Hint: it's all about content.
China’s 668 million internet users spent $589.61 billion (¥3.877 trillion) online in 2015 alone.
It's a crucial market to tap into. But, the first thing to understand is that Chinese websites and Western websites are completely different. Observing Chinese e-commerce websites, it's overwhelming the see the amount of bulk content on a page.
The amount of information crammed into a single page could easily be described as cluttered, chaotic, and even claustrophobic to look at, much less navigate. It’s practically an information overload and a baffling disparity for non-Chinese.
This is even more apparent as minimalism is favoured in most advertisings and designs – especially for websites – in the West, and most parts of the world; its commonly perceived that tasteful understatement appeals more to the taste of the affluent.
But for Chinese websites, less is not always more. Here, we take a look at Sina, one of China’s most popular sites that generated 82 million daily page views and 629 million unique visits in March 2016.
#1 Language differences
Part of the cluttered feeling stems from the fact that the Chinese language doesn’t have italics or capital letters. This limits opportunities for adding the visual punch that you get with Latin alphabets, making it difficult to create the contrasts required to organise information with type alone.
The complex typography of Chinese characters also adds to the chaos, as Latin characters looks comparatively simpler and cleaner.
That said, logographic languages, such as Chinese, contain more meaning in fewer characters and less space, while English requires more space to communicate the same message.
#2 Minimum time, maximum info dissemination
Time is money, and this rings truer than ever in China. Thanks to the 'Great Firewall of China', most Chinese internet users are still plagued with slow loading times and limitations when it comes to international sites.
Hence, displaying as much information as possible is vital to retain consumer interest in China, so what may seem to be clutter to you is in fact seen as “content-rich” by Chinese internet users.
This is particularly crucial for retail portals, where every second counts when it comes to vying with competitors online to secure their next online customer.
Chinese consumers prefer it too, as they want information as easily accessible as possible – this means providing more information or having information aggregated for easy consumption. A good example would be the Juwai.com Chinese Company Pages, where the company aggregates all agents' listings together in one place.
#3 Assurance and safety
Chinese consumers require a high degree of assurance – likely fuelled by the amount of fake or low-quality products in China – before making a purchasing decision.
So, while catchy headlines or pretty images are crucial in drawing interest and attention, but it won’t help seal the deal if there is insufficient information to convince Chinese buyers that they’re making a worthy purchase, especially as property is a major financial investment.
This is doubly true when it comes to marketing international real estate online to Chinese buyers, most – if not all – who are unfamiliar with overseas markets in a foreign country, as well as its different language and systems, such as legal and banking.
In fact, a recent Juwai survey revealed that one of the main reasons Chinese prefer investing in new projects over existing properties abroad is because they perceive newly-built properties to be safer and of higher-quality.
To sum it up, this is why the general consensus in China's internet realm is to abide by “the more information, the better results” rule, which brings us back to why Chinese websites are usually information-saturated
#4 Online reflection of China
Fact is, Chinese sites very much mirror China’s urban landscape. Walk around a major city in mainland China, and you may very well be overwhelmed by its bright advertisements, bustling boulevards, expansive choice of retail options, and Chinese shoppers swarming around you.
Websites designers in China aim to recreate this on Chinese websites, ensuring that every spare inch of space gets used up to mimic a boisterous and frenetic bazaar atmosphere.
Not only would it be familiar for Chinese online shoppers, it also helps drive the same buzz and excitement that comes with offline retail therapy experiences, yet with more convenience and discretion from the comfort of their own homes.
#5 Content is key
Content marketing, particularly web content marketing, is more important than ever. Hiring a content marketing company to assist with your website content is highly beneficial, because no matter the structure of your website, the content is what will sell your product to buyers. Who can write better than journalists?91 per cent of China’s high net worth individuals go online every day – 55 per cent who procure investment information via the internet websites. Yet, this is easier said than done when addressing a market that uses a different internet realm behind the "Great Firewall of ChinaFor example, while SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is just as important (if not more) in China as other countries, Baidu reigns as the dominating search engine in China, where it has more market share than Google has in the US.
Content from Juwai.com