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Smart portal to China

By Partner


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China is the largest e-commerce market in the world. Good news: your chances of realising success there are now hugely increased thanks to a full-service solution.

We’re often instantly put in mind of a gigantic production market when we first think of China. Yet there are also vast sales opportunities for the Western fashion industry. “China is the second largest luxury market in the world after the US and will soon be ready to surpass it. The Chinese are very interested in Western designs and are definitely open to new products. The country has also experienced significant growth in online spending for many years and is therefore already way ahead,” explains Taco Ubbink, managing director of Gateway O.

Social commerce

Taco's company uses these favourable conditions to assist fashion companies with gaining a foothold in China. Gateway O uses digital channels which are slightly different to those in the West. Business models based on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are not an option. However, the WeChat app can function like a gateway to China. It's partly comparable to ‘our’ WhatsApp.
“As the Chinese take a more horizontal approach, they’ve managed to integrate even more functions into this application. WeChat allows you to send messages, but also play games, book a taxi and buy and pay for clothing. This social commerce option, which combines e-commerce and social media, is what makes it particularly interesting as a sales channel. Especially when you consider that 1.2 billion Chinese consumers use the app.”


WeChat as a sales channel brings China closer. Taco also feels it can be an essential first step towards this market. Gateway O takes care of all the processes behind the store design on WeChat. Taco calls it a full-service solution. “It starts with the creation of a business account for the brand and designing the website within WeChat, as well as the further implementation. We establish campaigns with relevant influencers — the most effective form of marketing in China - in collaboration with our Chinese marketing partner. This will fairly quickly allow you to sell directly to Chinese consumers as a brand. The logistics side is also covered with our parent company Greenway Logistics. The store can therefore efficiently run with hardly any effort required from our customers.”

A good story

There are a few rules which can certainly speed up success. The Chinese value authenticity and storytelling. A fashion brand therefore needs to have a good story. This added value is particularly important in China. “Once you’ve got that sorted out, doing business should be fairly easy. And the investment required is modest compared to participating in a trade show, for instance,” according to Taco.
Gateway O is currently building several multi-brand stores on WeChat. The idea behind this is to make the full-service solution even more accessible to smaller brands. “This will also allow them to benefit from another one of China’s advantages: the opportunity to learn about upcoming trends. As a sales partner, you can therefore anticipate the trends which will become popular in the West at a later stage much more effectively.”

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Gateway-O. WeChat
Partner Content
Social Commerce