It’s undeniable that Chinese are more and more becoming interested by fashion. Their spending on clothing increased each year and they are more and more educated regarding brands and quality. Chinese people love shopping, they love brands, and they like international products. And even if the average income is still low if you compare to western countries, new buyers are coming in the game every day. Thus, its an amazing market for brands looking to sell their products abroad.
But, one on the questions brands are looking to understand first before tapping into the Chinese market is where are the Chinese consumers buying their clothes and fashion accessories nowadays and how to market a fashion brand in China.
Which channels are used by Chinese fashion consumers?
The Shopping mall is ranked number one.
There are a lot of shopping centers in China where the Chinese loves to spend their week-end and days off. Going to a mall is still very popular among the Chinese shoppers.
The brand chain store
The brand chains are also considered by the Chinese when they want to do some shopping. The Europeans brands like Zara or H&M are pretty well established in China.
The founder of CHATQN lingerie Sebastien Gryngo :
“Even if Chinese people love to shop online, they really trust in Shopping mall brand. Flagship in China is very important to obtain consumers’ trust.”
But we’re assisting at the increasing of Internet as a powerful channel
Buying fashion products through Internet is more and more popular nowadays. You’re maybe aware that Chinese consumers spend much more time than Europeans on Internet to seek for products as well as buying and give their feedbacks.
The online fashion market is growing fast and it’s the channel that has the better growth forecast for the coming years. Then every fashion brand looking to enter the fashion chinese market should consider an e-commerce integration.
But why Chinese shoppers love to buy online?
It seems that several reasons encourage the consumers to buy online: if they don’t live in big cities Internet allows them to have access to a wide selection of products. Then, they can escape the crowded shopping places and be delivered very quickly (sometimes in less than 3 hours in big cities). Finally they can track the promotions online, as the Chinese consumers are very sensitive to discounts.
What platforms are they using?
Tmall and Taobao are the most popular right now to buy fashion products. But Moonbosa is also very famous among Chinese fashionistas.
The website is specialized in women ready to wear and also has a wide selection of cosmetics. Moonbasa targets the Chinese youth attracted by luxury as the website is essentially distributing high-end fashion products.
What a fashion brands must do to market its products on the Chinese fashion market.
Here are 6 points you can’t skip if you want to succeed in the Chinese fashion industry.
-Have a clear positioning that differentiate you from the others : Differentiation is a key success in China market where the competition between brands is very strong. Your positioning needs to be clear and understandable by the Chinese consumers. Your brand should have a real spirit to conquer them.
-Capitalize on e-commerce: If you decide to launch your brand in China, we advice you first to open an online shop on which you’ll be able to sell your products. By using this technique you’ll be able first to test your products and see what works better in China. Thus, you can easily adapt your long-term strategy according to these factors. If it works and if your brand is becoming popular among Chinese shoppers you’ll still be able to open a physical shop later. This technique will help you to minimize the implementation costs.
-Use specialized forums to promote your brand: In China, forums are very popular and influent in fashion. You have to use them to promote your brand and be visible by your target. As an example to show you how they can be influent let’s take Mogujie.
Mogujie is one of the most famous one. It’s actually a social shopping service that focuses on women’s fashion. The website has 85 million registered users, 35 millions monthly active users who seek for information on fashion brand. It means that they are all potential clients for your brand.
But there are plenty of website on which you have to be present to increase your visibility as Meilishuo, 55bbs and so on…
Public relations is also crucial is you want to succeed in China, and it will help you to increase your brand awareness and visibility. make sue to choose the right platforms to communicate.
However, you must control what is said about your brand on these platforms.
– Traduce your website in Chinese: It’s important to have your own websites besides opening e-commerce platform on Tmall for example. Why? The reason is easy to understand. It will be the opportunity for you to spread your brand values to Chinese consumers. But your website has to appear on the Chinese search engine Baidu and in oder to do it you have to work on SEO.
-Be present on the social medias: You can’t be present on the social media if you want to succeed in the Chinese fashion industry. This will allow you to develop personalized relationships with your customers and talk to them directly using WeChat or Weibo, social network very popular in China.
Burberry is one of the fashion brands that have an optimal use of the Chinese social medias.
Let’s have a look at their “Art of the trench campaign” to have a better understanding. The aim of this campaign was to capture how the Burberry trench coat is worn across the world. In China Burberry decided to do an exhibition to expose the photos they gathered across China. Then, Burberry decided to transform his Weibo’s account into an interactive picture board, featuring videos on the “Art of the Trench” concept and the incoming exhibition. The followers were able to vote for the best photos. These actions created a real interaction on social medias and a lot of discussion.
-Use the KOL, very powerful in the Fashion industry: The Key opinions leaders are very influent in the fashion sphere. A KOL is a person followed by million of social network users and who can with sponsored posts influence the purchases of its followers. The luxury brands often rely on the KOL to attract more and more consumers and to become more desirable.
With these examples you can easily understand that digital is crucial for a fashion brand to increase the brand awareness and sell products. Then, if you want to make yourself known in the fashion world via the Internet in China, we advised you to discuss your project with a local actor that will be able to help you to settle down in China.