The scale of China’s presence in the global retail market has reached a crucial point. Technological innovations and advancements, consumer appetite, and growing spending power has put China at the forefront of global spending, with total global sales of $5.6trn this year.
Far from the outdated stereotype of the ‘Made in China’ tag, Chinese consumers are far outpacing their Western counterparts and setting trends for future consumption thanks to its social media sophistication and hyper connected digital ecosystem. With over one billion daily active users, WeChat is China’s most powerful all-encompassing social media tool with over 20 million registered official brand accounts, and in 2018 it saw $46.9 bn worth of consumption covering key sectors including travel, food and shopping, thus fuelling China’s overall economy. It makes up for a generous share of China’s overall mobile traffic at over a third, in comparison to Facebook which only makes up for 14.1% of mobile traffic in North America.
The use of short-form and livestream videos, KOL (key opinion leader) influencer marketing, ecommerce services and omnichannel online to offline marketing has propagated the concept of ‘new retail’ as coined by Alibaba’s Jack Ma, which has set China light years ahead of the West.
One key example of influencer is Becky Li, a journalist turned fashion blogger who in a collaboration sold out 100 limited edition range of $45,500 Mini Coopers in under five minutes via WeChat. Or take Mr Bags’ collaboration with Tods where he designed 500 limited edition bespoke bags based on his 3.5 million Weibo and 850,000 WeChat followers purchase history to sell out 3.24 million RMB (almost $500,000) worth of bags in a mere six minutes, a personal record for Mr Bags (previously selling out 1.2 million RMB worth of handbags in 12 minutes for Givenchy in 2017), a feat almost unmatched in the West.
Looking beyond WeChat, the opportunities for brands and retailers are endless - Chinese social media tools such as Weibo, Douyin (Tik Tok) and Little Red Book have given domestic and foreign brands, KOL influencers and entrepreneurs numerous platforms to engage with Chinese consumers. All of this and more are why China is one of the most lucrative and vibrant retail markets in the world and where TONG can step in.
Established in 2014, TONG delivers end-to-end digital and ecommerce solutions for global retail brands looking to enter and scale up in the Chinese market. As part of our expansion, we are looking to partner up with other dynamic agencies that are looking to shake things up in their services and look for opportunities further afield. In this immersive workshop at the end of the month of 31st October, we’ll explore key strategies for agencies and first steps to market entry success.
For interested parties, please register your interest below, or get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org for more.
Katherine Brown, Marketing executive at Tong Digital.