Interviewing entrepreneurs in China: Explore China e-commerce market and learn how to sell online through China e-commerce platforms

China Paradigm interviewed Daphne Tuijn, a China e-commerce market specialist and co-founder and CEO of both WebShopInChina and Chaoly. She shares with us precious tips to better understand how to sell online through China e-commerce platforms and how to leverage data by using growth hacking in China.

Daphne Tuijn, a China e-commerce expert with a strong desire to help companies grow on the China e-commerce market

Daphne Tuijn graduated from a Bachelor’s degree, and then, a Master’s degree in 2009 in International business in her home country, the Netherlands. After several years of work experience, especially in sales and marketing, Tuijn started to have a look at the huge potential and opportunities that were emerging in the China e-commerce market.

“When it was first announced that western brands could enter the [China e-commerce] market without a business license, […], we realized it would bring a lot of opportunities.”

China e-commerce market
[Source: a portrait from her LinkedIn page, « enter China e-commerce market »]

Feeling that many companies were willing to sell online through China e-commerce platforms, but without knowing how to do it, she starts to think about e-commerce strategies to help them. This way, the idea and main purpose of her first company were born.

In 2013, Daphne Tuijn moved to China and co-founded WebShop In China, a full-service agency that helps companies to enter and navigate in the wide and complex China e-commerce market.

Although her company already assists a lot of foreign businesses, Tuijn didn’t intend to stop there. Always looking for the latest trends in China in order to provide the best services to her customers, in 2019, Tuijn started to work on her second company, Chaoly. This SaaS business provides software that uses growth hacking in China to help brands succeed in the China e-commerce market.

Sell online through China e-commerce platforms: an easy way to conquer the Chinese market? 

At first glance, it seems to be pretty easy now to enter the Chinese e-commerce market. Indeed, almost everyone can now open a shop and sell online through China e-commerce platforms, without even being in China.

Yet, it is definitely not enough to bloom and thrive in this complex market. While opening an online shop is only the first step, you still need to think about a strong e-commerce strategy to stand out from the mass. Also, it is important to be prepared to face major issues such as logistics, for instance. And this is exactly what Webshop in China and Chaoly are working on.

Sell online through China e-commerce platforms
[Source: the logos of Daphne Tuijn’s companies: « help businesses to sell online through China e-commerce platforms »]

Basically, with WebShop In China, Daphne Tuijn aims to put companies on the right path by giving them the keys to selling online through China e-commerce platforms. This agency works as a Trade Partner and provides market entry studies, on-platforms marketing campaigns or also customer service.

Nevertheless, in China’s fast-changing environment, people are living at a frenetic pace and companies need to adapt. While China is more and more data-driven, Tuijn’s second company, Chaoly, perfectly answers this problem. It offers to businesses, a software that can analyze data and improve their digital performance. By using growth hacking in China, this turnkey solution is literally helping companies to have a better insight into the market and allows them to sell online through China e-commerce platforms in the best way.

Understand Chinese consumer’s behavior: an essential point to succeed in the Chinese e-commerce market

Even with such useful tools, China e-commerce market is still not that easy to access. Selling a product is not the same in every country and each client has his/her own desires and needs, especially according to his/her cultural identity and consumer’s psychology. Thus, understanding Chinese consumer’s behavior is primordial.

“It’s not that easy to enter the market. There are still a lot of things like the application procedure in Chinese and, of course, it’s important to understand the Chinese consumer’s behavior to really see, well, what are the types of products that they like.”

One of the first things that can come to your mind when thinking about Chinese consumer’s behavior is the fact that they are now used to live in a consumerist society with very fast delivery times. Most of them are not willing to wait a long time for their products to be delivered.

Chinese consumer’s behavior is not only marked by the fast expectations, but also by its blind belief on comments from other buyers, and they do not hesitate to ask the customer service when any question come to their mind.

From this point, it is important to ask yourself how are you going to face such issues. Hopefully, understand Chinese consumer’s behavior can sometimes become easier thanks to all the available data, and using growth hacking in China might be the turning point.

Growth hacking in China: the most appropriate tool in the empire of data

With the world’s first largest population and an always more data-driven society, Growth hacking in China clearly has a bright future to come. Indeed, while the world data market should reach around RMB 394 billion in 2020, China’s data market, with RMB 57,8 billion should represent at least 14,7% of the worldwide data market. With such figures, it’s easy to understand the potential power that growth hacking in China could have in the next few years.

Growth hacking in China
[Source: Statista, « Growth hacking in China: market size of the big data industry in China from 2014 to 2020 »]

Moreover, with the emergence and the fast development of the internet, social media, or IoT (Internet of Things) in China, the whole economy is now data-driven and marketing has to be data-oriented to better insights of Chinese needs and wishes.

That’s the reason why growth hacking in China looks like the miracle solution for companies to reach Chinese customers. According to Tuijn, growth hacking in China can have many different uses.

“We use for instance growth hacking in China to see what does the Chinese consumer prefer? Which products would they prefer? What packaging do they like better? Which unique selling point should be stretched out?”

Seeing how the Chinese society is now evolving, there is no possible doubt that data will be the core competency every company will need to master to prosper on the Chinese e-commerce market.

In some ways, all these topics are linked to each other. Growth hacking in China will allow you to understand Chinese consumer’s behavior by analyzing the data about it, while this will lead you to sustainable growth in China e-commerce market. Good knowledge and management of these stages is the key to succeed in this complex and fast-evolving market.


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