E-Commerce Chinese Localization: 5 Best Practices

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If you’re in the e-commerce industry, Chinese localization is included in your global marketing strategy. One of the trends that you need to consider is the potential of cross-border e-commerce especially the buying habits of middle-class consumers where they shop imported goods online.

According to Jason Yu, general manager for China at consumer research firm Kantar World panel, “This massive explosion of online sales growth is being fueled by increasing diversification in the categories purchased online, as well as huge gains in imported products and consumers taking advantage of promotions.”

If you’re in retail or e-commerce and is still in the process of planning to set up your Chinese e-commerce website, here are the things we usually work out on localization:

  1. Social networks and communication channels

We encourage our clients to localize their social networks to engage effectively with their target audience in mainland China.

Your English website may have your mainstream social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, however, in China, setting up Weibo, WeChat and other local social network platforms will be of advantage to drive traffic and increase your exposure.

  1. Culture contexts on colors

Your English website carries your brand, and each company has its own unique branding to remain consistent; however, there might be adaption and tweaks of colors for a Chinese e-commerce website to apply culture contexts on colors.

Red is the most popular color, and from a cultural point of view, it means luck, happiness and love, yellow signified purity, good taste and royalty, blue means high-quality, and trustworthiness. We can go on when it comes to colors, but when localizing the websites, this is something we need to consider.

  1. Live chats, cluttered page, and icons

While we all agree that less is more, localizing an e-commerce website for the Chinese audience comes with different principles – most e-commerce pages in China, when you visit them look busy and cluttered, and there’s a science behind it that we have explained on one of our blog posts.

The way design choices are also based on the way the Chinese language is written and read, where sometimes, the texts are floating around and not structured according to a grid.

  1. Translation and localization of content

As part of the process, this will include the translation of texts of all the pages, including brand’s tag line to make sure that it sounds natural and relevant to the intended audience.

This is just the front-end part, there’s also happening at the backend where Chinese developers have to take note of the source codes to make sure it doesn’t mess us the website.

  1. Payment methods

Lastly, we also need to consider the payment methods that the intended market often use. The widely used payment options are WeChatPay and Alipay where Chinese customers often use them to pay transactions online. If you’re building a website or e-commerce website, make sure you’re partnering with local suppliers and companies who can help you integrate the APIs and features into your system.