The Great British Food Store, delivered in association with Regroup China and Elanders, is a new cross-border eCommerce solution that allows established UK food and drink brands to test the market in China by selling on WeChat - the platform where 40% of all Chinese eCommerce takes place.
Introducing the Great British Food Store
The Great British Food Programme team have teamed up with Regroup China, a digital marketing agency which specialises in Chinese cross-border eCommerce, and Elanders, an award-winning logistics company with expertise in getting your products safely into China, to create a simple and convenient international sales solution – The Great British Food Store.
Launching a food and drink brand in China can be an expensive, complex experience. Our one-stop solution removes many of these risks and frustrations by eliminating setup costs and managing the market-entry process. Simply put – it’s getting your products into China practically free of charge!
How does it work?
The Great British Food Store will act as an incubator to connect the best of UK food and drink produce with over 300 million daily active Chinese consumers, opening the gateway to a lucrative new B2C sales stream and the opportunity to export to China with minimum fuss. Once consistent sales have been realised there will be the option to move off of this market-entry platform in order to increase shipment volumes and to set up new agreements with preferred partners.
Why sell on WeChat?
First released in 2011, WeChat is China’s most popular messaging app with more than 1 billion users. Whilst it started out as a messaging service similar to WhatsApp, WeChat has since transformed into an all-in-one mobile ‘super-app’ with integrated features such as video and voice calling, games and a QR code scanner.
Moreover, let’s not forget, the advanced payment system - WeChat Pay – where users can connect with their bank accounts and purchase everyday goods with a simple click from their phone. WeChat is now an eCommerce giant, capable of connecting ambitious international brands to Chinese consumers in just a few clicks.
What are WeChat Mini Programs?
The biggest evolution of WeChat came in early 2017 with the introduction of Mini Programs, bringing eCommerce capability to the forefront of the app. Mini programs are best described as ‘apps within an app’ - imagine WhatsApp, Amazon and Instagram integrated into a single mobile app.
WeChat users spent US$115 billion through mini-programs in 2019, a 160% increase from the previous year. Mini programs already allow for all kinds of functions, including renting bicycles and buying concert tickets, but it’s grocery and alcohol sales that are now seeing real growth as China’s demand for high quality overseas produce grows year-on-year.
For UK brands wishing to test the waters in China, a WeChat mini program is the ideal vehicle to build brand awareness, assess market demand and act as a route to drive international sales.
Registration and Listing Fees
There are no registration or joining fees for UK brands hoping to join the Great British Food Store. Any approved brands will instead be required to pay a one-time listing fee of £350.00 per SKU/product, with each company permitted to put forward and list a maximum of five SKUs on the store at any one time.
Shipping and Logistics
Elanders are our approved shipping and logistics partners and have been brought on board to ensure that your products arrive safely in China, as well as advising on any labelling and packaging requirements. There will be a set fee of £150.00 per Euro-pallet shipped, with stock quantities to be agreed prior to any shipment. Please also note, it will be your responsibility to ensure that your stock reaches the UK consolidation point by the set monthly shipping deadlines.
All payments from customer sales on the store will first be received by Business West, as store owners, before being distributed back to you minus 7% for admin fees, this will be a monthly occurrence.
Once your products are listed on the Great British Food Store in WeChat, Regroup China will work with in-market influencers to market the store and your products in order to generate sales. They have a great track record in supporting many British brands to launch and grow in China via WeChat mini programs, generating consistent sales growth for likes of Haymans of London and The British House.
Intellectual Property (IP) is also an important consideration when first selling in to China. To help avoid any problems in this area you will be referred to IP specialists who will advise on the best course of action. Please bear in mind that there are additional costs associated with registering trademarks in China and it is up to you as a company whether or not you choose to pursue and fund this activity.
How to get involved
If you would like to be considered for inclusion on the Great British Food Store please complete the expression of interest webform at the foot of this page. Once your expression of interest has been received, a member of the Great British Food Programme team will review your application and will be in touch to discuss next steps.