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10/252013

10 tips to do an e-business website in China


1. Website hosted in China

The website must be hosted in China because Chinese internet is censored, which means that it is then harder for the Chinese government to control websites hosted in other countries. Baidu, the leading search engine in China, don’t rank them very high. If you want to have visibility on the Chinese web you have then to have your website hosted in China. The website, if hosted somewhere else can even be censored by the Chinese government, like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

 

 

2. Website in Chinese

For the same reasons, the website must be written in Chinese. In fact Baidu doesn’t count the website written in other languages. So it means you have to have a least a Chinese version of your site in order to rank high enough on Baidu.

 

 

3. Price

Chinese people are used to pay less when they buy on internet, then when they buy in physical stores. In fact the products are often cheaper on the web than in other stores. When you want to de e-business in China you have then to adapt your prices to the Chinese habits and to make them very low. The best solution is actually to sell something that the competitors don’t have at a very cheap price in order to have an exclusive sale.

 

4. Respect Chinese standards

Websites are not done the same way in western countries and in China. It means a western website can’t be directly translated into Chinese. You have to adapt your Chinese website. This is the case for cultural reason but also for ranking reasons. For example you have to have the maximum information on a single page, precise information, with usually the text written in small size, enabling you to put more information on the page.

 

 

5. Payment

Chinese people don’t use Paypal, but they use Tenpay or Alipay. Alipay支付宝is the payment platform created by Alibaba, a big web company, and existed since 2004. Taobao, the biggest e-business C2C platform of China uses Alipay as well. Tenpay is also a payment platform, created by Tencent, the biggest Chinese web company. It allows you to make B2B, B2C and C2C payments. You can recharge you Tenpay account also offline, the company sending itself an employee to collect the money.

 

 

6. Promotion

You have to know that Chinese people are used to bargain for everything in their everyday life. It means that the consumers should also have the feeling to have good deals on the web. For this reason, when you have an e-business website, you need then to do often good promotions and good deals. For example Taobao took profit these last years of the “single say”, a commercial festival happening on 11th of November (11/11), making a lot of special offers. Finally the operation was very successful, Taobao earning something like 19 billion Yuan this day.

 

7. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

In order to have visibility for your website, it is important to do SEO on Baidu. SEO is a way to rank high on a search engine without having to pay for it. You have to know that there exist in China several search engines, but the leading one is Baidu, with almost 70% market shares. Baidu has the specificity to have its own websites, such as Baidu Zhidao (Q&A), Baidu Baike (Wikipedia), and Baidu Tieba (forum) for example. And it is very important to know that because 27% of Baidu traffic goes to the company’s own websites. You have then to be present on these websites if you want to be visible on the Chinese web. There exist other tips to make SEO on Baidu (see here)

 

 

8. SEM

On Baidu you can also do SEM if you want, or Pay Per Click, with is another way to rank high on the search engine, but this time, you pay for it. With WEM, your link ranks high, in the Baidu advertisement, and you pay only when a user clicks on it. The only problem is that SEM on Baidu can be very expensive. It is a good solution however for a short term strategy. What you should do is analyze what you competitors do, and then decide if it’s better to de SEM or SEO, which is v=better for the long term strategy.

 

 

9. Presse Relation Online Press Relations can be very useful to promote your brand or image in China. It works with press releases that you send to journalists and bloggers, in order to let them talk about your website and your brand. There exist in China many online newspapers and magazines, also because people don’t trust anymore usually the traditional media. In fact these are totally censored and controlled by the Chinese government. The online newspaper can then have a great influence on the Chinese population. China having 591 million internet users, which are often connected, this tool should not be forgotten.

 

10. Logistics

Logistics for an e-business in China are very important. In fact it is a great challenge to be able to deliver goods to every place in Chine, the country being very big, and the transports being not always developed in all the regions. Some big companies such as Taobao are nowadays working on being able to deliver goods everywhere in China in less than 8 hours. But it is not an easy task. For other small companies, the best way is the work with the existing logistics companies together.

 

 

Conclusion

Doing E-business in China is a good way to do business in the country. Chinese people are in fact very connected and are used to buy a lot of different things on the web, where you can find everything to buy, even cars for example. There were in China 242 million people buying online, which represented 1,25 trillion Yuan, and this number is expected to continue to grow in the next years. The Chinese web and the Chinese market are full of opportunities but you need to know how to adapt your business to China. You can find more information in this article.

 

Article proposed by Marketing To China.



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