information.
Yet with millions of websites vying for attention, sites should have more than just an excellent technical back-end and intuitive usability. They need content that Chinese consumers want. Localising a website isn’t just translating your Western site’s pages word for word, but understanding your Chinese target market’s needs, desires and concerns, and tailoring content to meet them.
To ensure your content is relevant, it’s best to consider how your site fits into the customer journey. China Skinny’s research has found the most common time Chinese consumers visit a brand website is in the early awareness and education stages, moving onto other channels such as online shopping or booking sites and physical stores when they are more familiar and comfortable with your brand. With that in mind, website content should have a strong focus on education, particularly for foreign brands that aren’t well known and in less familiar categories.
With 89% of online Chinese accessing the Internet through a mobile, it’s also imperative that your mobile content fits the context of where they are, and what type of information they are seeking when on a smartphone – those needs are often quite different than when they’re on a desktop.
In short, websites are a key touch point in the customer journey. A well considered and marketed site is one of the most cost-effective channels to build awareness, educate and increase purchase intent.
Speaking of websites, chinaskinny.com has had a refresh. Our new site tells our story better, with more information about us and our marketing, research and digital services. All the old favourites are there including previous Weekly Skinnys, infographs from WeChat to wine, and updated City-Nator population figures so you can check how your city stacks up against Chinese cities. Like everything we do, we’re always looking for ways to make it better, so please let us know your feedback – good or bad. Likewise, if China Skinny can assist to make your Chinese website and overall marketing more effective, contact us today. We hope you enjoy this week’s Skinny.
Sales Up Over The Holiday: Shanghai retail sales over the Golden Week holiday increased 10.3% from last year. Jewellery was up 31.6% and cosmetics grew 23.7%. Similarly, Beijing’s sales were up 6.2%. Travellers took 63 million train trips in the first six days of the holiday, 8.8% more than last year, with ticket revenue up 18.5%. Plane trips increased 10%.
Chinese Millennials Come Into Their Own: The 415 million-strong group of 80s and 90s-born consumers outnumber the working population of the U.S. and Europe. Their average income is expected to more than double in the next decade to $13,000, with spending power growing from $2.4 trillion to $5 trillion according to Goldman Sachs. 68 million Chinese born in the 90s and 39 million in the 80s have university degrees, versus just 8 million of those born in the 70s. 95 million were born in cities, but 245 million now live in urban areas.
Buzzwords: Chinese Families: Family forms the foundation of China’s society and is therefore a great place to understand Chinese consumers.
Children of the Yuan Percent: Everyone Hates China’s Rich Kids: China’s second-generation rich kids, the fuerdai, are the most loathed group in the country. They’re also its future. Family businesses account for 85% of non-state-owned enterprises, but 82% of second-generation heirs aren’t willing to take over their family business.
The Value of WeChat Official Accounts: There were 330 million monthly WeChat users in China in Dec 2014, accessing the app 7.8 times and spending a total of 18 minutes a day on average according to iResearch. 126 million Weibo app users used the app 1.8 times and spent 4.2 minutes a day.
Xiaomi Under Investigation for Misleading Advertising: Xiaomi’s use of adjectives such as ‘the best’ and ‘the most advanced’ has seen it become the first company to be investigated since advertising laws banning superlatives were introduced last month.