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7 things you need to know about China's online seafood buyers

autoreBy Angus Boweron 5 Aug 2016

As we’ve already talked about, China’s propensity to spend big on luxury items like seafood through cross-border e-commerce platforms is unparalleled in the rest of the world. Online sales in China surpassed those of the United States back in 2013 and by 2018, total online purchases are expected to reach US $610 billion - more than the United States and Europe combined (McKinsey & Co.). But being a successful seller to this unique market means more than just making your seafood available online (though that does play a pretty significant role) - you need to understand and embrace China’s online buyer behaviour.

If you’re selling seafood to China, or are thinking of starting, you need to constantly have these 7 things on your mind:

1. Personal recommendations are most influential

Online buyers in China are more influenced by product reviews and key opinion leaders than any other market in the world - around 75% of Internet users talk about and rate products they’ve bought online

2. Social media is a business tool

Popular Chinese social platforms like WeChat and Sina Weibo have become attuned to business opportunities and commerce. 2 out of 3 online consumers in China said that their critical information in making purchase decisions online came through social media

3. Show your personality

Chinese culture places huge value on guanxi and person-to-person interaction. Any way you can inject personality into your brand or interact with buyers on a human level will improve online sales

4. Health and quality are a big deal

With a general distrust for locally produced goods, China’s consumers are more and more focused on health, cleanliness and quality of their online seafood purchases

5. Pricing is powerful

60% of buyers in China go online to find variety and value from international suppliers. If you’re just starting out selling to China, pricing low is a good way to break into the new market as buyers in a general sense are more likely to purchase at a ‘bargain’ than to maintain brand loyalty

6. Visuals and detailed product descriptions are key

Chinese buyers prefer more information than less - 92.6% of online buyers in China say high quality, multi-angle visuals and informative descriptions are essential

7. Buyers need to feel secure

The Chinese Government approximates that 1 in every 3 online consumers have been victim of online scams - buyers need to be consistently assured of a seller’s reliability and prefer the use of secure third-party payment platforms that online marketplaces offer

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Gfresh team