China’s rising e-commerce adoption rates, evolution into a cashless society of mobile payments, and obsession with mobile messaging app WeChat make it clear that it’s essential for brands to stay on top of constantly developing digital trends in this crucial market.
At L2’s 2017 Digital Leadership Academy in New York on July 20, Danielle Bailey, L2’s head of APAC research, and Jo Lu, L2’s APAC client strategy director, presented on the top digital strategies brands across sectors can take for success in the China market. The two-day conference featuring speakers from NYU Stern, the Kellogg School of Management, Harvard Business School, and L2 was attended by individuals identified by their companies as high-potential emerging leaders.
One of the main takeaways of the China presentation was that “all the digital roads in China lead to commerce,” said Bailey, whether it’s a branded promotion or integration with celebrities and key opinion leaders (KOLs). Online sales are a key part of this, since “e-commerce is commerce in China,” she stated, pointing out that e-commerce penetration in China is already higher than that of the United States with more consumers shifting their spending online. With these trends in mind, below are five keys for winning in the China market that were covered in-depth at the event:
With a wide range of capabilities including mobile payments and ticket and cab booking, top mobile messaging app WeChat has become a “digital ‘Swiss Army Knife,’” said Bailey. One of the main features brands should look to is WeChat commerce, which rose from a 15% adoption rate in 2015 to 31% in 2016. It’s especially important for the CPG industry, where a quarter of total online spending is now made through WeChat.
Luxury brands should also consider opening a WeChat shop or hosting a limited-time sale, which “can be a great way to capture CRM information, get people into your funnel, and start to market to them in other ways,” ultimately helping to better “understand your target customer,” said Bailey.
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