Photo by Steven Depolo on Flickr
Several American markets are specifically missing out on over a billion potential customers they don’t even know exist. Two blocks of consumers expected to be worth approximately $56 trillion dollars in the next ten years want to buy American, in some cases are American, and most of whom are brand loyal once they’re on board.
They’re mainland Chinese and Asian-Americans and soliciting each group’s business requires that retailers recognize their value as new customers and cater to their language needs.
- There are 1.3 billion people living in mainland China today
- Almost 60% of the mainland Chinese population is urban with a median age of 37.3 years
- 72% feel they’re better off financially than they were five years ago
- With their growing affluence, Chinese consumers and particularly the younger middle class are potential customers who are looking for quality, safety and, like everyone else, a better price.
- One-quarter of Chinese immigrants choose to settle in the U.S. or Canada
Through Google Analytics, you can gain an understanding of where your web traffic is coming from and if many of those visitors are from China then you may want to consider localizing your content for that region. Localizing based on demographics in this case would also help you at home as Asian-Americans are a fast-growing ethnic minority in the United States with a population that is expected to be 10% overall by 2044.
Food & Healthcare Products
Several well-publicized food safety scandals in China have contributed to a nationwide distrust of domestic food manufacturers and producers. Some examples of this included a baby formula scandal that resulted in the death of six infants, widening concerns over the use of harmful pesticides, 40-year-old frozen meat being sold to the public and chemically-caused exploding watermelons. Western food products are widely viewed as safer due to more rigorous safety standards and as a result the importing of North American food products into China has jumped 76% from 2010 to 2014.
Related: Top Ten Chinese Food Scandals
Chinese pet food has also fallen into disfavor after massive recalls in 2007 and again in 2014 that caused several American pet franchises to pull Chinese-produced pet treats from their shelves.
Many Chinese consumers prefer to buy American brands, affording U.S. eCommerce providers numerous new revenue opportunities for organically-grown food, vitamin and food supplements, pharmaceuticals, and pet supplies.
Bricks & Clicks eCommerce Retailers
Just as American and Canadian tourists visit other countries and fall in love with a particular brand or product line, so do Chinese visitors. In fact, they’re the largest demographic of foreign tourists to the U.S. and not only do they fall in love with American brands but young, affluent and aspirational Chinese with increasingly disposable income seek American brands for their cachet and to express their own personal style. Asian-Americans, particularly the young, are also well-educated and are considered to be aspirational potential customers with considerable interest in fashion and accessories, electronics and cosmetics.
In places like southern California, tour bus operators, luxury retailers and hotel owners are localizing their businesses to be friendlier to Chinese and other Asian tourists with multilingual staff, and according to the L.A. Times, their California visitors’ favorite brands are Coach, Ugg, Polo, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Nieman Marcus, and L’Occitane.
Insurance & Retirement Fund Companies
In the United States, insurance companies and retirement funds tend to overlook the lucrative Asian-American market and don’t recognize that they contain high-value potential customers. Asian-Americans are extremely loyal once they’re onboarded, particularly for health insurance companies and medical care providers as they take good care of themselves, practice preventative health measures and don’t abuse their provider’s policies. They file fewer insurance claims and when they do they’re more often for lower-cost outpatient services.
Asian-Americans are digitally proactive and when it comes to something as important as one’s family’s health, it’s critical that they access the right information and understand it completely. This is where properly localized websites and content can play a key role as this information needs to be in a language your visitors are fluent in. Many people for whom English is a second language and in which they may lack fluency will find it easy enough to muddle through an Amazon purchase or a pizza delivery but they simply can’t take that chance with policy information or an investment decision like a retirement fund.
New business development for mainland Chinese and Asian-Americans is still at the bottom of the wave, the best place to be to take full advantage of a trend before your competitors join in. For the best, most professional impression you can make, you need to localize your website and informational content into Chinese and other languages commonly spoken by your potential customers, whether they’re abroad or right here at home. Localization isn’t simply a smooth and natural-sounding translation. You need to capture and address all the cultural nuances that demonstrate an educated awareness of how different each culture is while avoiding stereotypes and clichés. A website that clearly understands your particular culture adds trust.
Yappn Corp is an enhanced machine translation company offering translations in dozens of languages and a strong eCommerce presence in Asia. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +1.905.763.3510 x246.
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Written by Nicole Chardenet, Sales Development Rep at Yappn