Go West, Emerging Consumer Market of the Midwest China
Need to improve weakness of each product and targeted K-Wave marketing to aim
at buyers who have little experience buying Korean products -
Some argue that it is necessary to develop an export
strategy aiming at China's mid-west region, the emerging consumer market.
The Institute for International Trade (President,
Shin Seung-kwan) of the Korea International Trade Association issued a report
titled ‘Go West Strategy.’ The report states that the survey of 700 buyers and
consumers in the Midwest of China on the awareness of Korean products shows
that people are highly satisfied with the quality of Korean products and the
interest and demand on K-Beauty will continue as the respondents selected
beauty products such as cosmetics for their future purchase.
Recently, the central and western regions of China
are emerging as major consumer markets. The personal income growth of major
cities in the Midwest China is overtaking that of the eastern regions and five
major cities such as Wuhan and Chengdu are included in the top 20 consumer
The report notes that it is required to develop
sales strategies targeting buyers in the Midwest China as only 77 percent of
buyers have imported the products from Korea and 67.0 percent of them were
satisfied with the experiences while 92.8 percent of consumers in the Midwest
region had experience in purchasing Korean products and 88.2 percent were
satisfied. The major reason for the buyers not importing Korean products were
‘the difficulties in finding partners’. Therefore, it is suggested to raise
awareness of the power of products as well as brands by constantly
participating in the same exhibitions and fairs for consumer products as the
buyers responded that the major opportunities for them to import Korean
products took place at the exhibitions and fairs.
For the consumers, the customized strategies for
each product group are needed. While the images of food and beverage and beauty
products are required to be upgraded, small domestic appliances, sanitary
products and household goods need quality improvement. In addition, it is
essential to utilize online channels as 57.8 percent of consumers are
purchasing online, and most of the products’ information is acquired via online
such as SNS.
On the other hand, the impact of K-Wave on the
purchasing decisions of consumers and buyers in the Midwest China is still
significant. Particularly, the impact is even larger on the high-income group.
Therefore, the report points out that the K-wave marketing aiming at the groups
above upper middle class should be continued.
The senior researcher Kim Eun-young at the IIT said “It is required to keep a close eye on the government’s development
policies for the Midwest China as the region is rising as a consumer market
with Chinese government’s regional development plans.”
She also suggested “It is important to differentiate
strategies, including the development of different B2C and B2B strategies by
selecting key regions based on the awareness of the local consumers and buyers.”