Aline Conus – “Trust has been a challenge”
One foreigner who has won over the Chinese online shopper is French-born Aline Conus. She set up Yangjiu.com (the word means ‘Western alcohol’ in Chinese) in 2007 after realising that there was an untapped market for selling high-grade imported wines and spirits to China’s nouveaux riches over the internet. She launched it as a one-woman show and has nurtured it into one of the top online foreign wine e-tailers in China, with a staff of 15. Last year, Conus says, the company made a profit of around $2m. Here she talks to CNBC Business about modesty, mistakes and millionaires.
WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS ?
We have three main groups. Firstly, the white collars, the younger generation of Chinese who have just started working and doing well for themselves. They want to try new things, new brands and imported products. They are very curious and they need a lot of information. The second group is the VIP client. These are successful entrepreneurs. They really want the best. They find it really cool to buy online, and they can afford to buy everything. The last group is made up of corporate clients who buy our products as a gift.