June 18 is an Internet shopping event called “618 Shopping Festival”, the Chinese version of Cyber Monday. All e-commerce platforms in the country are offering special discounts in order to attract as many buyers as possible.
While the event started with JD.com, all major e-commerce platforms from Tmall to Suning have joined in for a share of the growing consumer pie. In fact, the strongest backers of the big shopping event are the brands themselves, which were quick to see the opportunity in such activities for their marketing strategies.
“The e-commerce environment is changing and our brand is upgrading its image. So working with high-quality platforms is one thing we have to do to meet consumers’ expectations,” said Xing Xiachun, brand director of YSL China.
With the development of Chinese e-commerce’s cooperation with overseas companies, a vast array of products, especially cosmetic products, are entering the Chinese market to a fiercer competition between major suppliers. Meanwhile, the consumers are becoming more selective – instead of randomly adding items to their shopping carts, many have laid out specific plans before the shopping spree got started.
“Because consumers are more rational now, brands need to think of more creative ways, they need to become more strategic in how they plan for their e-commerce marketing activities so as to attract or fight in this competitive environment. You need to be creative, you need to have a specific special brand day, and you need to create special products,” said Yeo Enhui, e-commerce deputy general manager of Carat China.
Sale volumes during online shopping sprees in China shatter records on yearly basis. E-commerce platforms are grabbing every opportunity to induce shopping sprees, offering discounts during the Spring Festival, Valentine’s Day and even Women’s Day.
This costs the brands and the e-commerce companies a good deal, but experts believe this is the price for doing business online in China these days.