I am going to talk about Chinese mobile app development tips in this blog! This will be part 1 and will release part 2 in my next blog!
For folks who are interested in entering the Chinese market and want to learn from companies, which had already had presence and had successfully generated sales in China (China has more than 1.3 billion population and Apple is still ranked as the top 1 brand compared to Xiaomi and Huawei), chances are, things won’t go too wrong…
Take Apple for an example, everyone knows Apple right? iPhone is surely popular in China and had successfully generated many sales. I noticed that Apple had published a guide for developers who are interested in building a mobile app for App stores and one thing that caught my attention is one of its guideline for “Build Apps for the World”, Apple had encouraged anyone who is interested in building international apps to:
- Structure your app to support localized content.
- Translate user-visible content.
- Advance your localization with acculturalization.
- Localize your App Store metadata
- Reach a local audience through your marketing
From what Apple said, clearly simply just translating the content (although it is the first step) is not enough, advancing the localization with cultural elements such as local trends, buzzwords, and adding social media sharing buttons, as well as locating your app’s metadata too. So this suggestion given by Apple can surely apply to Chinese website and mobile app development, therefore, it is not just the translation, it is other many things that on top of it!
Let’s take a look some of the examples of the mobile app functions that is listed in App stores in China:
Interactive entrance page
Entrance page is critically important as it gives users the first impression about your mobile app, your brand, product or services. Take C-trip travel blog as an example, the first entrance page allows users to obtain a 360-degree view of Shanghai where can turn around their mobile phone to see the full view. Take T-Mall mobile app as an example, there is an interactive and moving lovely cat pop-up when you open the mobile app. The interactive elements warmed new visitors and gave them a good surprise.
Login is universal, without any exception when you would like to develop a mobile app for the China market. Localizing login for different countries is key. Chinese have a completely Chinese social media such as WeChat and Weibo, so allowing customers to choose these two social media channels login is crucial.
The search bar is the key for any product listing website, platform, and mobile app. The search bar is prominent for all kinds of Chinese mobile apps, no matter it is travel, m-commerce, media etc.
Red packet is used as a marketing gimmick for m-commerce app to lure a new user to sign up the app and make a purchase by redeeming the discount.
During seasonal, annual promotional campaign such as Double 11, 12 festival, Christmas, summer promotion, and Chinese new year, promotional banners and pop-up banners will become more standout, vibrant to capture the attention of the visitors.
Chinese mobile app should be designed and built with actual Chinese users in mind. Whether it is a mobile app that is built for a mass market, for a particular industry, i.e shopping, travel, finance etc, it is important to create the persona and the whole app is built around a particular persona and targeted groups of people so that it will be much more targeted.
Another thing Apple hadn’t mentioned inside the article but worth to note is the fact building a like-minded community is important. If you are developing a Chinese app, then the ability to connect with local and native community will increase engagement and increase likeliness for users to prolong their stay and come back for your app., because it is not just the app is attractive, it is the ability to get to know and communicate with other users with same interest, passions and skills gives them another reason to stay.
Apple also mentioned about “reaching a local audience through your marketing” and suggests that localizing your marketing materials and researching local social networks in which to spread the word about your app, as these may vary significantly across markets. So if you think that translating your English website into a Chinese website get the job done and your website or mobile app will automatically be visible and rank the top place, then you are wrong!
On May 1 Apple released an advertisement titled “The City,” on YouTube. The advertisement features a young Chinese couple taking photos (using the iPhone 7 Plus’s touted “portrait mode”) as they eat noodles, visit the aquarium, and wander the streets of Shanghai.
This is the recent video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waTteMeg4Ag) produced by Apple with a modern yet localized touch of Chine actors and scenes in Shanghai.
Over the past eight years, Sarah has led and executed successful digital campaigns for a range of international and local companies in China, Hong Kong and internationally, including: Hong Kong Ocean Park, agnes b, Volkswagen, Premium Tax Free – Watches of Switzerland and Damiani. She has worked with property, travel and hospitality, luxury and fashion clients. As a native Chinese speaker fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, Sarah is also a popular Chinese lifestyle, fashion and travel blogger.
During the day, she was working for Red Digital China, during the night, she expands her interest in creating story-telling content, design, drawing etc.