Retail competitions have been very keen these days. Least to say, starting a retail business could be more challenging for designers and new brand owners. If you are looking at expanding into China, here are some tips that might save you cost and time. Be ready to find lots of dos and don’ts in this blog…. bare with me
1) Be different
There are so many brands entering China market daily, which is the one that will capture the audience? It is usually the one, which is different and brings in a refreshing look or idea.
Take a good look at your own brand. What you find common might be treasure to your target market. Look deep.
2) Hire local promoters
It is a natural course to begin China expansion through your China counterpart. However, besides language and culture support, you still need to seek professional help. Don’t totally rely on them.
Local service providers help to promote your brands and set up the entire operation when you do not want to do it internally. You need not reinvent the wheel.
Don’t leave your brand development totally to your agent or exporters without providing any real marketing support unless you just want to remain on trading ground and not developing your brand.
3) Brand name
Since most Chinese consumers are not comfortable with foreign language, have your brand name properly translated that they could say the name easily.
Don’t forget to register your trademark/brand. Believe me, it will avoid lots of painful legal issues in future. You don’t want to give away your hard work overnight.
Ensure you have your website set up and you can be found. Buyers and distributors will first go online to check your brand out (almost immediately). It would be a disadvantage to you if you cannot be found online. SEO and search marketing will help your website receive higher exposure. It pays off in the long run.
Your website needs not be too decorative but should define clearly your brand and show off your product in a professional level. Don’t play down on your retail outlets, do show pictures of your shop front. Picture is worth a thousand words. Use them!
5) Pricing strategy
There is a magical price range for every product sells online.
Discount carries a heavy weight for online retail products. Both high end and low pricing products could benefit from such activities.
Price comparison always works well especially for merchandize with retail points. Customers already have the feel and touch advantages, they could easily be drawn into a buying mood if discount is good.
6) Logistic and Storage
Storing your goods in China is logical but complicated to exercise especially for branded products. Besides storage, you need to consider delivery cost, importation paperwork and taxation.
It is perhaps wise to consider using an e-Shop courier to handle delivery and storage and work from Hong Kong. Taking advantage of Hong Kong proximity and being a tax free zone, delivery would be faster compare to sending goods from overseas and enjoy an easy taxation system.
The most crucial part of your business is to receive orders and payment. Many Chinese consumers are uncomfortable paying through foreign credit card or PayPal. Some of the foreign e-Shops are facing such issues (my earlier blog explained that).
Have an agent or service provider to settle the payment on your behalf might be the quickest solution.
Entering into China marketing is like any other part of the world, but the process could be different due to policy and common practice. Make the first move and things will fall into places as you seek.
Share with us your retail success, tips or questions.
Sarah MM, Founder and Director of Red Line – China Retail Help