By Jeff Kim, firstname.lastname@example.org
As the Chinese New Year approaches, online retailers and the brands they represent are making huge investments in their China-focused websites. But unlike years past, it’s not just the luxury brands that stand to perform well this coming January. Online retailers offering a spectrum of Western brands, luxury or otherwise, have gained market traction among China’s 25-35 year olds. In fact, Western products across a broad range of categories drove the nearly four-fold leap in holiday e-commerce in 2010. According to Taobao.com, China’s largest online retail site, online sales during the New Year’s Spring Festival rose from 280 Yuan in 2009 to 1 billion Yuan (150 million U.S. Dollars) in 2010.
To prepare their websites for the coming holiday season, online retailers should borrow a page from the playbooks of luxury brand retailers with strong online sales in China. These retailers have succeeded through an ability to both draw consumers to their sites and retain consumers with high-performing, immersive site experiences. Such experiences ensure customer loyalty, and Chinese consumers tend to be far more loyal shoppers than Western consumers.
But delivering immersive website experiences has proven difficult, especially for early entrants into China. The imperfect nature of China’s Internet infrastructure slows the performance of online retail sites. Page load times of thirty seconds to one minute are not uncommon, and this leads to high shopping cart abandonment. Online retailers who have adjusted quickly to the shortcomings of China’s Internet infrastructure improved their website performance and enjoy strong China revenue today.
Aligning site optimization with website performance optimization
Online retailers in China do well to align their investments in search optimization and Web applications with the proper content delivery strategy. Through the use of a distributed content delivery network, or CDN, their website performance stands out among online retailers, particularly during the peak holiday shopping season. By leveraging an in-China CDN, they ensure high website performance and a quality end-user experience ―