So, you're based in Northern Ireland and you want to start selling to China? Or perhaps you wish to begin doing business with Chinese companies?
Some products and services are like gold dust in China. Irish & Scotch whiskey, Luxury food products, UK and Ireland clothing brands to name but a few. And we don't have to explain the size of the market. (50% of the world!) So, how might you begin to trade with China? Where would you start? How would you begin to generate sales, leads or contacts? The answer? - Chinafy your website! You can allow your website to act as the interpretor. You can deal in English and Sterling as normal, and your website can deal in Mandarin and Renminbi.
Here's five steps to make your website rock in China.
1. TRANSLATE all pages and create a Chinese version of your website. Google translate is about 90% accurate. The 10% can be forgiven - you're just attempting to generate some new leads - you're not trying to be Shakespeare. Your message well get across. And good images and pricing are universal! Your web team can create a Chinese version of your website in no time. Your new website can be launched on a sub domain like mywebsite.com/china/
Translate example - translate.google.co.uk/#auto/zh-CN/Hello%2C%20welcoem%20to%20our%20website.
2. RELAUNCH in Baidu- the Chinese equivalent of Google. When you launch a website here in Northern Ireland - we add the site to Google's index and add a sitemap telling Google about all the pages and links etc. Baidu acts exactly the same way. Using Google Chrome's translate toolbar - we can browse Baidu in English and follow the simple steps for adding a new website.
3. EXCEPT PAYMENTS - Alipay is the Asian equivalent to Paypal. It's slightly trickier to set up but its worth it's weight in gold. (Quite literally.) Attaching Alipay to your new Chinafied website will allow you to accept payments in Renminbi and other Asian currencies. You could open up your on-line store to a whole new market. (A market that's 1000's of times bigger than the UK and 100's of times bigger than Europe or the US.) With a little market research you might even find you can charge a premium for some of your products or services in China.
4. DELIVERY - If you're delivering physical goods to China, check out Parcel Monkey. They offer awesome rates on delivering small parcels to China from the UK. www.parcelmonkey.co.uk.
5. EMAIL MARKETING - Although Chinese people prefer a slightly different look and feel and imagery - the same basic principles apply to sending newsletters and marketing emails in China. Check out China's anti-spam laws before sending any emails - http://sampi.co/email-marketing-and-chinas-anti-spam-laws/
That's it. Now you're all China'd up. Enjoy working with a new market and wonderful new country. As always, treat your Chinese customers with the same honesty and integrity as you would anyone else and if your products are quality and well priced - we're confident you'll do well!