mardi 30 juin 2020

Multiple milk scandals in China led to great opportunities for foreign brands

The new powder milk scandal in China

According to The Economic Times, China appears to have been hit by another baby milk scandal as officials from southern Hunan province are probing a fake powder milk that has resulted in serious health complications for babies.

Officials from Yongxing County in Chenzhou are investigating the sale of a protein drink known as Bei An Min allegedly passed as a milk formula at an outlet in China.

Parents of five children have advised the county market surveillance authority that: 
  • their children have developed eczema, a condition that makes the skin red and itchy,
  • they have had dramatic weight loss,
  • they developed a swollen head after drinking milk.

According to Hunan TV, parents went to the store to buy amino acid-based milk powder for their children who were allergic to the normal formula and the store staff recommended Bei An Min, saying it was the best formula in the store and she had been fed many children with allergies.

Foreign brands are the first choice

Due to the current scandal, the 2003 scandal in Fuyang, when 13 babies died and 171 required medical treatment after being fed substandard milk and the 2008 Sanlu group milk scandal, when six babies died and 300,000 others were taken ill by baby milk laced with melamine, a toxic chemical used to make plastics. Chinese parents rely mostly on foreign baby milk powder brands like Aptamil, Globemilk and others.

Cross-border e-commerce is the new opportunity for brands

Due to the increase in costs and risks, more businesses could move towards cross-border e-commerce, where retailers and international brands ship the products one by one directly to Chinese consumers.

How to best sell on cross-border e-commerce platforms?

A good e-reputation is crucial to sell in China

In China more than everywhere else the reputation of a brand is what will make the difference. Chinese consumers don’t trust new brand and are not risk taker, resulting in a very low conversion rate. Therefore, e-reputation should be the base of your marketing strategy when doing cross-border e-commerce in China, whatever platform you choose.

How to create a good e-reputation in China?

A presence on Baidu help you to get visibility

A presence on Baidu, the Chinese search engine, where people go to find brands and products information is the first step.
You should focus on Baidu Seo, knowing that Baidu knows only Mandarin and gives priorities to websites hosted in China. In addition, the website culture is different, therefore you need to adapt your content/design to the local expectations.

Moreover, Baidu PPC is also a great tool to use in your marketing strategy because it gives you credibility and also bring your first visitors to your website.

PR, KOLs and Forums create brand-awareness

Let others talk about you and your brand. KOLs and communities are powerful and widely listen to the Chinese internet, in fact, their opinion matters the most.

Social media are the best place where to interact with consumers

Social media in China are the best place to work on your branding and storytelling.

The most used Chinese social media are Wechat, Weibo and the short-video platform Douyin.

Cross-border e-commerce channels

Cross-border websites allows consumers to buy products online from merchants located abroad. This kind of online shopping is more and more popular in China because consumers can buy foreign products that have not a physical presence in China.
The main cross-border e-commerce in China: JD Global, Tmall Global, Ymatou, Vip international and Kaola.

For more insights about opportunities for international brands in the milk market in China, read the article below: