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Why Your Business Should Be Trading In China

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A population of 1.4 billion. 650 million internet users. An e-commerce market with a value of almost 2 trillion dollars. Numbers like these should be enough to whet the appetite of any business with international ambitions. Below we take a look at the nuances of selling in the world’s largest e-commerce market, the shifting attitudes of Chinese consumers and why you need to be selling there now.

 

The Only Way Is Up

Over the past decade economic growth in China has been almost unprecedented, and whilst an inevitable slow-down might have kicked in over the past two years, China still made the top 10 for countries with the greatest economic growth in 2016, with GDP increasing by 6.5%. With rising wages and an emerging middle class, China’s 322 million online consumers are becoming increasingly affluent, with urban customers’ disposable income set to double from the previous decade by 2020. Couple this with how e-commerce sales in the country are also predicted to double between 2017 and 2020, and it’s clear that China’s online market presents plenty of lucrative opportunities for foreign companies.

 

Crossing Borders

With China’s cross-border e-commerce totalling an estimated 40 billion dollars in 2015 and such figures growing upwards of 50% annually, Chinese consumers are more likely to look to international markets for their online purchases than you might think. Reasons vary from beating lengthy domestic product launch schedules to avoiding the counterfeit versions of international goods that are offered closer to home,  but one thing’s for sure, cross-border purchases are here to stay, with more than a quarter of the population projected to shop digitally for foreign products by 2020.

 

The Importance Of Face

The importance of ‘Face’ is a key concept in China, with Chinese consumers happy to pay a premium for the pride, prestige and social status that comes with purchasing Western brands. Chinese consumers generally favour foreign brands, and such is the relationship between quality-conscious Chinese shoppers and the companies that court them that some Chinese businesses have been known to deliberately take root in foreign countries in order to gain acceptance back home.

 

A Cautiously Connected Country

Thanks in part to its accelerated growth over the past decade, China’s approach to e-commerce has been a lot more forthcoming than countries familiar with decades of luxurious high-street shopping. What’s more, with 520 million smartphone users, China’s mobile sales have already surpassed those made on conventional computers, with this expected to grow to over 61% by 2018.

But despite this proactive approach to e-commerce, China can seem like a walking contradiction when it comes to other areas of the internet.  With Google heavily censored and 70% of online searches made through home-grown search engine Baidu, reaching an online audience can be difficult, with inaccurate product translations lacking sufficient detail also known to seriously turn Chinese consumers off.

 

Interested?

Here at Pertemba we can sell, ship and deliver your products direct to consumers in China, with customer service and translations handled by dedicated in-house staff. Want to learn more? Drop us an email at hello@pertembaglobal.com

The changing behaviour of Japanese consumers

 

The behaviour of Japanese consumers is changing. Once reluctant to use online shopping, Japan now has a well-developed ecommerce infrastructure. This shift means that the behaviour of Japanese consumers is becoming more like the behaviour of European and US consumers i.e. searching for better value and shopping more often online. Despite becoming more ‘westernised’, it is interesting to observe how the behaviour of online Japanese consumers differs in some ways to other consumers. You will also find out how Pertemba handles these differences.

 

Marketplace

Amazon Japan is a popular marketplace for online Japanese consumers. Pertemba will list your products on Amazon Japan, which is a much more effective way of reaching your audience than setting up your own online shop. You can reach a much larger audience through 3rd party marketplaces, and you will not have to deal with the costs of attracting customers to an unknown site.

 

We have our own in-house native translators, which is important for listing products on the marketplace. Japanese customers will be deterred by online translating as it is not always accurate. Products translated online can be difficult to read and not make sense. Therefore our in-house translators translate the products you want to list on Amazon Japan so that you can reach a wider audience.

 

Customer Loyalty

Loyalty is valued in Japanese culture, meaning that customer loyalty is very important in Japan. Japanese consumers are on the lookout for promotions and deals. On Amazon Japan we offer a points system on the products we list, which encourages Japanese customer loyalty.

 

Shipping and Returns

At Pertemba we have the logistical infrastructure to ship products to Japan in a timely manner suited to the Japanese consumer. Japan is an appealing market for retailers because returns are much lower than other export markets, such as Germany. Part of this is due to the country’s culture. Some Japanese sites do not even have a returns policy. However, at Pertemba we handle the hassle and costs of returns for Japan and countries all over the world.

 

Quality

Consumers in Japan are said to the most demanding for quality. The Japanese make their decision to purchase a product based on the information, delivery, packaging and customer service during the sales process and for any after-sales enquiries. Japanese consumers can be assured of a quality service with Pertemba, as we have our own native in-house speakers. This means Japanese customers can contact our team with any queries in their native language, rather than having to communicate in English.

 

If you are interested in selling in Japan, then why not contact Pertemba to find out how we can help.

The Top 5 Essential Amazon Alternatives You May Never Have Heard Of

They say there’s more to life than work, and when it comes to e-commerce there’s certainly more than simply selling on Amazon. Take a look below at the top 5 alternate online retail outlets that you should be selling on today.

1.) La Redoute (France)

As you may have guessed from the name, La Redoute is France’s premier Amazon alternative. Founded in 1837, the company is the top-ranked online destination for apparel and home decor in France, with its website servicing 7 million unique visitors each month. With an emphasis on quality and fashion, La Redoute has partnered with style icons including Karl Lagerfeld and Naomi Campbell, and with the company recently opening up to 3rd party sellers, listing your products here lets you rub shoulders with fashion powerhouses such as Christian Lacroix and Jean-Paul Gaultier.

2.) Cdiscount (France)

Fashion not your thing? If your brand has a stronger focus on homeware, gifts or electronics, Cdiscount makes for another excellent French Amazon alternative. With 900,000 unique visitors per day and 1.7 billion euros of turnover in 2015, Cdiscount was the country’s first online retailer, and still easily leads the pack as France’s biggest e-commerce outlet today.

3.) Privalia (Spain)

With its roots in Barcelona, Spanish e-commerce outlet Privalia has branched out its operations to Italy, Brazil and Mexico, growing to hold the leading market share in each of these markets. With 24 million registered users worldwide, listing through Privalia puts your products in front of an expansive and deal-hungry audience, and with 60% of their sales being driven by mobile channels, Privalia is at the forefront of modern shopping on the go.

4.) Allegro (Poland)

Whilst Amazon and EBay can get you far in the UK and America, relying on these established American stalwarts in Poland will offer diminishing returns. With 14 million customers and 98% consumer brand awareness, Allegro is easily the leading online Polish marketplace, with EBay struggling to gain a foothold in the country and Amazon avoiding competition altogether. As Europe’s fifth most visited online marketplace and with Poland’s online sales growing faster per annum than both the US and UK, Allegro provides access to a thriving European audience.

5.) Trade Me (New Zealand)

Trade Me’s company slogan proudly proclaims it as ‘Where Kiwis Buy and Sell Online’, and as the leading online marketplace in New Zealand, it’s hard to disagree. Whilst the comparisons are inevitable, Trade Me works out the kinks that EBay naysayers rail against, namely dropping listing fees and cutting out PayPal and its commission altogether. Listing through Trade Me opens your products up to 4 million active members in a country with a population just shy of 4.7 million, making it a lucrative opportunity to reach a richly-concentrated domestic audience.

Here at Pertemba we sell through all these channels and more, with our reach only continuing to grow. Looking for an easy and hassle-free way to tap into these marketplaces? Get in touch to find out what we can do for you.

5 key differences between UK and German ecommerce customers

  1. Payments. German customers much prefer online payments such as Paypal and Sofort, as well as invoices to be paid on delivery. The German consumer is more security conscious as a rule and less keen to pay on credit or debit cards. Retailers selling in Germany need to use these payment gateways and absorb the costs associated with this.
  2. Returns. Return rates in Germany are much higher than the UK. Customers like to order several items to choose from (hence the preference to pay an invoice after receiving the items). They expect high quality, value for money goods and have no problem returning something they think is overpriced. Being able to absorb this cost is something retailers need to consider before moving into this market.
  3. Delivery type. There is a far greater preference for delivery to lockers and pick-up locations (packstations) in Germany. German customers also expect tracking on goods of all values and are unhappy if they can’t track something. This can lead to higher delivery costs if retailers wish to maximise sales.
  4. Delivery time. German customers hate to wait and expect their items fast (hence in German supermarkets you don’t pack at the checkout, a concept brought to the UK by the likes of Aldi and Lidl). Also if you promise a delivery date or time, it is expected that you deliver on that and German customers are even less forgiving than UK customers if you don’t. These logistical costs can mount up for retailers.
  5. Local experience. German customers expect the same levels of product descriptions and customer service from international retailers as they would from German retailers. Many would be put off buying again from someone who used Google translate for customer service for example. Whilst hugely important to making a success of your international business, employing native translators can be costly and difficult for retailers to justify.

Want to avoid these difficulties and costs? Why not sell online in Germany with Pertemba.