Let’s dive into the wonderful opportunities that represent the Chinese jewelry market to foreign luxury brands and find out what are the best practices to succeed in the middle kingdom.
China’s jewelry market is a fascinating and dynamic industry that has experienced significant growth over the years. Jewelry holds a special place in Chinese culture, symbolizing wealth, status, and auspiciousness. With a rich history of craftsmanship and a growing middle class, China has become one of the largest consumers of jewelry in the world.
China is a leader in the jewelry industry with more than 40% of the worldwide market share, which attracts everyday companies from the four corners of the world, from international brands to smaller startups.
Let’s not waste time and get right into it: how you can conquer Chinese jewelry lovers.
How to Promote and Sell Your Jewelry in China?
To attract customers, shops in China often lower their prices and offer discounts, allowing them to sell goods at a lower price compared to the United States or Europe.
While entering the Chinese market may be relatively easy in terms of regulations and freedom, competition is fierce, and businesses need to be creative in terms of design, trends, variety, and materials. Providing interesting content and a unique shopping experience is crucial for success.
In addition, traditional views on marriage are changing in Chinese society, and younger generations are placing less importance on it. This is why, when promoting jewelry to young consumers in China, it’s better to focus on fashionable accessories and different types of jewelry, as jewelry consumption is not focused only on the bridal market.
Therefore, jewelry brands should not solely focus on wedding jewelry but also consider custom-made products and online purchases. Brands should also take advantage of festivals and holidays, as these are occasions when many people buy jewelry as gifts.
While physical stores still dominate sales, the O2O (online to offline or offline to online) model has shown promising results for brands.
With a highly connected population, it would be unwise to ignore online channels for promoting a jewelry brand in creative ways. There are various online marketing tools available, catering to the needs and budgets of companies of all sizes.
E-commerce: The easiest way to sell jewelry in China?
You are now probably wondering which channels you can use to sell your products. In fact, you can sell jewelry in malls, store-chain, supermarkets, and jewelry shops. For a long time, Chinese consumers were not reassured enough to buy branded jewelry online as they wanted to be able to try and touch the products.
However, as Chinese society is in constant evolution in terms of digitalization, the fastest and best way to sell your jewelry at a lower cost nowadays is by using e-commerce websites. E-commerce websites and apps are booming in China, and jewelers are carving a lucrative niche in the online marketplace.
As one of the most popular e-commerce retail platforms, Tmall is a must-have if you want to sell your jewelry in China.
However, you will have to provide a lot of documents in order to have a verified account. Tmall is an opportunity for you to open an online shop and directly sell your products to Chinese consumers without being physically present in China.
Most of the time, the best way for foreign brands to sell jewelry is to use the Tmall e-commerce platform because they need verification in order to do so, which gives more confidence to Chinese buyers.
Unlike Tmall where sellers are certified, Taobao is a completely free C2C e-commerce platform where most of the resellers are not certified, which leads to many counterfeit products.
However, with more than 800 million monthly active users, Taobao is one of the most visited e-commerce websites in China.
Note that both Tmall and Taobao belong to Alibaba.
Founded in 2011 in Hangzhou, Mogujie is a social media and e-commerce platform specializing in fashion products and services. The company’s mission is to “Make fashion accessible to everyone” with prices ranging from a few dozen to thousands of yuans.
It can be very interesting for you to sell your jewelry on this website if you can not afford to sell them on Tmall or Alibaba for example.
It is also important to know that this platform features live broadcasts, short videos, photos, reviews, and articles generated by users, professional fashion influencers, and Mogu’s in-house editorial team.
Jewelry designers have to work on their e-reputation in China
Following some controversy in the Chinese market a few years ago, China is a very digitalized society where people are always connected and accustomed to doing their research online before going to a brick-and-mortar store.
So, it is important and essential for you to develop your O2O strategy to remain competitive in this market and pay attention to your online reputation and feedback from your consumers.
To sell jewelry in China, get a website in Mandarin
The first thing you will need is a website in Chinese. It will enable Baidu SEO and most importantly show that you are a real brand.
We strongly suggest that you develop a version of your website optimized for the Chinese internet (you don’t want a slow website because you are using Google plugins).
In the same vein, your website should follow UX norms Chinese netizens are used to. For instance, a live chat or easy-to-find QR code to send visitors to your social media.
Baidu is a key tool for foreign jewelry brands in China
Considered the “Chinese Google”, Baidu is the most popular Chinese Search Engine and stands as the 5th most consulted website in the world, with a 57% market share as of 2023.
In comparison, only 4% of internet research is done with Google in China. So, to put it simply, Baidu is a step you can’t skip in China if you want to promote your jewelry.
Jewelry brands should be on Chinese Social Media
With the rising use of social media in China, it is undeniable that you will have to use these platforms if you want to boost your reputation and be able to display and show your jewelry. Using social media is also a good way to enhance your product exposure and gain consumers’ trust.
Jewelry transactions online are poised to grow, thanks to social media platforms, new business models, and the popularity of KOLs and live-to-stream. However, if you’re not familiar with these apps, you can contact us for more information and tips.
With more than 200 million monthly active users, the app Xiaohongshu allows users and influencers to post and share product reviews, travel blogs, and lifestyle stories via short videos and photos.
Xiaohongshu also operates RED Mall, which sells international products to Chinese users. Using Xiaohongshu can be an effective way to increase your brand’s reputation and visibility.
Launched by Sina Corporation in August 2009, Weibo is one of the biggest social media platforms in China.
This platform has been a huge financial success, with surging stocks, lucrative advertising sales, and high revenue and total earnings per quarter.
Boasting more than 600 million users with 224 million daily users, it would be considered as offensive to merely label Weibo as the ‘Twitter of China’ (although the name literally means Micro Blog).
In fact, this innovative platform is tailoring itself to E-Commerce marketing options more effectively than the bulk of its competitors. Using Weibo, you will be able to advertise your company and give information to your consumers.
As one of the most popular short-video apps in China, Douyin is expected to reach more than 555 million daily active users in 2023.
Both Douyin and TikTok are owned by Bytedance, a Chinese tech company. Douyin literally means “vibrant music” and we can say that its name perfectly matches the short-form videos (less than the 60s) allowing users to combine it with dynamic background music and creative filters.
This short-video content format immediately distinguishes Douyin from traditional Chinese social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo, in which the content still focuses on text, images, and longer videos. Douyin can be a strong advertising channel, especially if you hire a KOL (Key Opinion Leader) to do the promotion of your products.
According to the Financial Times, Wechat is the “most important platform for luxury brands”. As the first Social Media in China, Wechat allows you to open an official account and publish news, send newsletters and create e-brochures.
As experts in this field, we can help you to create an official Wechat account and explain how to manage it.
In order to do business in China and promote your brand, you will need to have an official account. After that, the best way for you to promote your brand is to create a WeChat H5 brochure that you will be able to share on WeChat groups, Wechat moments, and any other social media.
The best tools on WeChat:
- You will be able to create a brochure presenting your company
- Spread marketing content
- Send vouchers/discounts to your followers
- Work on your Community Management
- Use WeChat mini-programs
Collaborate with KOLs to promote your Jewelry Brand in China
Another way to engage your community and attract new customers is to hire KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). This means that even if you have a small budget, you can still hire an influencer. You can even hire multiple KOLs in order to reach different kinds of consumers.
Your micro-influencer will spend more time interacting with their community and answering any questions they may have about your brand. Interaction is important in order to build a relationship of “proximity” and trust with your audience.
What Does the Chinese Jewelry Market Look Like?
According to Statista, Chinese jewelry sales have reached 795 billion CNY in 2022 and will increase to 865 billion CNY by 2026.
The Covid impact was light on the growth of China’s jewelry market except for a single drop in 2020. The market is continually increasing at a stable growth rate since then.
As a matter of fact, China ranks first in the jewelry industry, followed by the United States.
In 2022, luxury jewelry accounted for 38% of the Chinese jewelry market share, with a revenue of 13.71 billion USD and YoY growth of 2% compared to 2021.
If your jewelry brand still has not benefited from this huge market, it is time to make your next step in China.
The Jewelry Industry: A Very Competitive Market
With the huge success and demand for jewelry in China, many brands have decided to open brick-and-mortar stores across China, especially in first-tier cities. You will be able to find international brands with specific luxury jewelry, and retailers selling all kinds of jewelry.
The market is still dominated by local brands as well as international luxury brands. For instance, jewelry brand leaders in China, Chow Tai Fook, and Lao Feng Xiang (both Hong Kong brands) respectively held 8.1% & 6.6% of the market shares.
Young Consumers with Strong Potential
The majority of high jewelry and fine jewelry brands are wondering who would be their TA (target audience) in mainland China. According to the data from Statista, 55% of jewelry customers were aged 25-34 years old while 36% of customers were aged 35-44 years old.
Chinese customers aged 25-44 years old is representing 91% of jewelry customers. They are both Millennials and Gen Z, hence the importance to use marketing leverages and sales channels to appeal to this consumer category in China.
In China, the distribution of the Chinese population is spread. On average, 22% of the Chinese population is Millennials and 16% of the Chinese population is Gen Z. The jewelry market is a concentrated market, with 91% of the sales coming from 38% of the total age consumer groups.
What are the trends in China in terms of jewelry?
According to a survey of Chinese online shoppers, more than 56% of Chinese consumers have a preference for accessories or jewelry with concise design and approximately 38% of them said that they like to buy accessories with a hollowed-out design.
Your main target when selling jewelry will be the upper and middle-class Chinese society. However, as they are more and more inclined to travel, they will have higher expectations when it comes to the quality of your products.
Chinese consumers are looking for creative and unique jewelry and they can afford to spend thousands of dollars if they are interested. They approximately spend 40% of their budget on accessories like jewelry and watches.
Note: Chinese Gen Z (27% of China’s population) spends more and more of their disposable income to purchase luxury goods, great read here.
Therefore, a successful marketing strategy requires an in-depth understanding of the traditional Chinese culture. In order to do so, you will have to take advantage of various opportunities and occasions.
For instance, apart from the wedding market, many jewelry companies are targeting the gift market for families and friends, especially for newborn babies or for birthday presents.
The different categories of jewelry in China
If you want to export your products to China, it’s important for you to know what kind of jewelry Chinese consumers are ready to buy. In fact, there are different categories that are especially popular in China:
- Precious metal jewelry: it includes jewelry that is made of precious metals such as gold, platinum, and silver, but also non-precious metals like copper and aluminum. Still is the most preferred type of jewelry, for instance, gold jewelry such as gold rings represented more than 47% of the market sales, diamond, and K-gold 20% and jade 19%.
- Precious stones: a segment that is growing in 1st tiers cities. It includes precious stones such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, crystal, jade, pearls, amber, and topaz. If China as a whole prefers gold, the country is still second when it comes to buying Diamonds. The interesting things with diamonds sell in China, is bridal jewelry is not driving sales. Indeed, with a drop in the marriage rate, jewelry brands in China have launched versatile series that can be worn at any time and bought for any occasion.
- Then you have other jewelry such as ivory, leather, clay, wood, string, and platinum.
What type of Jewelry do Chinese consumers love?
When it comes to jewelry, Chinese consumers have a clear preference for gold as seen above; Gold is symbolic in China, it represents financial and spiritual protection (and being part of the upper class, although this tends not to be true with younger generations).
The gold jewelry market is dominated by locals players but non-Chinese brands are still highly appreciated.
However, the younger generation and especially the Gen-Z is not that focused on gold anymore, but more on the meaning each jewelry has.
Jewelry for women
Foreign jewelry brands have always been popular among Chinese consumers, especially ladies. Sales have accelerated even more as their income has increased and as they are willing to spend more when it comes to fashion and jewelry.
So, it is important to focus on jewelry for women, by creating unique and elegant jewelry for every occasion.
Jewelry for men
The industry of jewelry for men grew significantly in China these past few years, thanks to consumers who are enthusiastic and engaged about men’s fashion. China’s young male consumers are thus increasingly interested in sophisticated, diverse jewelry offerings. They are indeed more comfortable than before wearing jewelry and cosmetics.
The jewelry industry for men is an interesting market to conquer and the opportunity of development in China is quite important for creating new brands entering the Chinese market.
For example, a growing number of Chinese men are posting pictures of them wearing jewelry with the hashtag #MenJewelry (男士珠宝) on social media platforms such as Xiaohongshu (小红书). On top of that, more and more KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) are giving tips and advice to their followers on how to choose jewelry.
This segment represents a real opportunity as most brands in China are very slowly starting to pay attention to it. In short, there is a demand for more designs and products types that have not been met yet.
We Can Help You Sell Jewelry in China!
Gentlemen Marketing Agency is a digital marketing agency specializing in the Chinese market. Over the years, we have built a strong reputation in the digital fields, collaborating with international companies and leading various successful marketing campaigns. We have experts who help you and give advice if you want to sell jewelry in China.
Do not hesitate to leave a comment below or to directly contact us for more information.