The concept of consumption in China has changed due to covid-19

3 main trends that demonstrate the changes in brands’ marketing strategy have been seen this year.

THE FIRST ONE IS “FROM GROUND TO CLOUD”

The outbreak has pushed brands and platforms to leverage digital in smart ways, and with COVID-19 still lingering around the corner, this is expecting to become a norm even post recovery.

Today, brands and platforms are making a pragmatic choice to shift their investment from on the ground activation to activating their conversation online. For example, automotive brands launched their new models online and got more engagement with their users. This is especially visible with the uphill rush of celebrity’s live streaming.

More categories of products are expected to be sold through live streaming platform in 618. Based on our experience, this 618 shopping festival will produce even more, likely to be 3 digits growth of “billion-dollar live streamers (亿元直播间)” out of the 81 live streamers on the list. However Livestreaming is to be used carefully by brands. Livestreamers should respect brands’ DNA, introduce the product benefits in the right way and asking for a reasonable discount. In addition to that, many Livestreamers are faking their number of viewers and their sales figures.

Livestreaming, even on ecommerce platforms, should be seen as a brand exposure tool rather than only a sales tool.

THE SECOND TREND IS “FROM FAST GAIN TO LONG-TERM GROWTH”

As you know, the Tmall Flagship Store 2.0 (Tmall 2.0) concept was introduced last year right after 618. This update offers brands the ability to provide a customizable shopper experience, leverage new technologies, and fully tell their own brand story.

Over the past few months, especially during the 2020 Q1, we have seen numerous beauty and lifestyle brands actively putting this into great practice. Armed with greater Store Experience and Customer Management capability, brands are now able to have, not only an in-built CRM program in their bag, but also customization opportunities that appeal to different tiers of customer with different offerings and content.

For the coming 618, more brands (likely to be beauty & lifestyle brands, such as lululemon, YSL, to name just a few) are expected to have, record-breaking GMV growth amid the COVID-19 crisis.

THE THIRD ONE IS “FROM HEIGHT TO WIDTH OF PERFORMANCE”

This year will be interesting, in the sense that platforms are still going after getting more people/increasing time spent on them, but also new initiatives that will help “traditional businesses” to find a way to rebuild their competitiveness. As of present, more than 100,000 brands have signed up for Tmall 618 this year, and 100 billion cash coupons will be given out, doubling the number of 618 last year. Besides, JD, Pinduoduo and Suning will all participate in the 618 carnival and 3 shopping galas will be hosted by Tmall, Pinduoduo and Suning with dominant Satellite TV channels respectively on the same night. More record-breaking moments will be expected.

Meanwhile, the number of new selling formats will be growing too, such as the recent announcement Chengdu landmark "wide and narrow alley (宽窄巷子)” opening to cushion the impact of zero-low tourism.

Consumers are invited and encouraged to take part in this festival. In the short term, 618 would be a useful weather vane for the health of the China economy and the strength of consumer demand.