Ni Hao 🇨🇳
China ecommerce, Virtual try on for make-up & Favourite emojies in 2021
Welcome to mid-week D2C Pulse: A bite-sized newsletter where we cover:
🌎 Exciting products from budding e-commerce markets of the world
🗞 Developments in online marketplaces globally
📊 Fun facts about the D2C ecosystem
Let’s get to it…
🇨🇳 Global To Local: China
World population is not the only thing China tops the world in - Its e-commerce market valued at USD 2.1 tn (2021), is the largest in the world. To give more context, One of China's retail festivals “11.11” (November 11 Singles’ Day sales event) hit USD 84.54 bn in GMV… a figure entire Indian e-comm space aims to touch only by 2025!
Online commerce in China is mostly led by homegrown brands in categories like food, new dining, make-up, and lifestyle while embracing new tools and innovation - something that big giants like Amazon and Facebook and global brands like Superdry, Forever 21, Innisfree have largely been unable to keep up with.
Chinese local brands offer a ‘crystal ball’ lens into the potential futures of e-commerce for the rest of the world. Here’s what is working well for them:
🤝 BRAND COLLABORATIONS
Chinese D2Cs frequently pursue brand/ IP collaborations that are bold, or even quirky to win over the millennial and Gen Z. E.g. C-beauty brand Perfect Diary partnered with Disney to introduce limited-edition facial cleansing taking inspiration from the Baymax character of “Big Hero 6. It has also partnered with Discovery to launch a make-up kit called “animal palette”- inspired by the eyes of wild animals.
🌟 SMALLER KOL (KEY OPINION LEADER/ INFLUENCER) ENDORSEMENTS
Chinese brands work with a series of smaller KOLs who can contribute high-quality content and generate word-of-mouth marketing for them. The platforms can be split into three major categories, differentiated by content formats:
blogging (mainly Weibo and WeChat)
short videos (TikTok and Xiaohongshu)
Chinese sportswear brand Li Ning recently partnered with Tencent Games to “hire” Xing Tong, a virtual idol in Tencent’s QQ Dance game, as a brand ambassador. Xing Tong has also represented Levi’s campaign during Shanghai Fashion Week.
🕹️ GAMIFICATION OF CHINESE CONSUMER TECH
Every Chinese super-app has a mini-game or two tucked away in its offering to engage the user. Gamification features open up dimensions like retention, acquisition, monetization, and user segmentation. Examples from Taobao games that nudge users towards retention:
🧑🤝🧑 COMMUNITY AS A MOAT
People make sense of their lives through communities. Chinese platforms like Bilibili, Kuaishou App are like if “Youtube, Twitch, Steam, Patreon, TokyoPop and Netflix had a CRISPR-baby”. Users start off with coming for the content, staying for the community, and end up making a purchase. Tooling in private Wechat groups and communities has also been on the rise. "FitFam" is a free fitness community-based in Shanghai that saw a huge rise in membership when they streamlined their signup process to a WeChat Mini Program.
🏪 EXPERIENTIAL COMMERCE INCLUDING GOING OFFLINE
Owning the user by providing the whole monetization funnel is the ultimate goal of Chinese consumer brands. Banrixian, a D2C mattress company, is active on Xiaohongshu (Chinese Instagram cum Pinterest), Haohaozhu, a home-improvement app, Zhihu, a knowledge-sharing platform, and group-buying platforms.
🗞 Global Marketplace Updates
Nykaa launches AI-powered virtual try-on tech 'ModiFace' for beauty shoppers. The technology uses an advanced face tracker algorithm that applies virtual cosmetics, to give a real-time, true-to-life view of the products
Last week, China trends observers, Ashley Dudarenok, posted about hair salons in China having an AI-enabled mirror recommending a hairstyle based on the customer’s appearance and personality.
Recently, Amazon also announced that it is opening a London hair salon to test AR and other retail technologies.
Google’s Area 120 launches Qaya, a service offering web storefronts for digital creators. All hail the Gig Economy!
Instagram and TikTok are the top apps by downloads last month. Spotify became the surprise newcomer.
📊 Graph-iti Of The Day
Content created by a brand manifests its personality/archetype. Everyone wants to appeal to GenZ and become an iconic brand - Emojies have become an indispensable part of company communications be it emails or newsletters or social media posts.
Let’s take a look at what emojies that stayed on top in 2021. Watch out Whatsapp groups new emojis coming your way today! 🤸
That’s all for today!
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Bye now. Have a great day, and see you soon!