1. Current status of China’s imported wine market
China’s wine imports from January to December 2021 amounted to 42,662,000 liters; the import value was $1.697 billion. Customs data show that from January to May 2022, China’s total imports of bottled wine have reached US$920 million. The overall import amount volume is huge.
Wine meets the dual needs of the young Chinese group in pursuit of a high quality of life socially, the number of the middle class, the mainstay of red wine consumption, will exceed 500 million in the next five years. Now, the average consumer drinking wine at home has become an important trend in the Chinese consumer market. The per capita consumption of wine in China will increase in the future, and the Chinese market has great potential for consumption.
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2. What are the sales methods and channels for imported wines in China?
The sales channels for wine in China are not as clear as in European countries, such as high-end wines for high-end restaurants, low-end wines for supermarkets, etc. In China, there are mainly the following channels for selling imported wines.
1、Wine stores, tobacco stores
3、Large supermarket chains
4、E-commerce, through e-commerce platforms (Tmall, Jingdong)
5、High-end hotels and western restaurants
According to the survey, stores, tobacco stores and supermarkets are still the main channels for wine consumers to buy wine; food and beverage channels are relatively weak compared to other channels; e-commerce channels are gradually becoming one of the main channels for wine purchases, especially in Beijing and Shanghai, which are directly linked to income and habits; coastal regions are still the main places to buy wine offline due to the convenience of purchase channels and bonded areas. The coastal regions are still the main buying places due to the convenience of purchasing channels and bonded areas.
Also for wines sold through e-commerce channels, the brand factor has a higher impact on purchasing behavior because consumers buy online and cannot really see or touch the quality of the product, which requires them to have a great deal of recognition and trust in the wine brand.
In this case, the marketing of the wine brand is very important.
3. How to market wine in China?
The special characteristics of wine that distinguish it from other types of wine require a high-level marketing approach in order to highlight its unique cultural taste.
Therefore, wine brands need to demonstrate wine culture and brand value in marketing activities such as market research, target audience, promotion and after-sales service, and strive to build a brand image with distinctive selling points in order to influence consumers’ minds and guide their purchasing behavior.
4. So how to implement wine marketing strategy in China?
According to the survey, the post-00 to post-60 wine consumers are more than 65% of the population, and the post-85 to post-95 wine drinkers are more than 80% of the population. This shows that wine is actually loved by people of all ages, with young people becoming the main consumer group of wine.
In terms of digital platform selection, wine brands should take care of all age groups and strengthen their marketing tools on platforms where young people gather.
5. Which platforms to choose for wine marketing?
Among the post-00s to post-85s, the power of Xiaohongshu and Douyin cannot be ignored. And these are the hottest social platforms in China at the moment. Their common marketing logic relies on traffic pools and big data push mechanisms, which can save brands a lot of time and money in targeting people.
Little Red Book / Xiaohongshu
Little Red Book / Xiaohongshu is currently the strongest grass-planting platform in China, its user group is young, pursuing exquisite life and love to share, for users Little Red Book / Xiaohongshu is a high authenticity platform, users can easily use the recommendations and reviews on Little Red Book / Xiaohongshu as the basis for decisive decisions.
On Little Red Book / Xiaohongshu, highly accurate information flow push and long-tail keyword search are the two major assets for wine brand marketing, which will give great help to the content marketing of wine culture. Whether it is KOL with goods, creative short videos, or brands using graphic information to promote brand culture, it will establish a good start for wine brands to initially occupy consumers’ minds.
For the Douyin platform ( TikTok for China), short video content creativity is the most important. Wine brands can choose suitable and variable video (or live) forms for marketing: for example, wine origin shooting, wine brewing process, wine brand stories, wine tasting courses, wine barrel knowledge, wine evaluation and so on. Douyin is now a strategic tool for all companies wishing to make their mark on the Chinese market.
For Chinese people, in addition to offline physical stores, Baidu’s search results and the brand’s Wechat Official Accounts are also trusted sources of information.
Baidu, which has undergone some important updates recently, is the largest search engine in China, and the search results presented by wine brands on the first page of Baidu are the key factor that determines the base impression of the brand for all search users (distributors and consumers).
Baidu SEO also enables wine brand products to appear correctly under wine search keywords, making the brand achieve a win-win effect of high conversion rate and high communication rate.
WeChat is the largest all-ages social platform in China, and it is very powerful. Whether it is the Moments, WeChat video, Official Account or WeChat Programmer, it is an excellent platform for wine brands to make full use of. Especially for the post-60s and post-70s groups, the content distribution and purchasing procedures on WeChat are very much in line with their usage habits.
The creation of a WeChat Official Account is even the first step in digital marketing for brands in all industries, whether it is for new product launches, PR campaigns, sales or after-sales service, it can provide, so it is an important step in providing consumers with brand authority.
To sum up, it is important for all wine brands to make good products and polish them carefully, build their brand’s cultural confidence, set up a good marketing strategy and operate at an appropriate pace. This way, all brands, big or small, can make their own characteristics and successfully enter the Chinese market.
If you want to know more about wine in the Chinese market, STAiiRS provides you with professional information, feel free to contact us!