How to Sell Health Supplements & Vitamins in China
Are you a fitness brand that sells health supplements & vitamins? If so, you may have theorized strategies to expand your brand’s presence and enter the Chinese market. The health supplements & vitamins industry in China, just like many other industries in the country, is quickly growing in popularity amongst Chinese consumers. This means there’s plenty of opportunity to get your brand in front of millions of people, increase your brand awareness and boost sales.
But like with every other industry in China, foreign businesses are advised to enter the Chinese market fully prepared. There are many challenges that foreign businesses must understand, adapt, and overcome in order to establish their brand in China. Government regulations and cultural barriers that brands must adhere to can be intimidating and confusing to navigate. But with research and the right guidance from agencies that specialize in Chinese digital advertising and marketing (like Gab China), you can start advertising your health supplements & vitamins in China right away.
This article will cover useful information that health supplements & vitamins brands should be aware of prior to attempting to execute preliminary marketing and advertising strategies. Health supplements & vitamins has become a lucrative industry in China, but also an increasingly competitive and saturated industry. Your brand needs to take appropriate steps to identify your target audience, differentiate your brand, and stand out from the crowd.
Do Chinese Consumers Purchase Health Supplements?
Yes! China’s economic development in the 21st century has created a burgeoning population with increased disposable income and stronger purchasing power. This economic and cultural transformation has created a demand for a variety of products and services, giving foreign brands lucrative opportunities to supply this demand.
The health supplements & vitamins industry has grown in popularity significantly because of this, as well as other cultural factors. China’s growing middle class and white-collar population work a fast-paced and relentless lifestyle. As a result, ordering takeout for lunch and dinner is extremely common in China, but is not the healthiest lifestyle choice. Thus, taking health supplements every day to compensate has become an integral part of people’s lifestyle.
Historically China’s culture has promoted health and fitness through traditional medicine and martial arts. But more recently, gym culture and exercise classes (from yoga to dance) have grown in popularity and demand amongst millennial and Gen Z middle class consumers. The modern Chinese consumer is now more health conscious than before, and is becoming more educated on the benefits of daily vitamin supplementation.
Finally, it would be remiss to not mention that the COVID-19 pandemic has made people in general more health conscious. Ample nutrition is an important part of maintaining one’s health or boosting one’s immune system. Therefore, taking daily vitamins and health supplements is an easy and effective solution that alleviates this issue.
Identify your Target Audience
China is a big country with over 1.3 billion people. This means that your brand must be strategic in choosing the regions in China you intend on marketing your health supplements & vitamins in China. Here are some tips that you should bear in mind:
What is the type of health supplement or vitamin that you intend on selling to Chinese customers? Ideally, your product should be attractive and useful to a large majority of demographics in China. This will make advertising and marketing your product a lot easier, more palatable, and understood amongst the average consumer.
Your target audience is going to fit within the millennial and Gen Z category – particularly amongst women who are more interested in these types of products. This archetype of consumer is also going to be based in the bustling regions of China such as Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Guangdong province.
If your product serves a particular niche, then we advise you to conduct research to find out the type of Chinese consumer that would be interested in purchasing your product. For help, contact Gab China and get your free consultation.
Comply with Chinese Regulations
Understanding, complying, and adapting to the country’s regulations is the biggest hurdle that you will encounter as a foreign business. Doing so requires completing paperwork and labelling requirements in Chinese.
China is strict when it comes to health supplements & vitamins advertisements. You’ll need advertisement approval from the National Medical Products Administration, which is essential for advertising on any platform in China.
For WeChat ads, foreign companies that do not have advertisement approval from the NMPA should deposit RMB 100,000 to Tencent. If there are no serious complaints from customers during the ad period, the money will be refunded once you stop the ads.
You’ll also need to have completed the following documents:
- Business license
- Trademark certificate
- Customs declaration form
- Customs quarantine inspection certificate
- Foreign products imported health food approval certificate
- Application forms and operation authorization forms from advertisement platforms
Contact Gab China for help on complying to regulation here.
Moreover, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve already registered and set up your store on popular Chinese e-commerce platforms (such as Tmall and JD) as well as your brand’s Chinese website.
Where to Sell your Health Supplements?
Undoubtedly, a large percentage of your consumers are going to derive from popular Chinese e-commerce platforms. Tmall and JD are the dominant B2C e-commerce platforms in which consumers typically use to buy products.
Remember, Chinese consumers are looking for products that of high-quality, authentic, and have a strong reputation. Perception is reality, and your brand will look more professional and reputable with:
- A Chinese website that has strong, professional, and consistent branding
- An online presence on major Chinese social media platforms
It goes without saying that content on the following channels must be written in Chinese. Otherwise, your SEO ranking on Baidu (the leading search engine in China) will be poor. Your website and online stores should also include detailed explanations (written in Chinese) of each product, so that consumers can understand what your product provides.
We recommend you reach out to an agency that specializes in content localization to the Chinese market. For help on content localization, contact Gab China here.
Moreover, your brand message must be clear, concise, and attractive to Chinese consumers. This requires executing campaigns and advertisements that explicitly indicates the functionality and utility of your products.
You’ll be happy to hear that an advantage that foreign businesses have is that Chinese consumers tend to show more confidence in foreign products compared to domestic counterparts. But it’s up to your brand to deliver and make customers trust your product.
Leverage WeChat and KOL Collaborations
So, what are some strategies that your brand can start considering early on? Well, researching popular WeChat accounts to contact and advertise your products on is a great way to increase brand awareness – especially on a major social media platform like WeChat.
Obviously, the WeChat accounts you approach should be relevant to your brand. Perhaps they’re a health & fitness page that posts articles promoting fitness and health tips. Your product could provide a solution to many problems that health and fitness conscious consumers are looking to solve.
And finally, contact popular fitness KOLs that can help promote your brand! Local influencers have a huge influence on their follower’s purchasing decisions. Hence, collaborating with the right influencer can be greatly beneficial in exposing your brand to a wide audience that represents your target audience. This will convert to a boost in traffic and sales.