In the world of web design and ecommerce platform Magento is not unknown. We do not really need to talk about it. We could say it is one of the biggest and powerful ecommerce platform in the market. If you need to develop a complex, totally customize and specific CMS (Customer Management System) for an ecommerce platform your choice will go definitely to the Magento solution.
But the question is not there, this article is about Magento in China. As we know, China is the biggest ecommerce market in the world. There are more and more people buying through ecommerce platform and it is one of the characteristics of this country. But do you think that the Magento solution is the best for the Chinese market? Let’s dig in and find the answer.
Does Magento fit with the specificities of the Chinese market?
As a first idea we could say yes that it is a global solution and it is used all over the world but it is not totally correct. Magento brought to China a global solution but the main problem is every country is different that is why we need to adapt some parts at the local market what we call glocalisation (global and local).
What we can hear from the local population is that Magento is failing to deliver China-specific features to meet the local needs.
What are the features that Magento could improve for the Chinese market?
To sign up usually we have to use our email address. That is how it works in the western countries and what uses Magento. If you have never been in China, you would think it is the same there as well… but it is not! In china we do not use much the email address. It would be better to use the phone number to sign up and receive a confirmation code through SMS.
WeChat is the biggest social platform in China. Every year they have more and more users and they do not stop evolving or developing new features. That is why if Magento could incorporate WeChat they will bring the Chinese shopper much closer.
- WeChat login: the users could use their WeChat IDs to do the registration. It will be useful for the companies, they will be able to receive some automatic information about their client such as: name, gender, country, region, city…
- WeChat messages: it could be a new way to do some promotion or even send some order message directly through WeChat.
- Account binding: it could be useful if the users could connect with their phone number and then if they want to use their WeChat account they could link it. At the end there will be only one account for the user.
As we all know, usually when you want to do an online purchase you can either pay with credit cards, debit cards or even PayPal. That is what we use in the western countries and you could think that it is the same trend in China. If you have ever lived in China, you will know that it is not true.
The trend is to pay with Alipay and WeChat pay. That is why it would be very interesting to add these payment methods to Magento like this we could better fit to the Chinese market. Moreover, the merchant can add other payment methods such as: Union Pay, MiPay or even Baidu Wallet.
As you could have already noticed, the difference with China is not only about the language but well about the culture and the local trends.
There are some other points that you could adapt such as:
- No need to have a billing address because credit and debit card are not often used.
- Use a field called full name instead of first name and last name because the format is different for Chinese people.
- The address format should be: Province – City – District – detailed address.
- For a cross border ecommerce website in China, the use of the ID is required for cross border products.
- Important to have some product reviews with picture.
- Track information about your shipping status when you log in with your account.
- Have a back-end in Chinese characters for the export orders/invoices…
What is your next step?
As you can see, there are many features that you should adapt to the Chinese market. It is the biggest ecommerce market in the world and it does not stop increasing. It would be a shame to let the global Magento solution make you miss some opportunities in this market that is why you should follow these recommendations. If you need more information about this or even some help we would be glad to do so. Do not hesitate to contact us.