How to Sell to China
How to Sell to Online Customers in China
Selling to customers in China can seem like a daunting task. But it’s really not. We’ve outlined the steps to help you.
First do you really want to sell to customers in China? Here is what you need to think about and consider.
- Are you selling a product or service that people in China want?
- Can you offer portions of your website in the Chinese language?
- Do you have web traffic from site visitors from China today?
- Are you willing to ship products to China?
- Can you make the necessary investment in time and money to offer payment methods for customers in China?
Does your product or service have demand in China?
This is an important point so you will want to spend time here. You’ve got three ways to figure this out.
Find out if your competitors are selling to China
Look on your competitor’s website and see if they have web pages in the Chinese language. Also look up their website in Alexa.com and see what percent of their visitors are from China. If you see a high percent then that is a good indicator of success.
Research your product or category in the US trade statistics
A great place for free information is the US Census website. There is a portion on trade with other countries. You’ll need to search a little bit but this should take you no more than a couple hours. Here is the site: https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/country/index.html Find your product category and look at its sales in comparison to other products. China buys everything but you want to have sufficient volume to make it worth your while. So you should be looking at millions of dollars if not hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. If you don’t see numbers that make you comfortable look up some other countries because there is a market for you somewhere. You have to find it. The US Census information is free and easy to use so there’s no excuses.
To learn more about finding out if your product has demand here is an informative article in Forbes.com.
Do a limited test of your product and see if it sells
The most reliable but expensive way of estimating demand is to do a test product launch. In general this is the same as launching a product in China because you’ll need invest time and money to do this right. If you want to shortcut the process you can find a partner in China who will test the product for you.
If all of this work is something you don’t have time for there are companies to help. Here is one called China Skinny. China Skinny offers a wide range of services including market research, localization, website design and much more. What’s great about firms like this is that they have worked with a wide range of clients so you won’t be reinventing the wheel with them.
Can you translate portions of your website into Chinese?
Getting a translation company is pretty easy. You can go to fiverr.com or you more well known online sites. One Hour Translation is a great site to get high quality translations done quickly. The prices are also fairly affordable. You will need to spend a couple hundred dollars to get all of your help pages and some of the product pages translated. Don’t skimp here. Well written pages show that you care about your customers. You won’t need to translate everything but you need to have your help information in Chinese and also the products that you plan to sell in China.
Do people from China visit your website today?
If you’re using Google Web Analytics (also known as the Search Console) you simply click on visitors and then countries. If you see China that is a good sign. However, you may need to go deeper and as some of this traffic may be from Chinese search engine crawlers.
Can you ship products to China or can you locate a shipper to help you?
If you’re just starting out we recommend you ship the products yourself. Simply use USPS, UPS, Fedex or DHL. As your demand grows you will want to get a drop shipper to handle this for you.
Does your payment processor offer payment methods that are popular in China?
The UnionPay is one of the most popular payment methods in China. It is a credit card, a debit card, a prepaid card and a bank transfer payment all in one product. This means you get four payment methods in one. The UnionPay Payment Gateway works well online and has a security feature that gives a high degree of confidence for each transaction. If you are using Magento as your website platform there is a Magento Extension that you can install in as little as an hour. UnionPay has strong customer usage and brand recognition. The parent company continues to promote their product all over the world. Here is a recent video that promotes the UnionPay brand.