Are you ready for the rabbit?
January 21 marks the start of the Chinese New Year (CNY). As we welcome in the Year of the Rabbit, merchants across Europe are looking forward to the return of Chinese visitors – and the sales peak that comes with the world’s most valuable tourists.
Imagine Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled into one and it gives you an idea of the importance and scale of the CNY to Chinese communities. And to the level of spend associated with it.
The annual ritual – also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival – involves 16 days of intense celebration. It is China’s biggest national holiday and fuels family reunions, gifting and travel.
Why is it a big deal for merchants here?
While Covid curtailed international travel, January 2023 saw the lifting of Chinese restrictions. For the first time since the pandemic’s outbreak, people in China can once again visit popular destinations like Europe.
In 2019, CNY saw 155 million Chinese tourists spend more than a quarter of a trillion dollars overseas. This year, international bookings have soared by 540% from just a year ago, with travellers set to spend almost a third more per booking (32%).
This indicates that there’s a lot of pent-up spending power ready to be unleashed – and a potential revenue boom for retailers ready to target this audience.
How can European retailers boost their CNY appeal at the checkout?
So, what does it take to make the POS a positive place for Chinese visitors? Here are 5 ways you can help make your sales points CNY-ready:
1. Be mobile-first
Whether tourists or locals, Chinese shoppers always have a smartphone within reach. Merchants should ensure the mobile is at the heart of their instore experience – from accepting mobile wallets, and using QR codes for info and ordering, to providing real-time stock availability on their apps with Android POS/back-office inventory integrations.
2. Integrate popular alternative payments like AliPay and WeChat
Combined with cloud-based estate management tools, the latest POS devices can be updated automatically with new payment methods. If available in your country, why not add AliPay and WeChat – two of the most popular Chinese payment options. It’s worth noting that with AliPay tourists and locals in the area with the app receive a mobile notification showing your products, opening hours and directions.
3. Offer Direct Currency Conversion (DCC)
Make sure your checkout offers DCC. This improves customer service and makes the cost of the transaction more transparent. It lets international customers pay in their home currency, so they don’t have to worry about calculating foreign exchange rates or handling multiple currencies.
4. Use multimedia to personalize CNY message
The best Android POS devices offer multimedia screens that can be used to deliver engaging content at the checkout. Why not include CNY promotions, bundles or discounts and promote them where it counts, in an eye-catching format, right at the point of purchase?
5. Free staff to assist CNY shoppers
It can be hard enough finding what you want in a familiar store. Make sure international visitors have the help and support they need by arming sales staff with the latest android devices, so they’re not stuck behind the counter. You can also ensure that high footfall areas are covered and prevent queues from building up when things get busy.
So what does 2023 hold in store for those targeting CNY visitors?
Of all the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, the Rabbit is the luckiest of them all. For merchants empowered with the instore right payment tools, it means 2023 is sure to bring prosperity.