The furniture market in China
Chinese consumers are replacing their furniture more frequently than in the past, which is largely due to increasing standards of living and a steady increase in disposable income. These are some of the factors driving the continued growth of the Furniture market in China. With the improvement of the standard of living in China, consumers have started to look at Western and European influences. Thus, they are increasingly willing to invest in home furniture. Consumers’ increasing purchasing power has driven the furniture market to develop beyond expectations.
Through furniture exhibition in China, companies from all over the world can:
- get a comprehensive overview of new projects or expansion of existing objects
- New exhibitors can meet potential Chinese distributors to enter the Chinese market
- The exhibition allows facilitating business exchange between suppliers and buyers
- It allows to receive detailed and comprehensive information on the latest developments, trends, services, and products
- It is an ideal platform for new business network and global brand promoting
The country is a highly prospective market for foreign furniture sales. However, due to COVID-19, the situation has changed and many fairs and exhibitions have been postponed.
Therefore, a question arises: What can western brands do in the furniture market due to acquiring potential Chinese distributors? The answer is simple, going digital!
The next most important Furniture exhibitions in China in 2020
According to the Fairtradedate website, the next furniture exhibitions appointments in China from June to October 2020 are:
Kitchen & Bath China (02-05 June 2020)
Kitchen & Bath is a trade fair for kitchen and bathroom furniture in Shanghai. It takes place in conjunction with the International Building & Construction Trade Fair. The visitor gets a comprehensive overview of the interior design, construction, and planning of new projects or expansion of existing objects. There will also be a conference on current industry topics.
- Interzum (27-30 July 2020)
Interzum is an international trade fair for suppliers of the furniture industry and interior construction, which takes place once a year in Guangzhou. This fair offers the complete range of industrial woodworking machinery, furniture production, and interior design in Asia, including materials and components for furniture production and interior design, equipment, materials, and components for the production of upholstered furniture and mattresses, cover materials, innovative materials, and lighting equipment.
In addition, it has established itself as a source of inspiration and as an innovation fair that many exhibitors meet, nationally as well as internationally, with innovative design trends and visions and global product launches. The fair is open to trade visitors only, who come increasingly from abroad and thereby promote global trade, manufacturing, and interior design of the furniture industry internationally.
WMF (07-10 September 2020)
WMF is an international exhibition on woodworking machinery and furniture manufacturing equipment and one of the largest and most established woodworking exhibitions in China. It provides the best platform to showcase the most cutting-edge machinery that benefits all players in the industry. The exhibition is set up in theme zones to enhance the specialization of the fair and to facilitate business exchange between suppliers and buyers.
Furniture China (08-12 September 2020)
Furniture China is a professional international furniture exhibition with an excellent reputation. As one of the largest furniture exhibitions in the world, it combines a comprehensive set of popular themes: home furniture, office furniture, furnishings, lightings, kitchens, furniture manufacturing equipment, etc. Furniture China attracts tens of thousands of professional buyers from all over the world every year and creates unlimited business opportunities and profits for both suppliers and buyers.
Interiorlifestyle China (10-12 September 2020)
The Interiorlifestyle China in Shanghai is an international consumer goods trade fair for household products and accessories and is held once a year at the Shanghai Exhibition Center. Over 180 exhibitors present here at the show a wide range of furniture, lighting, furnishings, glass, and ceramics to an interested audience of professional but also just interested visitors.
The Interiorlifestyle is the ideal platform for both retail chains, wholesalers and retailers, buying and shipping stores, and boutiques. But also for interior designers and importers from all around the world to receive detailed and comprehensive information on the latest developments, trends, services, and products of the different fair areas Dining – Giving – Living.
Hosfair (17-19 September 2020)
Hosfair Xi’an shows new trends for the hospitality industry. It is an important platform for commercial contacts and negotiations and for the professional exchange of business information. It offers a wide range of products, a high visitor turnout, and many different visitors’ profiles. It will be your ideal place to present or find commercial kitchen and catering equipment, hotel furniture, tableware, hotel linen, clean and laundry equipment and supplies, lobby and guestroom articles, as well as wines, coffee, and food.
CaCFair (21-27 October 2020)
CACFair – Weaving + Home Décor is an UFI-approved brand fair known as China’s largest marketplace for natural weaving products, gifts, and decorations. CACFair was founded with a view to face the nation as well as expand the overseas market and has established its reputation among buyers from all over the world for its competitive products and considerate services. It not only boosts foreign trade but also brings a natural and healthy lifestyle to the whole world.
For over 2 decades, CACFair aims to provide both exhibitors and buyers with a vast communication center and to offer the ideal platform for your new business network establishing and global brand promoting. The quality of services and exhibits in CACFair keeps upgrading, satisfying demands from changeable markets in the world as well as accumulating great amounts of loyal exhibitors and buyers.
Going digital is a Non-Negotiable To Sell Furniture in China
Lead generation to acquire potential Chinese distributors
NB: Distributors are looking for Brands that are easy to sell, not products
In China, Lead generation can offer a huge competitive advantage to companies that understand how to include it within their marketing strategy.
Online communication has taken on an impressive dominance and is today one of the most powerful means of lead generation and conversion.
GMA is a professional in lead generation. To be effective in your lead generation, you need first to develop a good e-reputation. Investing in online advertising and creating quality content will help you develop your e-reputation. Then you have to measure results to improve your performance.
How a brand in the furniture industry can acquire potential distributors in China?
To obtain the desired results from lead generation campaigns, it is necessary to use the most useful tools. In the digital world, we are talking about SEO, SEM, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Recommendations.
Find a Furniture Distributor Baidu SEO & SEM
When Chinese distributors want to find a new product to spread over the country and earn money on that, they go and search on Baidu. They have to find you there and get redirected to your website to see who you are and that you are worth it.
Baidu is the search engine on which to aim to make yourself visible in the Chinese market. Therefore a Baidu SEO & SEM strategy should be adopted to acquire potential distributors.
There are a few basic rules you have to follow when constructing your website for the Chinese distributors :
- Your website should be translated into Chinese because Baidu gives greater visibility to sites that are written in Mandarin Chinese. This helps your website receive more traffic.
- To ensure fast loading it must be hosted in China
- The content should be localized
- The website must also be adaptable to mobile phones
- Combine SEO & SEM because 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.
Localized Content Marketing
Chinese cultural distance and behaviors force brands to rethink their content by aligning it with local ways of thinking.
Content marketing is important when trying to attract Chinese distributors, as by getting closer to Chinese culture and their tastes you can show the brand value and increase their interest.
To get closer to Chinese consumers, for example, a western company in the furniture industry should know that, currently, in China are popular “Eco-friendly” furniture.
The Chinese consumers understand its importance and thus are ready to invest in it even though they have to pay a higher price. Eco-friendly furniture is free from any type of harmful chemicals.
Therefore content that emphasizes natural and healthy methods to create your products could be the best choice for your brand.
Sell Furniture in China via Social media marketing
Using social networks as part of a digital marketing strategy is always an excellent idea to generate leads, to acquire distributors, retain and attract customers, and maximize conversions.
WeChat and Weibo are the most popular Chinese social platforms and they are the best social media platforms for furniture brands. They reach the majority of Chinese consumers and distributors because Chinese people spend a lot of their time on these platforms.
The company should open an account on these platforms and use them for newsletters, promotions, later even for opening a store on WeChat maybe.
H5 Wechat Brochure
Companies can also have a WeChat e-brochure to introduce themselves effectively. It is an electronic brochure that is easy to share on WeChat. It contains the listing of products (in Chinese). In this way, a distributor can easily find your products list and understand if you are interested in them or not.
Recommendation and Word of Mouth
Word of Mouth mostly comes 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, to do PR, collaborate with KOLs.
Reviews on forums
Opinions shared on forums have a big influence on the decisions that a Chinese person, and so distributor, makes. They can spend hours and days checking the forums to decide who is good to cooperate with.
Especially concerning the furniture equipment, you have some specialized websites dedicated to this kind of product where you can create your own press release content. A site like forums and Q&A should be part of your strategy (Baidu Zhidao, Zhihu). These forums are a great place to inform people about your brands and your products.
PR is one of the most cost-effective solutions in the Chinese market. It is a basic of marketing where the right people talk about you.
In China, E-reputation is key to success and PR is useful for increasing credibility within the furniture industry and increasing reputation. This is often done through KOLs, newspapers, and networking strategies.
Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)
Even in the furniture industry KOLs play an important role in China. In fact, Chinese people tend to trust more in these people rather than an advertising campaign. They are very helpful for brands because thanks to them you can increase brand awareness and boost sales.
Distributors are a good option to export your furniture products in China for several reasons:
- It facilitates the process for you as you have to undergo a lot of examinations and government checks
- Businessmen that are locals and know the language
- Distributors are trusted, they normally exist for a long time on the market
- They are dealing with wholesalers, they have the right channels to sell your products.
Of course, this relates to the “Right distributors”. If foreign brands cannot find quality distributors then it gets difficult to gain a return on investment.
Through what options can the company find potential distributors?
You can search for distributors online, but this can be a challenge. There are currently more than 85,000 distributors in China, to contact random distributors one by one can take a long time with a low success rate.
Don’t forget, you’ll increase the risk of coming across unreliable distributors, which is less likely if you find distributors that your partner has worked with previously.
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.
GMA could be your “right B2D partner”
Finding the right distributor for the size of your company, your products, and your target clientele is not an easy task.
Fortunately, GMA is very familiar with the Chinese e-commerce market and its players. Local distributors have no secrets for us. Our expertise allows us to support you in your search for the best distributor, we can take care of the entire process for your company.
Do you want to know more about How to use digital marketing to increase your success in China? Contact GMA a digital marketing agency, specialized in the Chinese digital market.