Alibaba is one of the biggest eCommerce companies in the world, owning eCommerce sites such as Tmall and Taobao, with millions of users every day. This week, on the 13th of September, Alibaba held its summer event in Germany to give the latest insights into digital marketing and eCommerce in China.
NBH always wants to stay ahead when it comes to digital marketing in China and NBH had the chance to attend the event.
During the event, Alibaba gave insights into:
New trends within consuming and digital marketing
… And much more!
Alibaba gave up-to-date insight and knowledge of new trends within live shopping, metaverse and so much more! The tech industry is really moving fast and the creativity and possibilities have no limit.
Also, we had the chance to meet interesting people, network, and exchange knowledge about business in China!
“Thank you to Alibaba Group, Tmall Global, and especially to the Tmall Global BD team! Also, big shoutout to April Zhong that held a great speech about the advantages for global brands on Tmall” said, Max Twisselman, Business Developer at NBH.”
Sweden-China Trade Council has unique knowledge and experience when it comes to business exchange between companies from Sweden and China.
If you are interested in China and Chinese business, please check out their LinkedIn page and website.
“We are happy and excited to become a member of Sweden China Trade Council. We are confident that in partnership with Sweden China Trade Council we can increase the knowledge about the possibilities within digital marketing for Swedish companies doing business with China.” Says, Jonathan Kullman, CEO at NBH.
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.
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, did a comeback this year by doing a spectacular mooncake box with different flavors.
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
Looking up to the brands in the north of Europe. The Swedish food supplier Oatly, thinking outside the box by making this playful box.
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.
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.
If we say Doyin 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.