China has quickly emerged as the world’s leader in ecommerce, with more online consumers than any other market. The country accounts for 40% of global retail ecommerce, with the nations key retail event Singles’ Day eclipsing Cyber Weekend as the world’s largest retail event for two consecutive years.

For international brands wanting to break into the market, reach consumers and optimise sales, there are numerous challenges faced. Language, shipping and payment options are among the biggest hurdles for brands to overcome, however, there is an effective workaround to these challenges.

Concierge apps are one of the most popular methods used by consumers in China to make shopping from international brands a breeze. On the Rakuten Marketing Affiliate Network, they’re among the top performance drivers, increasing brand awareness and driving conversions for retailers. What makes them so popular and why should retailers be including concierge apps in their China strategy?

Concierge apps and how they work?

Concierge apps connect Chinese consumers with international brands. Gathering product and brand information through the use of product data feeds or web crawlers, Concierge Apps provide a range of services including translations, shipping, payment and customer service, enabling brands to engage consumers in China.

The five elements of success:  

  1. Language: Combining the use of AI technology and the human element, concierge apps will translate brands offers, promotions and website into a user’s preferred language.
  2. Shipping: Working with third party logistic companies, concierge apps allow brands to convert consumers, regardless of whether the brand ships to China. The customer service team can also help facilitate returns on behalf of users, working within the retailers T&C’s.
  3. Payment: Unlike western markets, Chinese consumers often don’t have access to payment methods such as PayPal or credit cards, making international purchases difficult. Concierge apps afford consumers in China with the ability to purchase from international retailers by connecting to Alipay or WeChat Pay. Transactions take place via the app, with the customer service finalising payment to the retailer – this means there is no integration needed by the retailer!
  4. Customer Service: Partnering with concierge apps gives western retailers the ability to provide real-time customer service in local languages to Chinese consumers through live chatbots. Chatbots are used to answer customer enquiries regarding sizing, offers and shipping.
  5. No additional fees or integrations: There are no additional fees for retailers who partner with concierge apps. The traditional affiliate CPA model is relied upon and there are little to no processing fees passed onto users.

To find out more about how you can leverage concierge apps to reach Chinese consumers, please do get in touch.