The previous blog in this series revealed several key factors impacting website compatibility with the Chinese e-commerce marketplace. Drawing on its formidable Magento expertise, Silk addresses those factors when developing e-commerce sites localized for this nation. Here are several others we consider in every strategy:
Since credit cards aren’t popular in the world of Chinese e-commerce, businesses need an alternative. Don’t look at Paypal. This service is still on the sidelines because it lacks a Chinese banking license. Things may change, however; Paypal currently is working on obtaining the proper licensing. For right now, online stores must plug into substitute online payment services. Among the local alternatives to Paypal are Alipay (by far the most popular), Tenpay, Unionpay, and 99Bill. Unless your online store is integrated with one of these payment gateways, you’ll be way out of the running. Remember, there’s no limit – connect with as many gateways as you please. The more payment options offered, the more potential customers will take an interest in your store. As in the West, reward points and loyalty programs can be popular incentives in China. These incentives, of course, must be properly integrated with localized payment options.
Currently, 95% of mobile phones snapped up by Chinese buyers are smartphones. Not surprisingly, more and more online retailers are hungry for mobile responsive e-commerce to accommodate this high saturation. Bear in mind, most online purchases in China are not made with mobile phones…yet. Nevertheless, the devices are getting plenty of action providing customers on-the-go with product info. Chinese consumers are perpetually hungry for information gleaned from online catalogs and other data sources. Only after shoppers know a product top to bottom will they feel prepared for a purchase – which typically takes place when they’re back home. As in the West, mobile sites in China must accommodate bandwidth limitations. Silk will conclude this series on localizing e-commerce sites for the Chinese market in an upcoming post. Be sure to stay connected.