Probiotics should help to add bacteria to an infant’s stomach more quickly. Actually, a baby acquires good bacteria from breast milk and also from food. At the same time, the bacteria in the baby’s stomach may be modified by many factors such as gestational age and whether they take antibiotics or not.
What about anti-oxidant? It is a substance that inhibits oxidation. An example, a substance like vitamins C could remove damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism.
The rise of infant probiotic and anti-oxidant market in China
Nowadays, China represents 55% of the Probiotic/Vitamins market, and the growth is only set to continue. China is the third biggest market globally for probiotics dietary supplements, slowly overtaking Italy in second place.
The infant probiotic and anti-oxidant segment are two of the most famous sectors for foreign brands which look at China to expand their business. But why? Because Chinese parents buy infant nutrition products more than parents of any other country.
The baby formula market is growing faster than ever in China. Due to the growing concern about their babies’ health, Chinese mothers are willing to pay more for baby milk powder.
Why Chinese parents prefer foreign infant probiotics and anti-oxidant?
Chinese Internet users aged 20 to 59 with children below 18, 64% had bought probiotics from foreign brands.
Foreign brands are considered more reliable by Chinese consumers who have been disappointed by the many scandals that involved domestic brands in the past. The most famous is the “infant formula scandal” that happened in 2008 when six babies died, and many others got illness due to the adulteration of formula milk ingredients with melamine. The company involved in this scandal was Sanlu Group, one of the leading producers of dairy products in the country.
Furthermore, to avoid illness many Chinese consumers start to trust foreign brands which don’t have this kind of trouble.
Why do Chinese consumers spend a lot on infant probiotics and anti-oxidant?
Generally, Chinese consumers have always shown significant interest in products belonging to the infant nutrition segment. For instance, in Australia, the demand for infant powder milk BY Chinese people was huge; so people have trouble finding the product on the shelves of many supermarkets.
This has worried a lot of international health organizations and the Chinese government since it shows another not so positive aspect of Chinese society. The main reason behind the notoriety of infant nutrition products among Chinese parents is that many Chinese mothers stop breastfeeding their children before they are six months old. Not a good habit since even the World Health Organization recommended feeding babies only with breast milk till the end of the first six months of life.
Solutions for infant probiotics and anti-oxidant brands to enter the Chinese e-commerce market
Both online and offline distribution channels are very complex, with major companies across both channels seeking to take advantage of the growth in the Mother & baby sector, and differentiate their approach to the market from those of their competitors.
There are effective ways to ace the maternity and infant care e-market of China. Among which two are extremely vital to penetrate and sustain Chinese e-commerce platform; Branding and presence on well-known e-commerce platforms of China.
Marketing tip for foreign brands in 2021
Many brands that work in this sector must consider China as a completely new environment to explore. Regarding the Chinese culture, brands must adapt their marketing strategy to have success in China. They should consider also the vastness of Chinese territory.
To reach the peak, foreign brands should invest in technology and product segmentation. But what does really matters in this sector? The quality of the products is extremely crucial to expanding your audience. So, high quality of products will bring Chinese consumers to buy more and more.
To summarize, one more crucial aspect that cannot be missed is to localize a slice of your budget on digital marketing. Chinese love doing shopping online and they do it even more since the pandemic era began.
Sell infant probiotic and anti-oxidant in China
The two most used e-commerce platforms for selling infant probiotics and anti-oxidant in China are definitely Tmall and JD.com. Last year, although most transactions took place on Tmall (49.5%), the sales revenue was higher for JD.com (51.2%).
As we said to sell products in this sector you can definitely use Tmall. In fact, Tmall owns the biggest market share in the e-commerce market of China at 57%. It especially focuses on premium brands. This characteristic makes Tmall one of the most expensive e-commerce marketplace in China.
Regarding Chinese consumers, high price indicates high quality therefore many customers prefer buying their products from Tmall. This platform offers a huge variety of opportunities for international brands a cross-border service and directly sell products to Chinese consumers without being physically present in China.
To get started in China:
- To start working in the Chinese e-commerce market, international brands must be authorized distributors and have a corporate identity outside China.
- The company must be independent and hold retail and trade rights.
- The company must hold relevant inventory certification for the stock
Sell infant probiotics and anti-oxidant on Chinese eCommerce platforms
There are many requirements regarding international brands selling their product on JD.com, Tmall, Kaola, etc…;
Firstly, if you are new to the Chinese market, there are steps that need to be taken before even considering eCommerce as an option. In regards to registering on a Chinese eCommerce platform, hiring an agency will often be the easy way. But here are some documents and commodities that are commonly asked:
- Business registration document.
- ID of the major shareholders and directors.
- Chinese customer service must be provided and the product details page should be written in Mandarin.
- You can dispatch orders within 72 hours after it was placed
- The process for products return must be available in Mainland China.
How to build your infant probiotics brand’s reputation in China?
To build your reputation in China you definitely need:
- Undercover marketing (PR and forums)
- Social Media (Weibo, Little Red Book, Douyin/kuaishou)
1. A smart SEO strategy is necessary to build your eReputation in China
- A website in mandarin hosted in east-Asia. You absolutely need to get rid of all google plugins and build the website specifically to please the Baidu algorithm.
- Original, compelling content.
- Keywords focus
- Quality backlinks
2. Undercover marketing (PR and forums)
To complete your SEO effort, go undercover on the net with the use of third-party media and platforms.
- Foums and Q&A such as Zhihu, Wenwen, Baidu Zhidao and so on
- Reviews on social media such as Litte Red Book
- PR on blogs and media related to Marterny and Infancy
Working undercover allows for more organic visibility. Forums tend to rank high on Baidu. Consumers community (KOC) has a tangible influence on consumers as well. Not only you’ll increase your visibility, but your credibility will go up as well, which is exactly what you are looking for when selling consumables for toddlers.
3. Social Media (Weibo, Little Red Book, Douyin/Kuaishou)
Social Media are another way to increase your visibility. Now, when it comes to maternity products there is a clear winner: RED (Little Red Book or Xiaohongshu)
RED: the reviews app
小红书 is a social e-commerce shopping app based in China. Targeting 18-to-35-year-old Chinese urban female. The platform helps users discover and buy luxury, fashion, beauty products, and also infant products from overseas. Thus, it shows you some tips about these products.
Red has also become the app to go for honest reviews. Since it caters to a mostly feminine public looking for foreign products, the app has naturally become a place where young mother share their experience.
Weibo: Micro-blogging and more
One more example to get Chinese consumers to know about your infant probiotics and the anti-oxidant product is definitely Weibo.
Weibo is an open social media that can be compared to Twitter in terms of virality. It is a great place to grow your visibility and work on your brand image as well as to be directly and openly commercial. We would also suggest paid ads on Weibo.
Do you want to sell infant probiotic and anti-oxidant products to Chinese consumers?