HERE ARE OUR BEST TIPS WHEN LOOKING FOR CHINESE DISTRIBUTORS IN 2020
It is not always easy to find distributors in China. Indeed, it is another country, another culture, another language. You do not know who to contact, what a distributor wants, how he works…so read carefully this guide and everything will be easier for you.
BUSINESS IS BUSINESS
Since there have been different food scandals recently, Chinese customers watch out very carefully the food reputation on social networks or e-commerce and consequently, distributors too. Therefore, your products need to have a good reference on these websites so that food distributors accept your products. This happens for all other products as well. You will not 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.
MARKETING TO CHINA AGENCY
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In addition, distributors have so many opportunities to sell other kinds of products: they do not need to promote your brand or go the extra mile since they can choose another product whenever they wish.
BIG OPPORTUNITIES FOR FAMOUS BRANDS
The trust issue in China does not only concern fashion or cosmetics.
Because of the food scandals that occurred in China, consumers are getting more and more interested in food coming from abroad. Some foreign food products are considered luxury goods… that is why you can find imported products in almost every Chinese supermarket.
It is not a big problem for distributors to change the products they sell because, in the end, it will still be imported products to Chinese consumers’ eyes.
DON’T BE DISTRIBUTOR-DEPENDANT
As we said before, distributors in China really do not care about your products, even if they have been selling your products for years and years. If your brand has some troubles, they will switch straight away to another similar brand. They only want to buy products that have big potential on the Chinese market and get benefits out of them. They have no emotions so do not 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 in order to do that, you have to manage your own marketing.
Chinese customers need to discover your products and make their own opinion about them. Only after this, 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 every detail of every product and they do not want to miss any promotion or offer. Consequently, do not hesitate to advertise your products with photos and videos on social networks such as WeChat or on e-commerce platforms like Taobao, Tmall, and JD.com for instance.
These tips will enable you to draw the attention of distributors in China and your products will become more popular.
So, concretely, what do you need to do?
Here’s a quick review of the actions you should take in order to find a Chinese distributor in 2020
In order to find reliable distributors, it is important to:
- Have a Chinese friendly website, hosted in China or near China (so your content will be uploaded quickly);
- Be present in social media, such as Wechat, Xiaohongshu, Zhihu in order to build a good relationship with them, communicate with them, and listen to their expectations and what they really need;
- Build an e reputation;
- Engage your customers in your products awareness
- The website must also be adaptable to mobile phones because Chinese people mainly used phones to surf the Internet,
Let’s enter more in detail.
5 STEPS TO FIND DISTRIBUTORS IN CHINA:
DISTRIBUTORS MUST FIND YOU IN THE CHINESE INTERNET
Nowadays a company willing to enter the Chinese market must be able to understand how Chinese buy and which channels are their favorite if they want to be successful.
Understanding the preferences and mindset of consumer groups is crucial to successfully expand a brand into China and here are the key points to better understand it. The Internet is nowadays the main source of information when it comes to checking brand information.
A Chinese consumer, but also a distributor, must be able to find you on Baidu, the Chinese most used search engine, with 70% of queries and more than one billion mobile active users.
Use Baidu platform in all its forms because Baidu clearly rewards those who use the platform in all its forms, from Baike (Baidu Wikipedia) to Baidu Zhidao (Q&A website), to its social network Baidu Tieba (keyword-based discussion forum), Baidu Shopping or Baidu video platforms.
Combine SEO & SEM: To achieve success in Baidu marketing campaigns, it is very effective to create a strategy that combines SEO and SEM, as both have a very significant weight in the visibility results attributed by the algorithm of the platform. Through SEM it is possible to sponsor sites with targeted campaigns. In this way, your brand’s site will get a better online reputation, an increase in visitors, and of course a higher market return.
CHINESE SOCIAL MEDIA ARE ESSENTIAL TO FIND A DISTRIBUTOR
WeChat for companies can be seen as an email & community management marketing tool.
Show off your product in a beautifully designed H5. Light and easy to share they are ideal for your product listing and to reach out to distributors. When joining Food Fair, having a QR code that allows people to access your Wechat Brochure is a must and tells much about your understanding of China to a potential partner.
H5 benefits are:
- Easy to share;
- Show the potential partner or distributors in China that you understand the market;
- A good alternative to PDF
WeChat SERVICE ACCOUNT:
The equivalent of email marketing but with more advanced options. 4 times a month share your content to neuter your follower. But also:
- Set up a menu to guide your follower.
- Create a mini-program to entertain/ facilitate taking actions such as buying your products
WeChat GROUP MARKETING:
Wechat groups are an effective way to grow your presence on WeChat. Wechat being a close social media, joining and managing as many groups as possible is the most cost-efficient way for you to gain followers.
Zhihu to build your e-reputation:
Zhihu is the most popular social Q&A platform among Chinese apps. To make a comparison we can define it as the Chinese parallel of Yahoo Answers and Quora. Its success is based on the authority of the content published by its users.
What makes it an interesting app for brands is first of all its audience, made up of educated users with a high purchasing power. Furthermore, in terms of SEO optimization, it must be taken into account that the keywords searched on search engines such as Baidu and Sogou are always linked to Zhihu.
The app can therefore be used for lead generation, content marketing, KOL marketing (thanks to the top contributors, considered particularly reliable) and to build your e-reputation.
PR & FORUMS CREATE WORD OF MOUTH AND BRAND CREDIBILITY
PR is one of the most cost-effective solutions. It is a basic of marketing where the right people talk about you. PR is a good way to build your credibility.
In China recommendations mostly come from locals because Chinese people mostly trust Chinese people. Word of mouth in China is the key, that’s why it is important a presence on Chinese forums and to do PR.
Complete your PR efforts and strengthen your credibility using forums (like Zhihu) and KOLs to talk about you. KOLs and communities are powerful and widely listen to the Chinese internet, in fact, their opinion matters the most.
Tmall B2D is a platform where you can connect with 85,000 Chinese distributors. Tmall B2D gives brands great visibility on the current market. It helps to:
- connect brands and 85000 distributors
- manage service and logistics
- manage distributor
- conduct secure payments
Any entrepreneur can choose his distributor on the Tmall app. However, it is not easy to choose the right distributor for you when one has no expertise of distributors in China and is not in China.
In addition, the platform is in Chinese, therefore it is better to be accompanied by professionals in this first step.
CONTACT AN AGENCY TO FIND A DISTRIBUTOR FOR YOUR BRAND
An agency like Gma can help you in all the processes to make your products famous.
- Help with Seo, Sem, Content Marketing, Recommendations;
- Localize your content marketing;
- Provide an H5 Wechat Brochure, which is an electronic brochure that is easy to share on WeChat. It contains the listing of products (in Chinese);
- Help using Lead Generation, Lead Generation is the set of marketing actions that aim to acquire and generate interesting contacts. Drawing up a list of contacts is possible through a careful lead generation strategy, which can use advertising and acquisition tools.
Contact us if you are looking for a distributor in China!
Read more about Distribution in China :
- Guide to Exporting Food to China
- How can food groups find distributors in China?
- Wine fairs in China and alternatives to find distributors
- Top Mistakes When You Sell To Chinese Food Distributors