Here are our best tips when looking for Chinese distributors
It is not always easy to find distributors in China. It is another country, you do not know who to contact, what they want, how they work… Read carefully.
Finding distributors is not enough
In China, the rules are different when it comes to distributors. You are not their collaborator or colleague, you are only there in order to get them more money. Indeed, Chinese distributors (food distributors or others) are not in charge of promoting your products’ brand image. If your products stop interesting Chinese consumers, they will no longer sell it.
Another interesting article: Want to sell to Chinese customers ? Here is the secret first step.
Business is business
Since different food scandals have appeared recently, Chinese customers watch out very carefully the food’s reputation on social networks or e-commerce and consequently, distributors too. Therefore, your products need to be a good reference on these websites so that food distributors accept your products. And it goes for all other products as well. You won’t get any help from them to promote your brand: they will only sell your products. If Chinese customers do not like them anymore, distributors will not care and will take your products off their shelves. In addition, distributors have so many opportunities to sell other kinds of food: they consider they do not need to promote your brand or go the extra mile, since they can chose another product whenever they wish.
Various opportunities for famous brands
The trust issue in China does not only concern fashion or cosmetics. Because of health problems with food in China, consumers are getting more and more interested about food coming from abroad. Some foreign food products are seen as luxury goods… which is why they can find imported products in each giant Chinese supermarket. As a consequence, it is not a big deal for distributors to change which products they sell. It will still be imported products to Chinese consumers’ eyes.
Don’t be distributor-dependant
As we said before, distributors really do not care about your products, even if they have been selling your products for years and years. Your brand has some troubles? They will switch straight away to another similar brand. They only want to buy products which have potential on the Chinese market and get benefits out of them. They have no emotions so don’t expect them to help you !
In order to avoid any problem, you need to show them that your product gets the interest of consumers and for that , you have to manage your own marketing. Chinese customers need to discover your products and make their own opinion about them. Only then, they will buy them. Since they are very connected, bet on digital marketing. It is the perfect way for you to communicate about your product and brand, convince them and keep them updated about your news. They want to know about every details on every product and they don’t miss any promotion or offer. Consequently, do not hesitate to advertise your products with photos and videos on social networks such as Wechat or e-commerce plateforms like Taobao, Tmall, JD.com for instance.
These tips will enable you to interest distributors and your products will get more popular in order to be sold by them.
So, concretely, what do you need to do?
3 Steps to attract distributors:
1. Invest in digital marketing: show that your product has potential
Be careful: distributors will not sell your products if they think Chinese customers will not buy them. You therefore need to spread your brand’s image on Chinese websites or social networks in order for consumers to learn more about your products. Work on your digital strategy and prove to distributors that your products can attract many Chinese consumers.
2. Get your product on the market: cross-border websites are THE solution
You can start selling your product to Chinese consumers even before having a distributor. By getting integrated on e-commerce platforms, consumers will be able to find your products… a good start when you are still building your brand image. That way, once you start meeting distributors, they will see that Chinese consumers want your products indeed.
3. Support your sales strategy: boost your communication
Once you have found distributors for your product, the corresponding marketing campaigns will still be your responisbility. And it is a crucial step: you need a strong strategy to support your product launch. And, as we have seen it before, distributors are not specialists in this area. Take the control of your marketing strategy if you want results from your distributor.
4. Think long term with digital!
You are coming to China to sell your product, the process was long… you haven’t done this for nothing, and you are here to stay. Therefore you need to keep your customers hooked up on your products and loyal to your brand. The best way to do that ? Build a relationship with them, communicate with them and listen to what they need. The digital channel is your best solution for that, especially on the Chinese market where apps and social media allow strong engagement.
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