Pharmacies Leveraging Direct to Daigou Sales to China

Dr Mathew McDougall saw first-hand the Daigou how difficult it was for brands to crack the Chinese market during his 13 years living in Beijing. Yet when he returned to Australia, he witnessed the Daigou phenomenon. Daigou, literally translated, means ‘buying on behalf of’. These are agents or professional shoppers who buy products from overseas and ship them to residents living in China. It is common to find a Daigou who is a family member or friend, living or studying abroad. Some Daigou are found on popular social media sites such as WeChat. The shopping agent makes a commission on the purchase and the Chinese resident is able to purchase goods that are otherwise difficult to come by.

Witnessing both ides of the Daigou relationship, McDougall developed the marketplace, DaigouSales.com, specially for Australian businesses wanting to sell products directly to China.  The marketplace, which has grown significantly since its launch last year, gives Aussie retailers the ability to sell to consumers in China via the Daigou buying agents.

The WeChat marketplace is a D2C (Daigou to consumer, rather than direct to consumer) platform which allows Australian merchants and retailers to sell products to Chinese consumers through Daigou intermediaries without having a physical presence in China. McDougall reports that it is currently used by hundreds of Australian businesses as a stepping stone into China before commencing on business to consumer platforms and developing a physical presence in China.

This week, Australian Health Products Central (AHPC) launched its flagship e-commerce store in the DaigouSales marketplace. This will enable Daigou to purchase Australian and New Zealand based health products. Through the DaigouSales logistics services, orders will then be delivered directly to their buyers in mainland China.

Just last week, Tmall revealed that Australia is the third most popular importer to China, with nutrition supplements, baby products and milk powder for adults boosting demand.

Australian products are increasingly being sought out by Chinas rapidly growing middle class who are looking for high quality and trusted international products,” said Simon Reynolds, Co-owner and Executive Chairman of the Pharmacy Alliance.

AHPC has a network of over 650 independent Australian pharmacies and Pharmacy Alliance members will be able to opt in to the AHPC export program to leverage this Chinese shopping boom.

The AHPC flagship eStore in the DaigouSales marketplace will be the only official online location for Daigou consumers to purchase products from the group and participating Pharmacy Alliance members,” Reynolds added. “This will also provide an opportunity for AHPC suppliers to enter the China market via the fast growing D2C cross border trading channel.
Health and wellness products are very important to Chinese consumers, who are very discerning in their choice of products and are willing to source them from their trusted Daigou contacts in Australia,” McDougall said of recent AHPC launch.

 “Australian Daigou will now have access to 30,000 pharmacy products on this eStore and this effectively enables consumers in mainland China to purchase products through DaigouSales.com as if they were locals within Australia.” 

Apart from the convenience for Chinese consumers, it removes the barriers to entry for to independent pharmacies who would otherwise not have the capabilities for cross border trade. “The establishment of an eStore on DaigouSales.com will help our suppliers and mum and dad pharmacies across Australia to increase sales by selling and exporting products to China,” added AHPC President, Xing Mao.

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