How to attract these customers?
If traditional marriage has long been crucial and very important to respect in Chinese culture, they slowly but surely begin to soften. Therefore, more and more Chinese couples decide to get married abroad. When this is the case, they are willing to spend a fortune to have the wedding of their dreams.
Wedding is not something to be trifled with
Wedding is taken very seriously in China. It is part of the primordial step that every Chinese must accomplish in life and it is a testimony to the eyes of society, culture and tradition. It is also a way to show his wealth and social status and getting married abroad is a proves of wealth.
Last year, 12 million couples got married and this figure is increasing by 5% according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Why? This is simply an effect of the mid 1980s baby boom which causes a significant number of people who, now, have the age to marry. This new generation might not want to obey the tradition and would rather like to have an exceptional and unique wedding. The family-in-law is often willing to do anything to please the future bride and groom and it is estimated that the average expenditure for weddings in major cities is 12 000 euros.
However, these marriages are organized in China when it comes to the ceremony, photos and videos abroad, prices can reach heights. For example, Liu Yaqiong (manager of a fitness club) and Zhang Yin (musician) spent € 85 000 for a typical Western wedding with a Cartier ring and a 15 tables banquet in the 5 star Legendate Hotel in Beijing. A video made previously, showing the young couple in Phuket, was screened during the banquet. This 4 minutes of pure happiness cost € 1,200 to the couple. If you love, you don’t count the cost!
What are the most popular destinations?
If Chinese couples decide to organize their ceremony abroad, they often spend months or years to prepare this event. Everything must be perfect and nothing should interfere in the most important day of their lives. So what is the perfect place to spend the happiest day of their life?
Bali is a hotspot but not only for Chinese couples. This island is the most popular place on earth for weddings. However it is even more convenient for Chinese because it is not that far from China and marriage agencies out there begin to specialize for Chinese customers. They offer all kinds of services, from photo shoots and videos of the ceremony, to hair dresser and make up session of the groom and bridesmaids, and of course the complete organization of the wedding. The competition is fierce!
France is also one of the favourite spot for Chinese couples. Paris is obviously a particularly popular destination, but thanks to the Chinese TV show 一帘幽梦 yī lián You Meng (Dreams Link), the « Pays de la Loire » region and the city of Tour became well known for hosting considerable number of wedding or couple who wish to renew their vows. Why France? For the romantic side, the luxury and the historical heritage. It is a typical French marriage (white dress, veil and beautiful location) that they seek for. The « Provence » region is also popular for their honeymoon. The Chinese are willing to pay more than 50,000 euros in order to frolic in the famous lavender fields of the area.
Wealthy Chinese couples are also interested in The Caribbean to spend their honeymoons. Not only for its transparent water and the white sand beaches but also to meet their private banker and talk business. These trips are often accompanied by a stopover in the United States in order to do some shopping. Other destinations are also popular, especially for wedding’s shooting and videos such as Prague, Phuket, New Zealand or Italy.
Being active on the Chinese Internet
Virtual presence is primordial. Chinese couples, before confirming the ceremony with you or simply finding an agency to contact, will go on the Internet. Reputation is very important because in their research they seek for what other users think and other customers experiences whether it is on social networks, through opinion leaders account or on wedding forums.
Baidu is the search engine leader in China with over 80% market share. It is a clone of Google and therefore offers the same features. You can find a Baidu Map, Images, Video, but also forums where users can post and share their opinions and last discovery.
SEO is a first step
To facilitate for young Chinese couples the search of you website on Baidu, your site must be well ranked. A good ranking is vital in China. There are countless website that compete in the wedding industry so you must be in the first pages to capture more potential customers.
To get a good position on Baidu, it is necessary that your website is hosted in China, written in Mandarin and it must meet the search engine’s standards which are not the same as those of Google. In addition, a SEO or SEM campaign can give you a boost by optimizing your ranking, improving your visibility and targeting your customers more easily.
Online PR is a good choice
Feel free to use the local press because it is a good way to make a name for yourself and to bring reputation to your agency. If you want to have visibility more quickly, you should also do an SEM campaign. Having ads and on-line advertising will make your website appear at the top of the first page when Chinese will type the keywords related to your services. Moreover, Pay Per Click will give you a bonus from Baidu.
Partnership with a Chinese wedding agency will help you to save time and money. Therefore, you will not lose time building your reputation or your customer base since the Chinese agency will already have experience in the field. Word-of-mouth in this sector is widely practised, whether it is known by the physical network or the virtual one, it is important to take care of your e-reputation. The majority of Chinese follow their relatives’ advice or comments and information collected on-line so do not neglect it.
A high potential market
Today, there are 50 million of Chinese (3.5% of the population) who can afford weddings and honeymoons worthy of the name. 50,000 euros spent for a unique trip to France is, for them, the dream of a lifetime, for you a gold mine. It’s a real jackpot in terms of tourism and significant growth for employment rates.