China Retail Briefing


Are You Missing out on the Massive Revenue Potential of China’s Singles Day?

What is Singles Day Shopping Spree and how should brands prepare to get ahead of the competition in this holiday seasons

11/11 – Singles Day is the largest e-Commerce shopping event in China, which has now become a global shopping festival with the participation of many well-known global brands (40% purchase reported from international brands according to last year’s sales report, as Chinese shoppers are big fans of imported products).

According to McKinsey, In 2018, Chinese consumers purchased $45 billion worth of goods and services on this single-day event, which was 3x of Black Friday and Cyber Monday volume combined. Over 200k brands participating, millions of new products and customers involved, and the number continues to grow. This is a huge revenue potential, and brands should incorporate promotional plans for Singles Day, in additional to Black Friday sales.

Chinese consumers love e-commerce and embrace technologies. Last year, over 90% of the orders were placed with mobile devices, compared to only 34% on Cyber Monday in the U.S. This data shows that Chinese consumer’s shopping habits and trends are both going digital.

Many brands introduced aggressive new initiatives such as online games, AR fitting and interactive shows on social media and shopping platforms to drive significant traffic, page views and sales on these online shopping days. Especially for e-commerce merchants, content and creatives are key to high engagement and conversions.

The discount is King. Chinese shoppers love offers and promotions, and it’s also what Singles Day is about – discounted presales, coupons, cash backs, etc.

Singles Day is also a great chance for brands to create omnichannel shopping experiences for customers to purchase from online to offline seamlessly. Many brands have been taking initiative to issue digital coupons to use at physical stores while creating unique in-store events to increase customer interaction and elevate shopping experiences.

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6 Beauty Industry Trends in China Brands Must Know

The beauty and personal care market in China is estimated to reach $62 billion by 2020, here are 5 major trends brands should definitely not ignore.

Cosmetics and personal-care are one of the most high-demand and high-profit margin sectors compare to other businesses globally, especially in China market. Brands nowadays are paying more attention to studying the opportunities and challenges, as well as understanding Chinese consumer demographics in order to thrive in the China market. These 5 trends are must-know for beauty brands that want to enter and expand their China market.

‣ Domestic beauty and skincare brands in China have been growing rapidly and expanding their business into Tier 2 and 3 cities, owning over 50% of the market share; while International brands mostly focus mainly on Tier 1 cities.

‣ Domestic players understand Chinese culture and consumer preference on a deeper level. The attention span of younger generation consumers are shorter nowadays, they are less committal and more open to a diverse range of brands. To adapt to ever-changing customer preferences and stand out from the competition, western brands need to have not only the right strategy but also innovative ideas, beyond excellent products as well as and localized brand stories in order to succeed in China market.

‣ Studies show that men are spending over 2 hours grooming themselves every week, which shows their growing attention to their appearance and style. Many shopping platforms and apps in China featuring male consumers have seen great success. Apparently Men’s beauty is an underrated and high-potential part of the market.

‣ The western aesthetic has been on the rise in China, compared to the declining popularity of Korean beauty trends for the past few years. As Chinese consumers are becoming more and more global-minded and comfortable with embracing individuality; brands that make users feel empowered, authentic and confident would most likely to win in the long term.

‣ Livestreaming is the new big social media trend in China market and brands in every industry are starting to incorporate this into their marketing strategies. Technologies like VR, AR shopping and game-based content are also new ways for brands to increase customer engagement and conversions.

‣ Strategic cross-border partnerships and international collaborations are another key to improve brand positioning and speed up business growth under the current global economy. It has proven to be an effective way for brands to acquire larger market share and satisfy customer’s growing needs.

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World’s luxury brands count costs of Hong Kong protests

‣ Retail market continues to gloom due to Hong Kong protests this summer. The total number of visitors sinking nearly 40% in August to 3.59 million, with y-oy decline in retail sales on record, falling 23%. Overall department store sales dropped 29.9% in August, following a drop of 10.4% in July. Among the sectors affected is luxury fashion. Brand like Kering, Prada, Cartier, Hugo Boss, and L’Occitane, all declared that their sales plummeted heavily in this market.

‣ The bulk of this drop comes from visitors from mainland China, who have historically been a reliable source of income for high-end brands in Hong Kong, spending the majority of their travel budgets on shopping. A mass amount of local businesses shut down to avoid the riot.

‣ Hong Kong used to be one of the largest markets for luxury and fashion retail in the Asia Pacific region, it accounted for 5-10% of the estimated $258 billion annual global sales of luxury goods.

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WeChat Mini Program 101 – What is Mini Program

What Is Mini Program
WeChat Mini Programs is a small app that functions within the WeChat app. Mini Programs may be easily accessed, pinned and disseminated in Wechat without leaving the app or downloading another app. Anyone with the WeChat app installed can receive and use Mini Programs. When users no longer need their Mini Programs, simply delete it from the WeChat like they are deleting a message.

How Popular Are Mini Programs and Who Can Host One
Mini Program is open for registration for Individual, Corporation, Government, Media, and other Organizations. With more than 200 million daily active users, there are more than 1 million mini-programs on the market right now, covering 200+ categories. Companies use Mini Programs to promote their products and services, and people use it for almost everything in China, from shopping, booking trips to ordering food, etc. Based on market data, the most popular mini-programs by category are Minigames (42%) Lifestyle Apps (39%) Blog/News (28%), and e-commerce (28%). Businesses love Mini Programs for it requires low entry/development cost, provides better advertising returns, and helps build a closer relationship with customers.

How Users Find Mini Programs
Just like an app store, to find any mini-program, there are several ways users can access within WeChat app:

‣ Type in the program name in the search bar
‣ Scan QR code from websites or ad flyers
‣ Receive from friend or group chat
‣ Find it from linked official Account

Benefits of Having A Mini Program for Ecommerce
Ecommerce Mini Program serves as a great O2O platform as it integrates with WeChat Pay seamlessly. Most of the popular shopping sites and social media in China have Mini Program in addition to their app, such as,, Taobao Lite,\ RED, etc. Customers can easily checkout within the app, significantly increases order counts and visit frequency. Here are some more benefits for businesses with Mini Program:

‣ Access to 1 billion WeChat users in China, many of them could be your potential customers. This is a great way to introduce your product and service to a broader audience and provide an elevated shopping experience.

‣ Mini Program is a new open-source, businesses may quickly develop a new one with lower cost compared to regular apps. WeChat also provides a wide range of tools to help developers quickly access and complete the Mini Program development, including development documents, developer tools, design guides, Experience Demo, etc. It’s a cheaper and easier way to gain additional revenue from Chinese customers.

‣ In addition, businesses can also run WeChat Moment ads to raise brand awareness and drive more traffic to their Mini Program/Official Account.

‣ The powerful analysis tool is also available for businesses to monitor traffic, sales, and user data. The backend system gives you very thorough information and graphics regarding your campaign performance.

‣ Quickly gain a strong and loyal relationship with customers wit high stickiness, as Mini Program is easy to access and very interactive. Once you build the trust, it’s easier to direct them to your native app or website.

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