How to sell your wine in China via ecommerce?

Jul 24, 2014 7 Comments by

Every year Chinese spend 100 billion yuan in wine.

However, there has yet to be a leader in wine brokerage or retailing because of the low prices set by the e-commerce companies. Until 2010, most of the wine business was held via corporate and government affiliates as well as gaining clients through networking. High prices were easy to set since not many had any real knowledge of the market back then.

Nowadays, smaller wine agents have issues accessing retailing platforms such as supermarkets. They usually charge 300 yuan per item per store. This means that shelving item cost can go through the roof to cost more 100000 yuan a year.

On the other hand, importing wine is seen as a business with good potential for the next five years. 10 years ago, the vast majority of the wine market in China was overtaken by three main players :





Great Wall

China Great Wall Wine

Now, this is changing with imported wine totalling 30% of the total. In 2012 China became the world first wine consumer, leaving behind France and the US. From 2008 to 2013 there has been a 136% increase in the number of bottle of red wine bought according to a report from Vinexpo.

Chinese are experiencing a profound change in quality of life, marked by the rise of the middle class. In addition, Chinese do not feel compelled to buy to give gifts as they used to before. Retail sector was just a third of the total wine market but will definitely change as the rising middle class will be more and more likely to use their newly acquired wealth and leisure time.

As you can see the Chinese wine market is still maturing which means that there are a number of business opportunities ready for the taking.

What is the most efficient way to seize them?

After the deep change that happened in Chinese history, the country is turned toward the future and the new technologies. Internet is unarguably integrated to Chinese daily life:

According to the latest figures

  • 632 million netizen in China (48.6% of China population)
  • 83% of them use their phone to go online and therefore are present on-line 24h/7.

These figures show very well that you must design a digital marketing strategy to reach your key targets.

How do you do that?


You must increase the visibility of your brand and publish high quality content following the right guidelines, using the right channel

Where do customers go to find information about wine they would like to drink?

In China the first place your customers will want to go to is Baidu, the most important search engine in China with more than 80% shares on the search engine market.

Therefore, the place to be the most visible on is Baidu. For that to happen, it is mandatory to start a Search Engine Marketing campaign using SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC to increase your brand awareness.

How does it work?


People use key words to find information on Search engines such as Baidu. Improving the ranking is critical to have a good inbound traffic toward your website.

To understand the importance of such a method you have to know that 85% of the requests stop at the first page. This means that if you are not within the results of the first page your wine brand will have little chance to be sold on-line because of lack of visibility since only 15% of the traffic will reach the page where your website appears.


Choosing the right key words in a PPC campaign or pay per click campaign gives you automatically a spot at the top of the SERP for some key words.

PPC is very useful for the short term but needs to be mixed with a SEO campaign to get the best results.

Community management


Social networks are everywhere in China, much more present than in Europe or even in the US. In China you must forget facebook and the like, they amount to naught. Weibo and Wechat are your best bet to establish a good community that will raise your brand image and help you understand the perception your customers have of your brand.

Buzz :

Buzz marketing consists in publishing multimedia content to raise your brand awareness very quickly. It is most useful when your brand has yet to be known

PR :

On the internet there are on-line journals and blogs you need to publish regularly onto in order to raise brand image and brand awareness.

Video :

Wine is also an experience Chinese people are more and more fond of. Teaching people how to enjoy wine is a good way to increase your brand image since they will associate your brand with expertise.

Here is a video

In this video, Philip Osenton, a wine expert is giving a course of wine testing. A wine brand setting such a video would benefit from the host reputation and would use a subtil way of introducing its wines. Indeed a brand would have the chance to describe its way under the best light possible and make sure that the right message is sent.

Competitive prices :

  • First, even though wines are often considered as luxury products, Chinese consumers want to have the cheapest prices.
  • Second e-commerce is here, pushing the prices even lower.

Often customers will find information about a brand they want to buy and try to find cheaper versions of it.


Yes Wine : an e-commerce website specialised in wine selling


Wines are all about prestige and quality. Reputation in China is everything, should you find yourself the target of rumours you need to be able to nip them in the bud. For this a wine company can call onto community managers that will do damage control in order to free themselves from the bad comments. At the end of the operation all the bad comments will have been pushed away leaving only the good comments visible.


China has completely changed its ways of doing business. When you enter a new market you have to adapt to its rules and codes. Here they are all digital. This article showed you the outline of what has to be done in order to sell your wine in China. However, in order to ensure success you also need experts that will do it well.

Need Ecommerce agency ?

If you want to know more about how to use digital marketing to successfully do business in China, it is here

Chinese Wine Industry, News, Wine & Chinese Internet, Wine Marketing in China

About the author

Olivier VEROT, is a Marketing expert for the Chinese Market. He will speak about the Internet trends about wine and about the Marketing best practices.

7 Responses to “How to sell your wine in China via ecommerce?”

  1. Ecto says:

    It is a very interesting post and I am sure than wine in China will be like cloth in the next 2 years… online and online.

  2. Dirk Buder says:

    dear sirs, i want to sell spain wine in china.
    whats are vat – rate for import wine and any interest of wine from galiza (north of spain)
    regards dirk

  3. Steve Clawson says:

    What type of shipping system works best, Fed Ex? UPS? Does China use a specific delivery system and what types of issues does this raise?

  4. Zane says:

    I do not leave many responses, but i did some searching and wound up
    here How to sell your wine in China via ecommerce? | Zhongguo Wine.
    And I do have a couple of questions for you if you don’t mind.
    Is it just me or does it give the impression like some of the remarks
    look like they are coming from brain dead folks? :-P And,
    if you are writing at other places, I’d like
    to keep up with everything new you have to post. Would you
    list of every one of all your public sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter

  5. Arts martiaux says:

    J’ai lu pas mal de choses intéressantes en parcourant votre site
    web. Merci

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