It’s that point of 12 months once more when Singles’ Day, Double 11 or 11.11, the world’s largest procuring occasion, is taking the world by a storm. The presales interval kicked off with JD (October 23) and Tmall (October 24) firing the first salvo in an industry-wide worth conflict to win customers and their wallets.
However, regardless of enticing reductions of up to 60% to 80% (by home gamers), manufacturers are jittery about efficiency throughout this 12 months’s procuring competition. Even although China’s financial system has turned a nook with a reported 4.9% progress in Q3 12 months on 12 months and 1.3% sequentially from the earlier three months, customers are placing the brakes on a spending spree. Bain & Co.’s Singles’ Day report finds that customers are feeling the squeeze and aware in spending. In reality, greater than three-quarters of the 3,000 customers Bain surveyed plan to spend much less or keep spending at 2022 ranges. There are indications that the competition is shedding its shine; solely 53% of respondents mentioned they had been excited by this 12 months’s procuring extravaganza, in contrast to 76% in 2021.
Britton Russell, accomplice and Greater China lead for consumer and retail apply at AlixPartners, feedback on the budget-friendly and purchase-prudish mentality, which isn’t new, however the phenomenon is performed at a distinct stage this time.
“Consumers are educated about potential purchases and extra prudent than ever earlier than. They search most worth with each buy.” It is estimated that this 12 months, on common, customers are spreading display screen time on 5 completely different platforms to discover the proper deal, in contrast with 4.1 in 2022.
Forrester’s principal analyst Xiaofeng Wang echoes related ideas.
“The quest for worth will dominate the consumer mindset,” he says. “The low-price technique reveals that massive gamers are below the strain of rising competitors from new gamers akin to Pinduoduo and Douyin (Chinese model of TikTook).”
Apart from the worth wars that dominate headlines, Wang emphasises that “the low-price technique is backed by rising work effectivity and reducing operational prices supported by superior applied sciences akin to generative AI.” From content material creation to digital hosts and chatbots, generative AI lowers prices and dangers and improves buyer expertise.
L-R: Suki Lin, Britton Russell, Xiaofeng Wang
The most eye-catching enviornment of this procuring season remains to be reside streaming and KOL advertising and marketing. In reality, livestreaming has been the driving drive of Taobao Livestreaming income with Austin Jiaqi Li, the ‘Lipstick King’ producing billions of yuan in gross sales and turning into a family title over the years.
However, over the years, public disputes like the 2021 case the place two Chinese livestreaming gross sales stars, Li Jiaqi and Viya, highlighted how L’Oréal was promoting cheaper merchandise by itself platform than what it promoted throughout the 11.11 competition, consumer belief on finest reductions and KOLs statements has been dimming.
Last month, a survey by AlixPartners’ revealed that livestreaming (46%) and suggestion of KOLs (45%) had turn into the least necessary issues for buy choices amongst the 20 surveyed components. Understandably, authenticity, trustworthiness, and product performance (together with sturdiness) rank as the high two issues. Only 22% name livestreaming out as a purpose key for procuring, in contrast to 32% in 2021.
To stand out on this extremely aggressive market, manufacturers want to leverage the energy of influencers and livestreaming platforms, which will help them join with their goal audiences and showcase their merchandise in a fascinating method.
Suki Lin, regional director of Asia-Pacific at Nativex, a cell promoting platform, explains the influencer advertising and marketing technique: “It’s an attractive technique, and leveraging social media is essential for manufacturers in China, with over 1 billion web customers participating on these platforms. Instead of relying solely on livestreaming and reductions, manufacturers can drive gross sales by connecting with customers in search of suggestions and tendencies. Building credible, reliable, and genuine consumer-influencer relationships on these platforms is important for fulfillment.”
One of the hottest livestreaming platforms in China, Douyin, the Chinese model of TikTook, has a 23-day procuring competition that culminates on November 11, goals to obtain a gross merchandise worth (GMV) of over 100 billion RMB (round US$ 14 billion), in accordance to Chinese media studies. However, its e-commerce division denied the quantity and mentioned it doesn’t disclose GMV information.
Livestreaming is a serious supply of income for Douyin, because it permits influencers and celebrities to work together with their followers and promote merchandise in actual time. Last 12 months, livestreaming revenues accounted for 70% of the complete GMV for Douyin e-commerce.
Douyin additionally gives a brand new channel for progress for a lot of manufacturers, particularly in the magnificence sector, as its algorithms assist steadiness site visitors and competitors inside a class. The platform additionally helps manufacturers with extra assets, akin to information evaluation, content material creation, and advertising and marketing campaigns. According to Chinese media, C-beauty manufacturers, akin to Proya, Florasis and Perfect Diary, have all elevated their funding in Douyin in contrast to earlier years.
Livestreaming platforms usually are not the solely ones competing for decrease costs and better gross sales throughout the Double 11 competition. Other e-commerce platforms, akin to JD.com, Tmall, Taobao, and Red, are additionally becoming a member of the fray with completely different methods and challenges.
JD.com, for example, challenged Li Jiaqi’s livestreaming by promising even decrease costs than his. The platform attracted over 140 million viewers to its new livestreaming classes in the first week, marking a robust begin for its on-line gross sales.
Tmall and Taobao, each owned by Alibaba, launched their official procuring competition on October 24, with decrease costs as a key technique. Tmall up to date its 88VIP system into three ranges, providing extra reductions to higher-paying members. It additionally partnered with Tencent’s WeChat to share coupons through social media, and with different platforms like Bilibili, Weibo, and Zhihu, to drive site visitors by way of content material advertising and marketing.
According to R3, a consultancy agency, Douyin ranked as the high digital promoting income maker amongst the 4 digital giants in the first half of 2023, adopted by Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu. Red confirmed the strongest progress momentum amongst the 4 key digital platforms, whereas Weibo was the solely platform with lowering digital promoting revenues.
While Douyin, Alibaba, and Red are main the digital promoting market, different social media platforms are additionally providing alternatives for manufacturers to leverage influencer advertising and marketing. Nativex, a cell promoting platform, has carried out an in-depth evaluation of the high influential social media channels in China and the way manufacturers can profit from them.
Lin from Natiex mentioned that completely different platforms have completely different traits and preferences.
For instance, Douyin customers are open to new merchandise, however Kuaishou has a better conversion charge. BiliBili fits Gen Z advertising and marketing, whereas Red requires manufacturers to construct repute and engagement. Weibo is efficient in influencing feminine customers by way of tailor-made discussions. Brands want to tailor their campaigns accordingly to hit the jackpot this season.