Chinese ecommerce has exploded over recent years. This is partly due to the rate at which their economy is growing, but it is also undoubtedly a result of their innovative selling techniques. When one stops to consider the origins of many ‘new’ Western ecommerce selling techniques, it is quite easy to see how China have coloured the ecommerce landscape. We’re going to take a look at 3 of these innovations and suggest ways in which you could incorporate them in your own operations to increase ecommerce sales.
1) Constant & Varied Customer Service
When it comes to customer service, China are still ahead of the Western world. The kind of investment in customer service that we have seen as a result of the pandemic has been commonplace in China for some time. Chinese consumers expect rapid responses to enquiries or complaints regardless of the hour.
In addition to rapid response times, Chinese ecommerce providers tend to offer many different channels through which their customers can get in touch. One of the most common examples of this is WeChat, the huge networking service (very similar to WhatsApp). Many Chinese customers prefer to use this to contact businesses rather than conventional methods.
This has already been seen to have been reflected in the West with the increase of Live Chat options and WhatsApp/Facebook communication options. This hasn’t become wide practice as of yet, but sellers would do well to stay ahead of the curve and incorporate these channels as soon as possible.
2) Gamification Of Ecommerce
Anyone who has followed ecommerce for any length of time will now that ‘gamification’ has been a buzzword in the industry for years. If you aren’t sure what this means, it is essentially the incorporation of game mechanics into the buying process. This could be done in many ways, such as adding an element of luck into the purchasing process or giving rewards for purchases.
This has been commonplace in China for a long time and it has proven to be very successful; this is now being reflected globally. You only have to look at the amount of retailers that offer ‘lucky dip’ boxes with an assortment of products, or the leadership system that is based on reviews, such as Uber giving their customers and drivers ratings.
This can seem a daunting task to implement game mechanics into your selling process but it is actually easier than you think. Even as simple as allowing Facebook to give badges to your followers such as ‘Top Fan’ for those who comment and share on your content the most can encourage more interaction and exposure to your page and brand.
3) Shopping Festivals & Shopping Days
You are undoubtedly aware of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but did you know that this selling technique actually originates in China? One of the biggest examples is ‘Singles Day’. Set up by Alibaba, the event was started as sort of a joke, as it is the antithesis of Valentine’s Day. However, this is now an annual event that is one of the most lucrative shopping events in the world.
Amazon have had similar success with Prime Day. Set up to celebrate the 20th birthday of the company, the sales weekend draws in millions of consumers each year. Many believe this was inspired Chinese retailer JD.com’s 618 that was started to celebrate their own anniversary 5 years earlier.
Whilst you may not be large enough to start your own global sales event, adding one to your calendar that attracts your regular buyers could be a good way to increase your sales and also grow loyalty to your brand from your consumers. Furthermore, it would be even easier for you to just make sure you had a strategy in place to make the most of the sales days such as Black Friday. These events get bigger each year with more and more consumers flocking to online stores.
If you need any help, we have provided a guide to preparing your business for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
So, Are you Going To Get Inspired By China?
As you can see, Chinese innovation is clearly pushing the envelope when it comes to ecommerce. Hopefully this article has inspired you to try out some of these selling techniques. If you require any assistance when it comes to expanding your ecommerce business, let us know.
If you are a business who participates in cross border e-commerce, or importing of any kind, we would be more than happy to help you register for an EU and UK EORI number. We can also help you register for UK VAT, the UK VAT deferral scheme, file your UK and EU VAT returns, and help you comply with VAT in case your account faces any issues.