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7 Trends in Chinese Mobile Ecommerce You Should Know About

If you’re selling goods and services into China, then you need to be familiar with the latest trends and developments in Chinese marketing and shopping behaviour.

It’s true that Chinese consumers have an almost insatiable hunger for foreign products and luxury brands, but they are also used to having things done their way. It can be quite different to how things are back home, so if you want to maximize sales in the Chinese Ecommerce market, you’ll need to pay attention and adapt.

One of the areas that we have seen development in recently is Ecommerce mobile apps, and we want to share them with you, to help you stay ahead of the game.

1: WeChat / T-Mall Shop Assistant

T-Mall (or ‘Tian Mao’ / 天猫) is one of the biggest Ecommerce platforms in the world, and specializes in providing a B2C platform for businesses of the world to reach the Chinese market.

An important feature to be aware of in the T-Mall app is the ‘shop assistant’.

In the bottom left of each product page there is an icon which redirects to a live chat function. If a customer has any questions during the shopping process (which is very common – it’s hard to imagine a Chinese consumer going through the checkout without speaking with the shop owner first to make sure their products are in stock or the delivery can be made) they can pop open the window and ask the store representative before making a purchase decision.

WeChat also offers a ‘shop assistant’ function, but it is not available in stores as standard. When we build WeChat shops for clients, we always include an instant chat option, as it really is a required feature.

Why is this important?

Consumers in China are used to having live chat options on all apps and websites, and expect it to be there. Being able to jump into a real time conversation with the store owner or sales rep is almost always part of the purchase journey in China, and if you are not providing this service you may decrease trust and lose sales.

2: T-Mall Event Button

T-Mall also has a store ‘event’ button, which better translates as ‘deals’ or ‘sales’ in English.

The store owner can load up the ‘event’ section of the website with deals and offers, which the customers can browse through. The offers display specific products, sale prices and date ranges, much like traditional store coupons.

Why is this important?

Chinese consumers are used to shopping for offers, and will usually check the ‘events’ page to see if the product they want is on discount soon, or just to see what’s on sale. They love to get a bargain, and often take stores up on these offers, so if you aren’t making them, you may be leaving money on the table.

3: WeChat Gift Cards and T-Mall Shopping Vouchers

WeChat and T-Mall have both found out that offering vouchers (known as ‘Gift Cards’ in WeChat) are a great way to generate revenue and expand their customer base.

In the T-Mall app, shopping vouchers can be purchased directly on the item page, or from within the shopping cart. In WeChat, they are available inside WeChat stores.

Why is this important?

Shopping vouchers do not come as standard when you open a store, so you may want to create some of your own to generate revenue and encourage customers to spread the word about your store.

4: Favourite Lists & Wishlists

Consumers love to browse, and they make use of favourite and wishlists. By simply tapping the ‘heart’ or ‘star’ icon (depending which app is being used) the item will be added to a list, which they can come back and browse later.

This is particularly useful for shoppers who are shopping ‘on-the-go’ or perhaps waiting for the next paycheck.

The example here shows the Taobao app, but it is available in T-Mall and WeChat stores too.

5: Taobao: Product Suggestions Pop Ups

Product suggestions and related products are common features on most Ecommerce stores and apps, but Taobao has begun displaying product suggestions as pop ups. They appear with the phrase “We guess you will like…” and try to match suitable products with your previous browsing behaviour.

Pop ups are more intrusive than fixed banner ads or product listings, so they get more attention. You have to consciously swipe the suggestion away, or follow the suggestion and check out the product listing.

It’s possible that we may see this function moving into WeChat in the near future, so watch this space.

6: Articles with Embedded Products

Stores in WeChat and T-Mall can create articles to share on their public pages. These will be shown to anyone who is following their store, and can be found for anyone who is searching or landing on that page from an ad.

Product listings can be embedded directly into the articles, and will open the product page directly in the app while clicked.

Why is this important?

Content marketing in WeChat and T-Mall is a great method to drive traffic, differentiate from the competition and get people directly to your product pages. You can create content in Chinese to engage a targeted audience, and encourage them to jump right into your product pages to start browsing.

If you’re wondering ‘How can I possibly do that myself?’, don’t worry – we have you covered. Eggplant offers WeChat Marketing Services to help you promote your WeChat Shop in China.

7: Membership Area

Users have the option to access a membership account within the Taobao and T-Mall apps, which allows them to manage their membership.

They can see purchase history, browse their previously-saved favourites list and are even given a score based on their purchasing behaviour. The more products they purchase, the higher score they are given.

The image here shows the message “You’re beating 90% of other shoppers in Beijing!” which gamifies the shopping experience, keeping customers engaged and incentivised to come back and buy more.

Stay Up-To-Date To Win in China

If you want to stay ahead of the competition and succeed in Chinese Ecommerce, it’s important to have local knowledge and be able to meet the demands of consumers.

Eggplant Digital specializes in building, developing and marketing WeChat Shops in China. If you’d like us to help you build and advertize a WeChat Shop for your brand, get in touch with us today.

If you have any questions about setting up or developing your own WeChat Shop, drop a comment below or contact us directly.

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