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Adapt to the rising trend of rational purchasing in China: Strategies for Brand Advertisers
Source: | Author:Candy | Published time: 2023-04-20 | 995 Views | Share:

In China, many companies pay KOLs to share their products as an advertising strategy to increase sales. This used to be an effective approach until the consumption habits of Chinese consumers changed. Recently, internet users in China have become increasingly rational. Before making a purchase, they conduct thorough research on the product and the brand. In this article, we will discuss the shift in Chinese consumers' consumption habits and recommend the advertising products that brands should use to convince rational consumers in China to purchase their products.

1. Over  80% of Chinese consumers actively conduct product research after being attracted by KOLs' reviews

They no longer consider KOLs' reviews to be entirely reliable and will actively conduct product research after being attracted by a product review from a KOL. KOLs are often paid to conduct product reviews, and as a result, fake reviews may be provided to facilitate multiple collaborations. Below, we have outlined Chinese internet users' product research behaviors and provided relevant data. 


Extracted from (a Chinese professional research platform)

As shown in the blue bar chart above, 83% of users enter the comment section after being attracted by KOLs' product reviews, 83% raise questions in the comment area, and 80% will actively search for more information about products. Brands should develop digital marketing strategies targeting this group of rational consumers.

2. Learn the 3 searching behaviors Chinese consumers go through before making a purchase.

In general, China's search engine users go through 3 search stages before making a purchase: 1) brand awareness, 2) product experience, and finally, 3) purchase channel. Below are some strategic responses for each stage.

2.1. Brand Awareness: Enhance brand authority through SEM and SEO strategies

The "brand awareness" stage is when consumers learn about a new brand and start searching for more information. Brands should carry out SEM and SEO strategies to enhance the brand's authority because this largely determines whether consumers will consider further purchases.

For SEM, brands can invest in various search keywords to reach as many potential consumers as possible. For example, HUAWEI CLOUD can input search keywords such as "HUAWEI CLOUD space" (華為雲空間) and "HUAWEI CLOUD service" (華為雲服務) so that when potential consumers search for these keywords, HUAWEI CLOUD's official website will appear prominently on the result page.


One of the HUAWEI CLOUD's Baidu Search Ads.

Secondly, for SEO, brands can establish brand authority content on Baidu Baike to improve the quality of brand information on search engines. Baidu Baike is an encyclopedia website launched by Baidu, China's largest search engine. Internet users in China use Baidu Baike for various research, including product research. Baidu Baike appears high on search engine results pages when users search for your brand name., so it can improve the quality and quantity of traffic your website receives from search engines.


Huawei Cloud's Baidu Baike page

2.2. Product experience: convince potential consumers by publishing product-related PR articles

After establishing initial trust in the brand through search, consumers enter the "product experience" stage. At this stage, netizens further search for news articles related to products online to assist in making purchase decisions. Taking SKII as an example, if an Internet user searches "神仙水使用记录" on Baidu, an SKII PR article released on named "神仙水使用记录" will appear at a rather high position among search results (see gifs below). Compared to KOL reviews, articles released on (騰訊新聞) and (搜狐網) are generally regarded as more credible by Chinese netizens. If you want to publish PR news on major Chinese news channels, please contact


SKII PR PR article from

2.3. Purchase channel: Acquire high visibility in search engines by advertising in Brand Zone

After deciding to buy a certain product, consumers will search for the most suitable purchase channel. At this stage, it is recommended for brands to secure the most prominent position on the search results page by using the Brand Zone advertising platform, making it easy for potential consumers to purchase products directly from the search engine. Below is an example from Airwallex, a fintech company currently using Brand Zone to increase their visibility on search engines.


Fintech company Airwallex's Baidu Brand Zone

As shown above, the official Airwallex website appears at the top of the results page and comes with various buttons such as "sign up now", "about us", "news center", "contact us", etc. Moreover, Airwallex also added some well-designed ad pictures to their Brand Zone. These functions can facilitate registration, inquiries, and sales. Not only because the brand zone makes Airwellax's official website look authoritative but also because netizens can easily access the pages they want to know most.

The above are some suggestions on how brands can gradually attract Chinese users. However. which keywords are suitable for your brand's SEM advertising? How can you create and open a Baidu Baike page? And which news media in China can help promote your brand?

If your brand is unsure about how to conduct promotion in China, QS Search, a company that has been specializing in Chinese media marketing for many years, can help you analyze and identify a series of search keywords suitable for your brand promotion based on your brand characteristics, audience traits, and other factors by using big data tools. Moreover, leveraging our extensive marketing experience in China, we can help you choose the most appropriate promotional channels for your brand.

Please feel free to contact us at anytime, and our experienced marketing experts will tailor a personalized marketing plan for your brand, helping you to enter the Chinese market more quickly and smoothly.

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