4 ways Australian businesses can make the most of Chinese New Year

With China’s online retail sales predicted to soon reach $1 trillion and a Chinese online population of more than 750 million, Chinese New Year presents a huge opportunity for Australian businesses.

Chinese New Year can act as a good testing opportunity for your business ahead of China’s biggest global e-commerce event, Singles’ Day on November 11. By using Chinese New Year as a trial event, your business can gauge which products appeal most to the Chinese market, how to best reach your target consumers, and apply any lessons learnt to your Singles’ Day strategy.

From a marketing perspective, each market has specific cultural differences in terms of motivation, and it is important for Australian businesses to carefully consider and adapt their marketing to speak to the demands of overseas markets. For Chinese consumers, the main driver for purchasing goods from international sellers is quality. Australian businesses are highly regarded for quality in the eyes of Chinese consumers when it comes to products made from natural materials.

To make the most of the Chinese New Year season, here are four key points your business should consider:

  1. Clothing is the top seller

Chinese New Year falls within the spring season in China and signifies a fresh, new start. Traditionally, the New Year has been celebrated with the ritual of purchasing new clothes for the year, and today this tradition continues strong.

Fashion is the second most popular product (following beauty and cosmetics) purchased by Chinese consumers from overseas businesses, according to a recent report released by DHL. Many global fashion labels release special Chinese New Year themed clothing lines for the season, and clothing that features the colour red and spring season themes sell best.

  1. Consumers expect a sophisticated e-commerce experience

China has a highly developed and widespread mobile economy. The vast majority of local and overseas Chinese businesses conduct transactions via e-commerce platforms, and it is crucial for an Australian business to offer a familiar and convenient purchasing process to appeal to Chinese consumers.

Consider offering Chinese consumers a translated version of the website or even a locally adapted landing page. The best localised landing pages feature a tailored product assortment, a welcome message that promotes international shipping options, and multiple popular payment options in the target market.

  1. Provide international payment options to capture more consumers

Offering Chinese consumers with familiar payment options can increase the chance of them clicking the ‘order’ button at the checkout.

Registering your business with Chinese payment options such as UnionPay, Alipay and WeChat Pay will create an easier purchasing process for the consumer and in turn, encourage them to return to your website for future purchases.

To make international payments easier for your business, consider selling directly from third-party platforms popular in China such as JD.com or Alibaba’s T-mall or Taobao.

  1. Plan ahead for the Chinese New Year shutdown period

In 2018, the first day of Chinese New Year will fall on Friday, 16 February.

While the Chinese New Year public holiday runs from Thursday, 15 February to Wednesday, 21 February, factories and businesses in China will often close for three weeks around this period.

For Australian businesses, this shutdown period has the potential to significantly impact supply chain should preparations not be made in advance. Be sure to contact any suppliers located in China to confirm dates for final orders before the shutdown. A lack of foresight in this area could leave a business with unfulfilled orders and frustrated consumers.

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