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Double 11, 11.11, or Singles Day – name it to tame it! Get the latest trends from China’s biggest shopping festival

Double 11, 11.11, or Singles Day – name it to tame it! Get the latest trends from China’s biggest shopping festival

The shopping event “The Singles Day” has for many countries been a completely unknown phenomenon. But like many other trends and influences from China, Singles Day is starting to become part of “our” “shopping calendar”, at least if you look at Europe.

China’s shopping festival, Singles Day (often referred to as 11.11 or double 11), is China’s largest shopping event. And with record numbers, year after year, China’s Singles Day has also become the world’s largest shopping event.

This year, the major e-com players such as Alibaba and JD have been relatively low-key when it comes to sharing their sales figures.

But, if we look at shopping- and marketing trends, even before 11.11 kicked off, you could clearly see new trends when it comes to digital marketing, customer behavior, and product categories.

NBH will share our outcome of this year’s Singles day, but also share some background on The Singles Day and why it can be important to keep track of it, even though you may not participate.

Chinas Shopping Festival: Singles Day a.k.a. 11.11 and double 11

The shopping festival The Singles Day has its official day on November 11, hence the event is often referred to as 11.11 or double 11. China likes to refer to lucky numbers or to name various events after numbers. Therefore, there are many explanations for exactly 11.11, but we leave this outside of this insight. 😉

Singles Day is today an unofficial holiday in China. The holiday was created in response to “couple holidays” such as Valentine’s Day.

On November 11, 2009, on Singles Day, Alibaba launched a 24-hour shopping event with discounts and various offers. The goal was to attract a younger target audience.

The shopping event was a big hit and quickly other e-com and social media platforms, brands, and physical stores followed the trend and participated.

Have China’s shopping festivals become the trendsetters for digital marketing?

For the past decade, China has been at the forefront when it comes to digital trends. Digital trends such as live-shopping events, metaverse, and meta-influencers, to name a few, are some of the digital trends that have flourished precisely from these types of shopping events.

Many brands and e-com giants choose to test new forms of digital marketing during these events. The goal is no longer just to compete for the best sales figures, but also to showcase new technologies and innovations.

With that said, if you work with digital marketing, China’s shopping festivals are therefore interesting to keep an eye on!

Singles day 2022

Singles Day is not only today a 24-hour shopping event. The e-com platform JD, for example, opened its sales on August 31 until midnight on November 11.

Before this year’s festival, there was great uncertainty among both customers and retailers. The Covid-19 pandemic and shortages in the supply chain have affected the global market and many parts of the world are in a downturn.

Even so, the numbers that have already been released have indicated that 2022 will at least match 2021’s numbers (952+ billion RMB). Among other things, as many as 70,000 new brands have participated for the first time.

The Swedish luxury fashion brand Filippa. K is one example of a new brand to participate in this year’s Singles Day. They chose to launch their brand on Alibaba Tmall just in time for 11.11.

“The Chinese market is too big and too important and too influential to ignore,” said Filippa K’s CEO Rikard Frost.

Press release image of Filippa. K launch on Alibaba Tmall

So, what are the trends for The Singles Day 2022?

NBH has listed the most important scouts from 2022’s singles day

  • Metaverse

Metaverse has quickly become a new reality in China and interest is constantly increasing. Ahead of this year’s Singles Day, more companies have chosen to work with virtual idols and KOLs. With this, they mainly want to reach a younger and more digital generation that prefers to make their purchases online.

Before 2023, market research firm Forrester estimates that up to a fifth of all companies will use collaborations with virtual KOLs.

Another trend linked to the metaverse is that online stores are starting to look more and more like physical stores that you enter through an avatar. Alibaba, for example, has made more and more accessories digital so you can try them on in 3D.

Try on your accessories and clothes with virtual shopping at Tmall. Image: Alibaba Group
  • Robots for delivery services

Another trend that we saw already last year was that robots have started to be used for home delivery to customers. This year, Alibaba had as many as 700 robots that were used in the transport chain out to the customer. That is twice as much as last year.

Alibaba logistic robots showed at a university campus in China

  • Health care for you and your pet

JD reported in its trend report on November 12 that health products had an upswing. Customers tended to stay longer on the platform to compare different products and services, where quality instead of price was important.

More than 1600 nutrition brands doubled their sales volume. Pet-care products increased and bookings of various health services increased by 7 times. JD also reported that sales of “life-related” services increased 30 times.

Else Nutrition during double 11

  • Increased demand for “green shopping”

Search terms that increased drastically on JD.com during 11.11 2022, were “organic”, “green”, “low-carbon” and “energy-saving”.

The increased demand for climate-friendly products has increased in China. In May of this year, JD launched the “Green Impact Initiative,” an initiative that involves labeling environmentally-friendly products.

More brands and platforms are also encouraged to choose a more environmentally friendly logistics transport option.

  • “China-Chic”

A trend that has been booming among Gen-Z is “China-Chic”, a phenomenon named after the increased demand for cultural value.

This shows not only the demand for domestic products but also that international brands need to get better at adapting their marketing to China.  

To summarize….

Brands that engage more with the customer in the form of live shopping, videos, influencer collaborations, and customer service tend to increase their sales.

Technologies in the form of transportation and metaverse continue to develop and environmentally friendly products continue to play an increasingly important role when consumers make their choices.

NBH is a digital agency capturing the Chinese customer.    

We are experts in Chinese online behavior and position your brand in the Chinese digital market.  

With our expertise, we make you top of mind in your specific industry and targeted audience. All activities are done to support your brand to reach your goals and deliver measurable business results!   

Find out more about how we can help you target your online marketing in China. Reach out to us for a free consultation meeting! Book a meeting here.

The NBH Guide: How to use Baidu SEM to accelerate  your online precense in China

The NBH Guide: How to use Baidu SEM to accelerate your online precense in China

If China is an important market for your company, then Baidu should have the same priority as your Google strategy.  

Baidu can easily be described as “China’s Google”, and if you take a quick look, there are many similarities, partly in appearance, but in terms of search engine, SEO and SEM there are a lot of differences. 

In China, whenever you want to search for something you “Baidu it”, and to reach the top of the search result, your Baidu strategy is fundamental.

Are you aware of how you and your competitors appear in searches on Baidu?

This guide will give you deeper insight into succeeding with Baidu SEM. We will answer questions such as the difference compared to Google and what’s important to consider when it comes to Baidu SEM.

If you would like to get a more profound knowledge about Baidu, and Baidu SEO, please read our guide: The NBH Guide: 10 steps to succeed with Baidu SEO

Baidu logo

Fascinating statistics on Baidu usage in China

We’ll give some figures to understand the usage and importance of Baidu in China.

Baidu No. 1 search engine in China

Although China is one of the most important markets for many companies, Baidu is still relatively unknown to many.

Many people think that a Chinese-language website is enough or that the google strategy works as fine for Baidu, but this is not the case. You have to adapt your digital marketing strategy for China, and including China’s No. 1 search engine could be a very good first step.

Investing in Baidu SEM will get you:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Directs leads
  • More understanding of your China market

Baidu SEM (PPC)

Baidu SEM (Search Engine Marketing) can also be referred to as PPC (Pay-Per-Click) or ads on Baidu.

Baidu PPC can be a cost-effective way to get a higher, or perhaps top result on Baidu. These kinds of Baidu ads can also be added with images, such as product pictures or special campaign images.

Most importantly is that you adapt the ads for your targeted audience in China and perhaps market yourself with the right timing. This should be included in your marketing content plan.

Example of Baidu PPC ad including promotional images.

SEM and SEO, are all about keywords. What will the potential customer search for and what would be your keywords in China?

Once you have your ad live, and the user searches for related keywords, they will find your ad in their search result, and hopefully among the top results.

  • CPC (Cost-Per-Click)

Every time someone clicks on your ad there will be a CPC (Cost-Per-Click). The cost of the keywords (the CPC) depends on the bidding of the keyword, in other terms, how competitive the targeted keyword is.

  • Market your landing page

In order to get a good first impression, why not market your landing page in search results?

Take the chance and market your webpage according to your brand guideline and targeted audience in China. Show your products and services in a tasteful and “want to know more of” way!  

Baidu ad with contact form

Track your performance with Baidu SEM

As with all marketing, it is essential to be able to measure your results. No matter what marketing activities are being done for a company, data is the key to getting knowledge about your performance. 

Knowing your performance will take you one step ahead in optimizing your digital marketing in China.

NBH believes in transparency and we always want what’s best for our clients. Please read more about how NBH works with data tracking: Data tracking in China.

How NBH can help you with Baidu SEM?

NBH has years of experience creating ads (SEM) so that companies easily can be recognized, creating relationships, and direct leads. 

We develop your Baidu SEM strategy and make you competitive in the market. We create a tailor-made keyword list for Baidu and create ads aligned with your brand and specialized for your Chinese audience. To be competitive, we do the daily operation of Baidu SEM, including bidding keywords.

We also offer monthly reports in English in order for you to take ownership of your digital marketing in China.

Book a free consultation meeting with one of our sales representatives. Together we discuss your specific needs and get to know more about how we can help you use Baidu SEO and SEM in your marketing strategy for China! Book a meeting, here.

NBH takes you to the Moon(cake): Find out how  brands adapt their marketing for the Mid-Autumn Festival

NBH takes you to the Moon(cake): Find out how brands adapt their marketing for the Mid-Autumn Festival

The Moon festival is taking place this weekend September 10th. The Moon festival, mostly known as the Mid-Autumn festival and Mooncake festival, is one of the biggest holidays in China!

With this said, if you are a marketer operating in China, this festival is also important for you!

Mid-Autumn Festival is well known for its Mooncakes. During the festival, people buy mooncakes as gifts to family, colleagues, partners, clients, and friends. This is something that brands have picked up over the years. Brands take the chance to market the finest and most creative gift boxes with innovative mooncakes flavors!

In this insight, NBH will give you a brief introduction to the Mid-Autumn Festival. Why -and how is it celebrated, and most importantly, how do brands market their Mooncakes 2022?

Here is a sneak peek of our Mooncake gift box 2022, find more info below.

NBH Mooncake gift box 2022

The celebration of Mid-Autumn Festival  

The festival has a history of over 3000 years and has therefore many meanings and mythic stories. It is celebrated on the 15th of the 8th lunar month after the Chinese lunar calendar. The festival’s custom is to worship the moon and thank it for the harvest.

Today, the holiday is known for gatherings with family, having dinner, welcoming the autumn, and eating mooncakes!

This year the festival falls on the 10th of September and is celebrated until the 12th of September.

How does brands “celebrate” the Mid-Autumn Festival?

Mooncakes and various decorations can be found in the shopping windows, weeks before the festival! The mooncake has truly become the symbol of this holiday, and brands almost compete to make the most creative mooncake gift boxes.

NBH has dived into how global brands have chosen to market their mooncakes this year 2022!

Looking into social media -and eCommerce platforms the feed is full of gift boxes, mooncake tutorials, pictures, and mooncake hauls.

NBH gives you a few examples:

  • Dior

Dior, did a comeback this year by doing a spectacular mooncake box with different flavors.

Dior Mooncake box 2022. Images via the social media platform Little Red Book
  • Mercedes Benz
Picture: @Elvira – Little Red Book
  • Gucci

Scrolling on social media, the box from Gucci is seen a lot. Their box sure is something extra, check in this video:

Video showing the Gucci Mooncake box of 2022

  • Oatly

Looking up to the brands in the north of Europe. The Swedish food supplier Oatly, thinking outside the box by making this playful box.

Image: Taobao
  • NBH

Mooncake box is also a very common way to show gratefulness to colleagues, partners, and clients. For our clients in China, we at NBH created this box.

NBH Mooncake gift box 2022

The Mid-Autumn festival is really a good opportunity to create relationships with your followers, clients, and customers. The Mooncake gift has really no limits to creativity and tells the story of your brand.

How does your brand adapt to China’s Cultural festivals?

NBH has years of expertise in working with digital marketing in China. Our expertise is available in both Europe and China.

Depending on your industry and audience we adapt your marketing to the right platforms. Find out more we can help you drive campaigns to increase your online presence in China, and why not book a meeting?

The NBH Guide: Meet Douyin, the mother of Tiktok. How can you as a marketer use Douyin for your  China online presence?

The NBH Guide: Meet Douyin, the mother of Tiktok. How can you as a marketer use Douyin for your China online presence?

If we say Douyin it might not tell you much, but if we say Tiktok I hope you are on it!

Although Tiktok is the western version of Douyin, there are many big differences. As often when it comes to digital China, new platforms are faster adopted by the users and quickly acceptable to use as a marketing tool. In the west, Tiktok is mainly an app for young adults and teens but Douyin is used among all ages and all types of persons.

The app has in a short time, since it appeared in 2016, sprung out of no wear, as an incomparable success. It is fair to argue that it’s the most successful digital phenomenon in China ever.

But what is the key to the success, and how can it be used for you as a marketer in China?

NBH gives you a brief insight and presentation!

The background of Douyin

Douyin was originally launched in 2016 by the company ByteDance. The western version of Tiktok was released in 2017 but wasn’t booming until 2018. It’s vital to understand that Tiktok and Douyin are two different but similar apps, hosted on different servers, and has no other connections to each other than the mother company. 

Douyin is in many ways a very simple app that gives the user the ability to record short (15 seconds to 10 minutes) videos with filters, and watch (15 seconds to 10 minutes) videos in a continuously never-ending flow. The user-friendly functions make it easy for ordinary people to be creative and playful. In fact, most of the content on Douyin is produced by ordinary users.

The founder Zhang Yiming has created an AI-based algorithm that learns user behavior to adjust and tailor the content. In addition to Douyin, Zhang Yiming has also created the news app Toutiao, which has also been widely spread in China. Perhaps we will have the opportunity to return to it later in our insights series.

Some figures

  • Douyin reached over 180 million active users in only two years from its release
  • It is estimated to have over 600 million daily users by the end of 2022
  • It’s predicted to have over 800 million daily users in 2025
  • The average user of Douyin spends about 120 minutes a day on the app
  • The everyday user time has increased by 25% a year since the release

The key to the success

The simple explanation for Douyin’s great success lies in the well-developed technical platform with sophisticated algorithms. The algorithms direct the content towards the specific user’s behavior pattern in order to arouse as much interest as possible. Because the content is adapted to the user, no feed is exactly the same as another.

The user also has limited opportunities to influence the content through, for example, searches. A video is displayed and can either be viewed or clicked away. The algorithms receive direct information about which material is appreciated or not.

Douyin has also been marketing the app to just the right target group, early adapters. Initially younger women in their middle or early 20s. With increased popularity, the app has since then been spread among different ages and genders.

All of these factors together can be summed up in the fact that they released a well-developed app, to exactly the right target audience, at exactly the right time. And let’s be honest, isn’t a good product and the right marketing the recipe for success?

Image via Appstore. Douyin taking over the scene of e-commerce.

Why use Douyin for marketing

The first and most obvious reason to include Douyin in your marketing plan is that no other app can get as large a visibility in such a short time frame as Douyin.

They also have many suitable solutions such as:

  • Direct linking to e-commerce shops, if you have more than 10 videos posted
  • A self-developed native e-commerce ecosystem where the user is able to make purchases directly in the app

With its constantly growing user base and its e-commerce ecosystem, it’s fair to think that it’s mainly for B2C. And of course, you can’t hide the fact that it is huge for B2C. Clothes, cosmetic, and food is by far the most popular e-commerce categories on Douyin. But on the other hand, it also brings lots of opportunities for B2B.

Since the competition is not as tough when it comes to B2B companies that market themselves via Douyin, there are opportunities to reach out to their customers in a creative, new, and fun way. Why not film from the production or film a tutorial with the pros and cons of using your product?

How to use Douyin for marketing

There are different accounts that can be used for marketing on Douyin. There are both certificated accounts and business accounts. If you want to brand yourself, a certified account is the way, but for companies, a business account is the easiest way. There are many advantages by getting a business account, among other things, the possibility to make longer videos, get access to advertising, sticker-adds, and more visibility through the algorithms.

Another big advantage of having a business account is that once you get approved by Douyin, you get a lot of credit. It simply becomes more trusted.

It’s also important to keep in mind that Doyin is first and foremost a video app with music. In order to capture interest and create visibility, it is therefore important to adapt to the platform. Create creative and exciting materials that feel genuine and well-produced.

Work with KOL:s

The most effective way to get visibility on Doyin is to work with KOL:s. The KOL already has its fan base and the algorithm reaches out to its followers. If you which to do a collaboration with a KOL it’s therefore important to pick someone that reaches out to our targeted audience.

NBH has years of expertise in working with digital marketing in China. Our expertise is available in both Europe and China.

Get the latest China news by registering for our newsletter, contacting us, or why not booking a meeting. Find more info about us, book a meeting and sign up for our newsletter.

Are you ready for Metaverse?

Are you ready for Metaverse?

In the west, the term “Metaverse” has become increasingly widespread. You might say it is one of the big Buzzwords of 2022. It is convenient to think that the boom is closely linked to Facebook’s change of name to Meta, but in fact, the Metaverse is not a new concept. Virtual universes have existed for a long time, and interactive communities exist in a wide range of areas such as gaming, art, cultural activities, real estate, fashion, and much much more.

As a marketer, it’s important to catch up with new movements and evolve with the latest trends. In this insight, NBH brings you a quick guide on what to know about the metaverse in China. 

What is metaverse?

Metaverse can roughly be described as virtual worlds where people can play, live and interact through avatars. The metaverse is still early in its evolution and there is not a single metaverse for everyone to turn to. It’s like several small parallel universes that add the three-dimensional layer to the web and creates a more authentic and natural experience.  This is done with the technology of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) which in recent years have become much cheaper and more powerful.   

In a near future, a lot of social interactions, business interactions, and entertainment are predicted to be held in this whole new world. Imagine having meetings, closing deals, watching a new apartment, or attending a Rihanna concert from wherever you are in the world. Metaverse also gives the opportunity to be somebody else and go free whit your creativity.

Metaverse in China

In China metaverse has evolved through a gradual transition, starting around 2010. Today the big Chinese tech giants are investing massively in the metaverse. Companies like Alibaba, Tencent, NetEase, and ByteDance are expected to lead the race. Some of China’s most influential tech KOL:s have declared that they are investing in start-ups connected to the metaverse. At the same time, the government closely watches de development and enacts new standards, way ahead of the west. The Chinese “mega apps” and ecosystems of digital functions make Chinese consumers more open to the new techniques and to use the metaverse for other daily tasks than entertainment.

The metaverse has especially attracted generation Z. The GenZ born in the late 1990:s is eager to express their individuality and identity far from norms, families, and restrictions. GenZ is the largest group of internet users in China and the potential market is enormous. 

It might not be today or even this year but we can say for certain that the metaverse is part of the new reality.

Some great exampels of the use of metavers in China

  • The Meta-influencer

In may 2021 the company Ranmai Technology created Ayayi. Ayayi is China’s first “Meta human” or “Meta-influencer”. Ayayi looks like a real human and her appearance is much more realistic than earlier forms of virtual idols. When she did her first post she had nearly 3 million views and gained over 40 000 followers over one night. Here explosive popularity and expanding fan base have generated a lot of commercial appearances and invitations to events. Guerlain is the first official brand to work whit Ayayi.

Cosmetic brands such as MAC and L´oreal collaborate with the virtual influencer Ayayi.
  • Alibaba launches a metaverse art exhibition and symphony concert

During the double 11, Alibaba hosted a metaverse art exhibition and symphony concert on Tmall/Taobao app for its presale.

Alibaba double 11 art exhibition.
  • Alibaba launched metaverse cosmetic

During the double 11 festival customers that bought limited editions of physical products got a digital collection or NFT (Non-fungible tokens).

  • Nayuki official ambassador of the bubble tea chain

In December 2021 the Chinese bubble the chain with 700 stores around china presented their metaverse ambassador “Nayuki”. Nayuki isn’t the only character that brings commercials for the company. She has also created an NFT collection with digital art toys.   

Virtual ambassador Nayuki.

NBH has years of expertise in working with digital marketing in China. Our expertise is available in both Europe and China.

Get the latest China news by registering for our newsletter, contacting us or why not book a meeting? Find more info by clicking here.

The NBH Guide: 10 steps to succeed with Baidu SEO

The NBH Guide: 10 steps to succeed with Baidu SEO

Intro

Companies, especially within B2B think it’s a challenge to reach the Chinese market, what platforms are there, and which ones to prioritize?

In this guide, we will talk Baidu! In the West, we talk Google and the term “let’s google it” has become normalized. Maybe you think this is a standard fraise all over the world? But like everything else in China’s digital world, everything works a little bit differently.

Baidu is China’s largest and most used search engine. Baidu can easily be described as “China’s Google”. If you take a quick look, there are many similarities, partly in appearance, but also in functions, such as maps, videos, images, etc. In terms of search engine and SEO there are a lot of differences.

What is Baidu?

In China, unless you have a VPN to break through the firewall, Baidu is the first search engine of choice and the 6th largest operator in the world, according to StatCounter 2021. Baidu is not only the first choice due to limited options, Baidu also has a high level of trust among its users.

Baidu Vs. Google – SEO

As we mentioned earlier, at the first glance, Google and Baidu seem to be similar. One might think that your Google strategy might work just as well for Baidu, but that is not the case.

The SEO for Baidu simply works differently. So how to optimize your Baidu SEO? NBH will guide you through the 10 most important steps (without ranking).

1. Domain

Baidu ranks the Chinese domains higher in the search result than the global domains. Use a Chinese domain, either .cn or .cn.com.

To get an even better result, also add a keyword to your domain name, to indicate what your website is all about.

2. Host your website in mainland China

To get a faster loading speed and a high user experience, we recommend hosting your website in China. The great firewall slows down the speed of externally hosted websites.

3. ICP license

Websites that are hosted in China need an ICP license (internet content provider). The ICP license can be purchased from the Chinese government and it’s important to display it in the footer of the website.

When it comes to different licensing, there is a major difference between Baidu and Google.

Google does not require any license to get indexed and climb the ranking results.

Baidu also indexes sites that don’t have an ICP license but it prioritized China-hosted sites, and to get a Chinese-hosted website the ICP license is required.

4. Crawling

Baidu script is not as advanced as Google’s. So, you can forget JavaScript and flash, Baidu simply can’t crawl it. Instead, we recommend using HTML static pages.

5. Use the right language

Baidu only index Simplified Chinese. Chinese users prefer using the Chinese language when searching on Baidu, even though they search for international topics. The use of Chinese language will gain the trust of your customers and clients.

6. Meta tags  

Unlike Google, Baidu uses meta tags as an important ranking factor. Choose a meta description that contains at least two keywords and a branded term. You can use up to 78 meta descriptions in Chinese characters.

So, make sure to optimize your meta description, meta image tags, meta keywords, heading tags, and other tags that you find important.

7. Links

Baidu prioritizes backlinks from domestic websites higher than external websites. Make sure to use internal links in order to get a better result, and use many of them, the more the better!

8. Mobile using

In China, people prefer using mobiles, therefore it is important to make sure that your website also is optimized for mobile use. Baidu’s mobile reach is over 1 billion active users, so mobile-friendly is important in order to deliver a great customer experience.

9. Be updated with your content

As always, make sure to always deliver fresh content! Not only for your followers but also for better ranking at Baidu, updated content sends a signal to Baidu and the chances for better ranking are higher. Keep your content alive, publish new articles, pictures, and videos, and make sure that your existing content also is up to date.

10. Optimize your SEO by using Baidu’s own site

Baidu owns several websites and unlike Google, Baidu chooses to prioritize them high in the search field than external websites. Pages that often comes up when scrolling on Baidu are:

  • Baike  (Baidu’s answer to Wikipedia)
  • Tieba (Online discussion forum, similar to Reddit)
  • Zhidao (Question and answer platform, a lot like Quora)

To optimize your SEO it is recommended to also be seen at these sites. Like, Google, it is good to have updated info on Wikipedia, for better ranking. This is the same for China, one way to optimize SEO is to be on Baike (China’s Wikipedia), especially since Baidu owns that site.

To summarize – Why succeed on Baidu?

To get started with Baidu, there are simply a lot of steps to be aware of, not least licenses and documents. But keep in mind that Baidu has over 1.1 billion users and billions of searches per month. Baidu is the leading search engine on the market.

If you take a closer look at Baidu’s app, there are 580 million activated users, so make sure that your website is mobile-friendly!

To succeed in China a Baidu strategy is a must-have!

NBH has years of expertise in working with digital marketing in China. Our expertise is available in both Europe and China.

Get the latest China news by registering for our newsletter, contacting us or why not book a meeting? Find more info by clicking here.