Thanks to the improvement of Chinese people’s living conditions and to the increase in their revenue, China’s pet economy has grown a lot in the past two years. A big change compared to the 1980s when keeping a dog as a pet was illegal in Beijing. Pets were considered a bourgeois affectation. Chinese pet owners are also starting to consume pet clothing, pet toys, and pet supplies. The pet industry, which includes everything from food and general products to medical and grooming services, is expected to reach RMB 472.3 billion, $66.8 billion, in China by 2023, according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan.
Chinese Millennials drive the Chinese pet market
According to data from the Economist, young Millennials under 30 accounted for 45.2% of total pet owners in China in 2019, while those between the ages of 30-40 made up 29.5% of the pet-owning population.
Millennials in China are among the most digitally well-informed consumers in the world. Almost 90% of them bought pet products online in 2018, especially on cross-border e-commerce platforms.
By the end of 2018, there were approximately 67 million pet cats in China, a report by Frost & Sullivan said. The love for cats by Chinese consumers has created a market worth 60.2 billion yuan in 2018. The annual average spending on each pet cat was 3,117 Yuan. Of that amount, the largest share is 1,340 Yuan on average that was spent on food.
JD said that high-end and high-tech pet products were very popular during the recent Singles Day shopping event in 2019. For instance, sales revenue for insect repellents for pets surged 243% year-on-year, and sales of litter boxes for cats increased 232%.
According to Quest Mobile’s statistical report, the number of followers of pet accounts on major social networks in China has reached 530 million. Among them, the proportion of people from fourth-and fifth-tier cities accounted for more than 60%.
Chinese consumers do not only look for pet food
Chinese consumers are increasingly willing to spend on fashion accessories and beauty products for their pets.
As a result, there has been a rising demand for a greater variety of pet grooming items, like dry shampoos, paw lotions, eye serums, and ear cleansers.
As a result, a big variety of products is part of the Chinese pet market.
New and innovative foreign pet brands have huge opportunities to succeed in a booming market like the Chinese one.
Do you want to enter the Chinese pet market? Here is what we suggest you do.
1. Build an official website for your pet brand and be visible on Baidu
Baidu is the most used search engine in China. It has 70 % of queries and it is the first place where a Chinese consumer will do his researches. If he will not find your brand on Baidu, he will automatically think you do not deserve his trust. Being on Baidu will give you credibility and authority.
Trust in China is everything. Without a good e-reputation, you cannot think to have success in China.
In order to create a good website, you have to:
- Host it in China or Hong Kong, so it will be more efficient and fast;
- Get an ICP license;
- Do not simply translate the content into Chinese: adapt it to Chinese tastes<
- Create an eccentric layout, with lots of colors;
- Focus on storytelling;
- take advantage of all Baidu tools, since Baidu rewards those who use its extensions, like Baidu Search, Baidu Promotion, Baidu Video, Baidu Maps, Baidupedia.
- Invest in a good Seo & Sem strategy because you can create even the best website but without a Seo boost, no one will ever notice it.
2. Focus on a good Baidu Seo strategy
The SEO activity plays a very important role, through the identification and use of the main keywords, researched through dedicated devices proposed by Baidu.
To rank your website, focus on the anchor text that must be inserted in Chinese and on the meta description tags, which require even greater care than expected for Google and management through appropriate keywords to be associated with the brand name.
Appropriate meta keyword tags also allow you to rank up and should therefore be positioned on every page.
An extremely useful activity is link building which, unlike Google, gives value to the quantitative rather than qualitative aspect: a high number of links to other relevant Chinese sites is therefore essential to be considered well-integrated and authoritative.
3. Promote your pet Brand in China with Baidu Sem
An efficient Baidu Sem (search engine marketing) strategy consists of:
- Baidu Display Network Advertising is an advertising banner service offered by Baidu that allows you to invest in ads that appear on external sites and earn money based on the number of clicks on the ads.
- Baidu PPC is a way to increase the visibility and presence of a brand on the search engine.
- Baidu Tuiguang is the Chinese equivalent of Google Adwords, the platform dedicated to SEM activities.
- Baidu Brand Zone is a sort of mini-site that appears at the beginning of the SERP. Show information about the brand and its products.
4. Weibo: the perfect ally to increase your Pet brand awareness in China
It is one of the most common social media in China; it is similar to Twitter. It has 462 million active users, 68 thousand posts published every second, and more than 2 billion videos visualization per day. It offers many services:
- traditional social activities,
- create micro-blog,
- send messages,
- follow brands, Kols, and trends,
- live streaming,
- gaming activities.
It is one to many platforms. On Weibo, you can have more followers and faster but on Wechat you have more impact on call to action.
Weibo helps to increase brand awareness, to ensure great visibility for events and promotions, to insert external links to the brand’s e-commerce, and to lead to word of mouth.
To interact with Weibo you can use short posts, maximum of 2000 characters, many pictures, videos, memes, and Gif; the hashtag is used with double #.
5. WeChat to get engaged with Chinese pets lovers community
When you do business in China, you must absolutely have a WeChat official account. WeChat is the most used App by Chinese people. It has so many functions, from sending messages to e-commerce, from newsletters to mini-programs.
Thanks to your official service account, you will be able to send 4 notifications to each of your followers every month and have a close relationship with them. You can send info about the launch of new products, about promotions and so on.
WeChat is the best App to offer your brand visibility and to create a community.
6. Sell your pet products on cross-border e-commerce platforms
As we have seen before, Chinese consumers mostly buy pet-related products on cross-border e-commerce platforms because they want high-end and peculiar products. They are ready to spend a lot of money not only to ensure that their pets are well-fed and healthy but also to be in step with the times.
Tmall Global and JD Worldwide are the two most famous e-commerce platforms for international products.
Due to its business policy, Tmall ensures authentic and premium quality products to its consumers. It has a simplified payment process; in fact, it is possible to finalize your purchase through the Alipay electronic payment system. Only original and verified brands are accepted. Tmall often launches real shopping festivals to attract new consumers and stimulate sales. The most famous is Singles’ Day, which falls on 11 November and records some of the highest sales peaks of the year.
JD.com finds in the logistic its strong point.
JD.com operates on the basis of two models:
-Pre-purchase of products from the supplier (B2B2C model). JD assumes responsibility for aspects such as international logistics, customs aspects, warehousing, product page design, marketing, and post-sale services. This mode is recommended for brands that are already quite well known in China. It also guarantees an excellent user experience to customers.
-Opening of a store for brands (marketplace model). In this case, the brand directly opens its online store on the platform. In return, JD.com manages customer service, marketing infrastructure, and other types of services.
7. Pinduoduo to target pet lovers from China’s smaller cities
Since Tmall and JD.com have quite expensive fees, Pinduoduo is a good alternative, especially when your target is living also in four and fifth-tier cities. Pinduoduo is famous for its group buying function; it has quite cheap prices and so consumers residing in small and medium-sized centers mainly appreciate it.
In the first half of 2020, Pinduoduo had 683 million active buyers. This figure marks a 41% growth compared to 2019 and makes PDD the fastest-growing e-commerce platform in China. In most cases, these new users are young Chinese boys and girls. In fact, Pinduoduo is the e-commerce platform with the highest growth rate of users between 19 and 35 years in China. In 2019, the platform revealed that 55% of Pinduoduo users come from third and fourth-tier cities.
In addition to group purchases, Pinduoduo also offers other types of services that aim to merge entertainment and online shopping. Among them, we find:
- Live streaming to sponsor products sponsorship;
- Lotteries with very low participation prices;
- Mini-games integrated into the platform;
- Discounts in exchange for product reviews ;
- Fast and immediate electronic payment via WeChat Pay.
To conclude on the Chinese pet market
In China, there is a huge unexplored market of third and fourth-tier cities. People living there are increasingly digitally connected and eager to shop. In this case, Pinduoduo is the best solution.
If you want to start selling your pet-related products in China, contact Gma.
We have a lot of expertise in the Chinese market and we can help you with:
- Baidu account;
- WeChat account;
- Seo & Sem
- Cross-border e-commerce