As the Chinese population becomes more affluent and consumer preferences become more sophisticated, demand for imported brands and goods have soared. Total import value of foreign goods hit a record RMB 30,505 billion in 2018, a growth of almost 10% from 2017, and is expected to maintain steady growth over the next few years. Despite the rapid increase in demand, many foreign brands still find it challenging to enter the Chinese market. In this article, we explore 3 key routes of China market entry and explore the pros and cons of each method.
Over the years, the growth of the Chinese economy has shown signs of cooling. Despite that, China is still adding an equivalent of "an Australia" to it's GDP each year. This not only indicates the growth of the middle-class population, but also the increasing affluence of this Chinese middle-class. Sales records are constantly being broken, with the recent 6/18 Mid-Year Shopping Festival even breaking the record set in last year's 11/11 Global Shopping Festival.
Here are five trends that are shaping the demand of Chinese consumers, and what it means for you as a foreign brand owner.
Think about the last time you bought a new product - was it a cosmetic product that you saw on an advertisement, or perhaps it was bubble tea from the first outlet of the hottest Taiwanese bubble tea chain. Whichever the product you have purchased, or service that you have utilised, you have subconsciously gone through the consumer journey.
What is the consumer journey?
In short, the consumer journey is the process that every consumer goes through from the discovery, to the consumption of a product or service, whether consciously or otherwise. With the advent of new communication and digital technology, consumer behaviour has also become more sophisticated, altering the consumer journey. This process has also forced businesses to become more consumer-centric; delighting the consumer has never been more important.
What this also means is that marketers need to update their marketing techniques through strategies such as content marketing in order to continually delight consumers, and for consumers to remain loyal to a brand.
The Alibaba CEO Programme is a 6-day 5-night immersive study trip, organised in partnership with Alibaba. Held in Hangzhou, home to Alibaba, the recently concluded trip on 12 – 17 June 2019 saw 42 business owners and entrepreneurs experience the world of New Retail, while learning new tips and tricks in reinventing their businesses.
Over the course of the trip, participants gained valuable insights into the trend of New Retail, how it has impacted consumer behaviours, as well as the need for a shift in business mindsets and strategies. Participants also got to learn how technology has made businesses more consumer-oriented, and gained strategic knowledge in achieving sustainable growth and business success in a competitive market such as China.
At the end of the trip, participants received the highly-valued Alibaba University Graduate Certificate, jointly awarded by Alibaba Business School and SIRS.
Digital Economy 5.0 denotes the breaking down of geographical borders and different sectors through the introduction of modern technology, marking the need for a shift in strategies to succeed in the rapidly transforming business landscape.
As of 2018, Alibaba has become the equivalent of the 22nd largest economy in the world and aims to become the 5th largest global economy by 2036. Speaking to more than 100 PMEs from NTUC UFLX on 21 May 2019, SIRS Digital Commerce Lead David Lee shared some of his insights to what has made Alibaba such a successful company, and what will propel them further as they strive towards their 2036 goals.
In his analysis, David identified 5 key points that makes Alibaba a global force to reckon with.