China Paradigm interviewed Aurelien Rigart, co-founder and vice president of IT Consultis, to get an in-depth understanding of how to build a web agency in China, how to manage employees and get clients and how to correctly develop websites in China.
Aurelien Rigart, a serial entrepreneur in China with a strong passion for bringing digital experiences to life
Aurélien Rigart has an engineering background.He first graduated from one of the top engineering school in France, INSA Strasbourg and then went to the US to do a second master’s degree in construction management and engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He started a business as a researcher but decided to join his brother in China in 2010.
Aurelien Rigart launched his first entrepreneurial project which was an e-commerce platform, but in 2011, he co-founded IT Consultis to provide services ranging from consulting, e-Commerce, software, and web development in China.
As Vice President and co-founder of IT Consultis, Aurelien is today responsible for the development and expansion of the company, leading the strategy, sales, and marketing departments.
Moreover, Aurelien Rigart is also known for being an inspiring mentor at The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a global professional network of entrepreneurs, where he coaches and mentors for startups and other entrepreneurs.
An innovative and creative web agency in China: IT Consultis
IT Consultis is a web agency in China developing websites, apps and mini-programs to bring omnichannel customer experiences to their clients.
They offer advice and insights as well as the right connections to people you might need. They help clients with selecting their ERP and CRM partners, with digital touch points in the store, mini e-commerce program, their websites and linking everything with an order management system.
Their core activities include UI/UX, Conversion Rate Optimization, Social CRM, APPs, System Integration as well as working on Social Media Elevation campaigns.
The team has worked on 450 projects so far, and they have a wide variety of clients: Swatch, Zara, Porsche, Leica, Stella Luna, Decathlon, SunglassHut, the American Chamber of Commerce, YSL, The French government, L’Oreal, Budweiser and many others.
Founded in 2011, IT Consultis has a team of 70 people with offices in China, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh, and Singapore. Aurelien Rigart comes back to this choice:
‘‘Opening a company and having two locations is something very challenging. We thought that we clap and the company will open, and everything will be easy, teams will work together very easily. No, that’s not as easy as it looks.’’
He explained that entrepreneurs in China have to be ready to give more of their time to make communication clear and effective: if you used to spend 20% of a project’s time on quality control now, you would probably spend another 10% on it.
How to quickly get clients in China as a web agency?
Aurelien Rigart told Matthieu David about their state of mind in the early years as entrepreneurs in China: To get clients in China, Aurelien quickly decided to work hard with small brands and to offer low prices. Indeed, when you start a business in China, you don’t have a portfolio or a reputation, so according to Aurelien Rigart, the only way for people to start trusting you is to take all the small projects that come along and do your best to get the best result:
‘‘When you start, you need to show your motivation, you need to show your commitment and show that whatever is going to happen, you never going to quit on it.’’
How to develop websites in China in 2018?
‘‘What strikes me in 2018 is the omnichannel approach. You’re not doing websites just to do a website anymore. You’re doing a website to display your contents, not only on the site, but you’re creating a content management system to display the information in a mini-program on the website, in the in-store display.’’
Today, it is, therefore, necessary to be able to create an omnichannel approach and here are some tips are given by Aurelien Rigart in terms of web development in China:
First, you need to look at a website from a programming perspective, especially because of the great firewall in China. The international approach doesn’t apply in China. Today there is a lot of new digital players coming to China, but not a lot of agencies know how to perfectly develop websites in China. With the great firewall, you need to host your website in China most of the time. You also need to have your content delivery network and everything registered in the country. That’s one of the big challenge doing web development in China because you need to use all the ecosystems, including all the API’s of Alipay, of We Chat pay, etc.
The second part is about improving user experience in China.
‘‘Of course, each and every single country has its own specific ways to have user experience, its own user interface. But I think China is at another level.’’
The digital ecosystem in China is very different, and it means that Chinese Internet users have been used to use various apps such as WeChat, Alipay and it has changed as well the way that experience creators are working within the system.
‘‘Chinese users have different mindsets. They have a different way to interact with a digital screen, with the digital world and it’s something that needs to be taken into consideration.’’
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