Double 12 Shopping Festival, a continued online shopping celebration

Double 12 Shopping Festival, a continued online shopping celebration

Each year, Double 12 Shopping Festival in China takes place on 12 December. Even though it is one month later than the biggest Chinese online shopping festival Double 11, the sales momentum a brand could achieve is still worth mentioning. Based on the data from the China Post, China Post and other delivery service companies collected 401M packages on Dec 12, 2019, with a YoY of 24.5% in comparison of the 322M packages collected on Dec 12, 2018.

Prior Dec 12, major Chinese e-commerce platforms like Tmall, JD.com, and Suning would start the promotion of Double 12 Shopping Festival. Tmall would offer incentives like red pocket (cash rebate), and JD.com would offer various discounts to attract customers for purchase.

Since the start of Double 12 Shopping Festival, more and more product categories have joined the shopping festival including but not limited to women and men’s wear, baby and maternal products, homeware, home appliance, beauty, skin care, etc. During the

Double 11 Shopping Festival, Alibaba achieved the record GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume) of RMB 498.2 billion (RMB/USD=0.15 as of November 19), and YoY of 26%. Alibaba’s major competitor JD.com also achieved the notable result of GMV of RMB 271.5 billion. Even though Double 12 Shopping Festival 2020 related data has not yet been published, analysts expects a notable achieved growth in comparison with 2019.

2020 Double 11 Shopping Festival once again breaks the record

2020 Double 11 Shopping Festival once again breaks the record

In the early 1990s, a group of university students at Nanjing University came up with the concept to celebrate Singles’ Day on November 11 (11.11), as 1 looks like a bare stick which is a Chinese slang for a single man. Since then it has gradually become an unofficial holiday to be celebrated. In 2009, Alibaba, which is one of the biggest e-commerce players in China, initiated a sales campaign tryout on Nov 11, and achieved an unexpected great result. Since then, it has become a ritual to host the Double 11 Shopping festival on November 11.

This year, with the negative impact from Covid-19 pandemic, doubts on the potential sales outcome this year had been raised by some analysts; however, the results speak for themselves and  Alibaba achieved the record GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume) of RMB 498.2 billion (RMB/USD=0.15 as of November 19), and YoY of 26%. Alibaba’s major competitor JD.com also achieved the notable result of GMV of RMB 271.5 billion.

Apart from the record GMV, several other results are also worth mentioning. As of 24:00 November 11, 2020, 33 live-streaming rooms exceeded GMV of RMB 100M+ each on Alibaba, such as live-streaming room of Estee Lauder, Huawei, Lancôme, etc.; almost 500 live-streaming rooms achieved GMV of RMB 10M+ each. As well, the total Tmall logistics order volume exceeded 2.32 billion.

Last but not least, foreign brands have become a focus for both e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com. With the impact from the pandemic, travel to overseas became more than difficult. Traditionally, Chinese would also purchase many foreign products during their trip abroad as well; however, this year they could only rely on online sales channels. With the official stores on either Tmall or JD.com. the chance of getting fake products would be eliminated. This year, out of the 250,000 brands that participated the Double 11 Shopping Festival, 31,000 of them were from overseas.

With the uncertainty posed by the ongoing pandemic around the world, and China’s success on containing the pandemic, targeting consumers in the Chinese market has become more important than ever for many overseas’ brands’ survival and prosperity. NBH is a boutique agency with years’ experience in helping overseas brands to establish and further their brand presence in China, and NBH is here to cooperate with you,  overseas brands with or without presence but the willingness to enter in China, to grow your China business together.

Tencent starts to target private domains’ traffic

Tencent starts to target private domains’ traffic

For the first time ever, Tencent mentioned private domain’s traffic in their financial releases. As written in the 2020 Second Quarter and Interim Results “Weixin (WeChat in Chinese) ecosystem is redefining China’s online advertising by enabling advertisers to sustain relationships with their users in their own domains, such as Official Accounts and Mini Programs”. The aim is of course to build up long-term and loyal customer relationships instead of purchasing one-time transactions.

Starting this year, particularly after the pandemic, many brands have been investing in private domains and achieved notable results.  For example, Watsons started to build on its private domain on Tencent’s ecosystem since last year and its Corporate WeChat account has built connections with more than three million customers. During the Women’s Day promotion in 2020, Watsons achieved gross merchandise volume of 10 million+.

To help brands building up and leveraging their private domains, Tencent has taken several initiatives. In this article, we will guide your through some of the initiatives.

Live-Streaming on Mini Programs

Live-streaming is not a new concept to marketers, however, live-steaming on mini programs is certainly something new. With some back-end development, a brand can conduct live-streaming and product sales activities. Not only could a customer add a product to the shopping cart, but also can a brand send out coupons and such.

ZShare Account

Tencent recently launched a platform ZShare, where brands can join force with distributors to start live-steaming activities. This solve the challenges that brands could lack of traffic while distributors could lack of content. This would enable a brand to engage with customers at every stage of the marketing funnel. Starting from getting KOL/KOC to influence the customers and generating interests in the products, get customers to consider the products, and encourage the customer to take actions.

ZShare can also leverage on Tencent’s powerful matrix to help a brand to target the right customers with the right content. By applying AI into the ZShare, different content would be pushed to different customers based on their portraits. For example, through ZShare, Watsons managed to increase the opening rate of its WeChat public account 30% more. A brand does not need to consider which content and product could be interesting to a customer. A brand only needs to create different content and place different products in the pool, and ZShare will help to decide which content/product goes to which customer.

Tencent has many functions to benefit a brand for the growth, as a trusted partner of Tencent in the Nordics, NBH is here to help brands to unleash their potential in the Chinese market through utilizing different Tencent’s marketing functions.

NBH – Your China Brand Team!

The guide to knowing essential Chinese digital platforms

The guide to knowing essential Chinese digital platforms

Chinese digital landscape is vastly different from the West. What works in the West might not work in China or might not be popular at all in mainland China.

From the WeChat integrated mini-programs for solving the complexity of downloading and registering APPs, to well distributed digital payment solutions for adding more convenience to people’s everyday life, China’s digitalization evolvement has been astonishing and will continue to lead the digitalization development globally.

Apart from the digitalization development, China’s digital population is also growing rapidly. In March 2020, Chinese netizens exceeded 903 million and Chinese mobile netizens reached 896 million (source CNNIC). With the digitalization development and growing users, China’s digital economy also has enjoyed an unprecedented growth. According to China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, China’s digital economy has grown from 2.6 trillion in 2005 to 35.8 trillion in 2019, and the digital economy in 2019 accounted 36.2% of the GDP.

Alipay, TikTok, Tmall, and WeChat might sound familiar to many Westerners, but the Chinese digital landscape has so much more to offer. To offer a better understand of Chinese digital landscape, several essential Chinese digital platforms will be introduced.

Digital Payment Platforms

Alipay: As part of the Alibaba Group matrix, Alipay has been providing digital payment solutions to hundreds of millions of people for more than 10 years. Apart from scanning QR code for transfer payment, Alipay also have many built-in programs that offer services like paying utilities, buying ticket, ordering food, investment, to name a few. In 2020, Alipay also provides user’s health code based their recent travel history to help to contain the COVID-19.

WeChat Pay: Similar to Alipay, WeChat Pay works alike Alipay. As WeChat is the most used multi-purpose social APP in China. WeChat Pay is frequently used to transfer money to a user’s WeChat friends. WeChat Pay accounts 38.8% of the 3rd party mobile payment market.

E-commerce Platforms

JD.com: As one of the major e-commerce platforms, JD.com is one of the major competitors to Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao. One of the major advantages that JD.com have is that JD.com has different warehouse in several major cities which could significantly reduce the amount of deliver time.

Pingduoduo: Founded in 2015, Pingduoduo has been taking a different e-commerce approach than JD.com and Tmall. Pingduoduo differentiates itself with interaction and value for money, such as group purchase meaning people could team up to increase the purchase volume to get a lower price.

Taobao & Tmall: Both are owned by Alibaba Group, Taobao is a marketplace for individual or small enterprise to sell products and can be viewed as a C2C platform. Tmall, however, is more of a B2C platform where brands set up their flagship stores to sell to customers.

Food Service Platforms

Dianping: Dianping is the major go-to platform for people to check where to eat and shop based on the customer ranking and reviews. Restaurants can publish various of information such as dish pictures, special offers, reservation information, etc. For overseas restaurants and shopping destinations, Dianping is an effective platform to reach out Chinese travelers. Dianping offers official account and cost-per-click ad services to overseas restaurants and shopping destinations. It also offers discount voucher service to overseas shopping destinations. With the official account, functions like adding venue features and detailed information, monitoring online traffic, offering special offer vouchers to drive offline traffic, and replying customer reviews will be enabled. With cost-per-click ad, the venue will be suggested to Dianping users with a top rank in the relevant category. The discount voucher service will help to attract more offline visits and increase sales. 

Ele.me: Ele.me is one of the major online-to-offline food delivery platforms with more than 50% market share. User can search nearby restaurants and get the food delivered around 30 minutes.

Meituan: Meituan offers different vouchers in cooperation with restaurants and local services. It acquired Dianping but has a different APP than Dianping, and customers can directly order food delivery on the APP.

Messaging and Social Media Platforms

QQ: QQ is an instant messaging platform and developed by Tencent in 1999, it is one of the earliest Chinese social network platforms and later went beyond messaging to games, social circle, personal blog, etc.

WeChat: WeChat is one of the most important multi-purpose social app for Chinese, and its daily active users exceeded 1 billion in Jan 2019. Apart from serving individual users, brands and organizations could also set up WeChat Public Accounts or mini-programs to interact with customers.

Little Red Book: RED is the largest online lifestyle sharing community in China with 300 million+ registered users and 100 million+ monthly active users. It is a go-to platform for Chinese to look for inspirations and sharing lifestyles. It is also worth mentioning that more than 60% of its users are 1st and 2nd tier city based and 70%+ of them were born after 90s.

Weibo: Weibo is one of the biggest user relationships based social platforms with 300M+ registered users, 460 million+ monthly active users. It offers efficient and instant information exchange. Brands often use Weibo to release official brand information and interact with users.

Search Engine Platforms

Baidu: After Google made the decision to shut down its Chinese search engine in 2010, Google Chrome is no longer accessible to users in mainland China. Baidu along with other search engines took the market share. Today Baidu is the most used search engine in China and accounts more than 70% of the market share.

Short Videos Platforms

Bilibili: Bilibili is famous for its professional user-generate-content and bullet screen which means users can add and view instant overlaid comments on videos. Around 78% of its users are at the age of 18 to 35, and Bilibili is seen as an online entertainment community for Chinese young generations.

Douyin: Douyin is the Chinese version of TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance. Users can publish 3 to 60 seconds videos with themes on music, lip synch, comedy, talent competition, etc. Douyin employs an advanced AI which would push personalized content to the user.

Kuaishou: Kuaishou, often known as Kwai overseas, is a rival of Douyin/TikTok.  Kuaishou position itself as a platform for the content creator and give the freedom for users to create diverse content.

Trip Advising / Booking Platforms

MFW: MFW, also referred to Mafengwo in China, is a leading Chinese social network site with over 100 million registered users which provides long-form travel related content to Chinese FiT. The platform is particularly popular for Chinese travelers to seek for inspirations for domestic and South East Asian travels.

Qyer: Qyer is a leading travel information, travel community, and travel planning platform in China with over 100 million registered users. It is a major go-to place for Chinese outbound free independent travelers to search for travel guides and destination information.

Fliggy: Fliggy is a Chinese OTA owned by Alibaba Group. It is an online mall for brands like airline and travel related agencies to sell their products and services.

Ctrip: Ctrip, also known as Trip.com overseas, is the No. 1 OTA in China. Its APP is an all-in-one APP meaning users can directly book flights, tickets, hotels, and rental cars.

Flowers are out of Chinese Valentine’s Day

Flowers are out of Chinese Valentine’s Day

The COVID-19 pandemic has made impact on world economy, this includes both larger and smaller businesses. Under these circumstances, the recent Chinese Valentine’s Day Festival (25th of August 2020) became a very important event for so called “Romantic” industries, such as flowers, hotels, restaurants, and cinemas.

With the pandemic situation being relatively under control in China, the “romantic market” has slowly seen recoveries. The stock market also indicates the trend with movie industry index increase 0.05% and F&B increases 1.41% compared to last year. Who is the biggest winner during the festival? The data might give you the answers.

FLOWER IS NOT POPULAR NOW

99 flowers to show your love, this concept is not so popular with consumers right now. Under this special situation, offline flower shops have been greatly influenced which also have affected the florists. Even though the wholesale price of roses has tripled, it still cannot cover the cost for florists which lead to the uncertainty of retail price for flowers during Chinese Valentine’s Day. The transaction of flowers also dropped 42.5% on Chinese Valentine’s Day compared to the day before.

MOVIE INDUSTRY IS RECOVERING

Banned for almost half a year, movie industry has been facing huge challenge in this period. Wanda movie has 74% decrease in revenue for the first six months, 2020. While Huayi Brothers has a loss of over 143 million in revenue, a 52.64% decrease to last year.

Instead of flowers, the enthusiasm towards movies has risen during the festival. The presell ticket of the movie “Love you forever” reached 152 million till Aug 25th. The War movie “Eight hundred” reached 800 million in sales after showing and break the record for single day movie ticket sale globally.

TRAVEL BECOMES NEW TREND

Restaurants are still hot during the festival with hotels following. 5-star hotels grew 12% compare to last year while the overall growth of hotel industry reach 40% nationally.

The unexpected popularity goes to various travel destination nation-wide. According to the “2020 China Valentine’s Day Travel Trend Research” done by Tong Cheng, men born in 85 to 95 are very active in travel planning during the festival. Men get more romantic by bringing their girlfriend for travel and the travel search done by men grew 69%.

The trend is due to the release of inbound travel base on the controlled situation while people’s willingness for play and travel need to be satisfied. It can be expected that in the coming Mid-autumn festival and Oct holiday, the travel industry will embrace a huge growth.

TikTok – brands gateway to the younger target audience

TikTok – brands gateway to the younger target audience

TikTok is the popular app which lately has been filling the headlines all over the world. This popular app has 800 million active users and has been downloaded over 2 billion times on the App Store and Google Play. The likelihood that you have heard about this app is therefore very high but still many are not totally sure what it is all about. Many businesses are putting special attention to TikTok as the platform is growing very rapidly and especially popular for the target audience millennials to boomers, however, many brands still have not cracked the code on how to utilize the platform.

WHAT IS TIKTOK?

TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, is a video-sharing social networking service platform which create short music, lip-sync, dance, comedy and talent videos of 3 to 15 seconds and short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds. It is easy to make videos on TikTok because it gives you extensive selections and tools from sounds, popular song slips to short moments from TV shows.

MADE IN CHINA

TikTok is developed and owned by the Beijing based tech company ByteDance. The app was first time launched to the market in 2016 on the Chinese market. In China, the app has a different name and called Douyin(抖音). Later in 2017, TikTok was available in most markets outside of China. It is the first Chinese owned app to reach a success among end-users on a global level. One milestone was in November 2018 when TikTok became the first China-owned app to reach No.1 in the US Apple App store and the second most downloaded app overall the same month.

WHY IS TIKTOK SO POPULAR?

On TikTok, people are free.

In China, the slogan of TikTok is “Record Beautiful Life”. Everyone can share the moment of his/her life on TikTok with the support of easy editing function, various music selection and beauty camera. No matter the content is funny, strange, or scaring, people are free to share them on TikTok and record the moment you like.

HOW TO UTILIZE TIKTOK AS A BRANDING TOOL?

To target the Chinese customers, many brands have setup official accounts on TikTok’s Chinese version Douyin already. A wide range of different industries have established themselves from car, mobile, cosmetics to food and luxury hoping to utilize the platform to reach out to the Chinese target audience via Douyin.

Huawei is one of the brands which have official account on Douyin, and they are ranked on the top of popularity in the mobile section. The content focus on how to use their product to make videos and pictures which have received high view rate.

In the car category, Lincoln ranks top which is aligned with the brand’s new strategy to appeal to the younger generation. Lincoln has leveraged on the TV drama which they have sponsored, the content focus on reediting TV drama series which focus on the Lincoln vehicles. Other car brands like BMW and Volkswagen have done similar tactics as Lincoln on Douyin.

Cosmetic brands are also quite active on Douyin such as Lancôme, Shisedo, Estée Laude as well as Dior and YSL have joined the competition. Lancôme’s content has received a high amount of views and likes with their new brand ambassador Dongyu Zhou as well many contents from KOLs.

A key strategy for many brands has been to win over the younger generation to make the future win. This has been regarded as the bible for many brands marketing strategy these days. As TikTok is one of the top platforms for reaching this audience, TikTok has now become important marketing channel that is difficult to ignore. How to win the competition of marketing within the younger generation? As brand and marketer, we should be deep enough to think and brave enough to try.