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2018 Marketing Trends in China

Wondering what are the big marketing trends for 2018 in China? Read the article below!

The Chinese market has some deep specificities when it comes to marketing. The following lists 2018 major marketing trends. Overall, Chinese consumers are expecting deep content around the product, services and brands they consume.


Content is king, creative is queen


The competition for social e-commerce between Tencent and Alibaba is wild as the two giants shape their ecosystem. Concerning Tencent, Wechat is used by approximately 40% of its users to receive promotional content> Thus, iit is a great platform for brands to interact with consumers. On the one hand, the recent development of mini-program and mini-game enable brands to immerse users in their story. One the other hand, Wechat is social tool used to interact within communities giving the possibility for viral content, which marketers should leverage.

As for Alibaba, it is developing its social platforms allowing to create content around products, mostly based on storytelling or influential marketing.


Influential marketing is major in China. KOL mainly communicate through Weibo. This platform is used by approximately 45% of consumers to discover products (PwC, 2018). However, the platform is becoming increasingly controlling while brands raise concerns about its true ROI. Thus, the best practice in influential marketing is to partner with thought leaders that have a true expertise and can communicate multi-channels. Another major trend, is video and livestream which have an impressive ROI for special sale with 20% of audience buying the recommended products (iSentia, 2018). In addition, read these articles about livestream: Douyin 抖音, trendy Chinese live stream appKuaishou 快手, hottest Video App in China.


The recent penetration of AR and VR technology allows brand to immerse consumers in their story. In addition, brand use VR to showcase their services allowing users to visit the venues through a Wechat mini-program.


New retail is 2018 hot topic as retailers try to provide a seamless omnichannel user experience. Therefore, mobile first store is essential as it allows to collect data and personalize the consumer journey.In addition, read this article about Hema, le supermarché du futur by Alibaba.


Data continues to be a major challenge for companies. Using it in a smart and efficient way will determine the future success of many brands. In terms of advertisement, Dynamic Creative Optimization for banner display is critical. It allows to push automatically personalized banners to users taking into account several variables in their environment. As relevance is essential, indeed 31% of Chinese consumers click on an ad if it is relevant (opposed to 16% worldwide), this strategy is the key to success in advertisement (PwC, 2018).


While the Chinese environment is extremely competitive, data must guide professionals in choosing actions with the best ROI. Marketing strategies must be thought in terms of social e-commerce from awareness to purchase with a seamless and personalized experience that immerses users into the brand’s world.


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How to leverage data in China: Superwomen In Data Edition#3 in Shanghai

Superwomen In Data #3

How to leverage data in the Chinese market? This is the focus this series of talks.

Thanks to the success of the previous events, “Superwomen in Data” event is back! Come run and join us for this new edition!

The 3rd edition will take place on April 19th, 2018, at WeWork Yunnan Road in Shanghai.

This event aims to spotlight women entrepreneurs, thus by giving them the opportunity to share their valuable experience. We gather professionals of any gender in order to discuss the future challenges and opportunities for leveraging digital platforms and data across a variety of industries.

WeWork, an international compound of co-working spaces, will welcome this event. In addition, Epermarket, an online grocery delivery service and La quête sucrée, a Shanghai-based French bakery, will provide food and beverage.


Get your tickets

For registration, click here!

Follow the WeChat account superwomenindata to be updated!


China eCommerce Marketing Mobile platforms Strategy

Douyin 抖音, trendy Chinese live stream app

Tired of looking for an original way to reach your consumers on wechat or weibo only? You are right! While it is essential to fit the Chinese market standards by setting a strong wechat and/or weibo strategy, you do not have to stick to what is expected for your brand. Be INNOVATIVE! What about digging into live stream & the new Douyin app? 


Live streaming trend in China

Live stream is a real trend in the Chinese market since the last couple of years that gives a new way of entertainment. The sector expects a revenue of more than 43 billion yuan in 2017, doubling the one of 2016. So naturally, more and more brands are tapping into this trend to create awareness but also sell products.  While major live streaming app follow on their success such as kuaishou 快手, Miaopai 秒拍,  yizhibo 一直播 However, one platform stood out in 2017.


What is Douyin 抖音?

Let me present to you…. DOUYIN, a trending music video social network that could help your brand reach post-millennials.


A trendy video & live stream app

Douyin, aka Tik Tok on the international scene, is an app that enable its users to create 15 seconds videos with great effects and then share it around. There is a really wide range of effects allowing users to create funny, original and good quality videos through stickers, change of appearance, frames, slow motions or music… and many more! The app is very popular for lip syncing to the major hits or even dancing like a super star!

Douyin is part of the ByteDance which also owns the famous news aggregator Toutiao. First launched in September 2016, Douyin was called The name changed quickly before Toutiao invested into the app which was the start of its big success. After KOL took over the platforms, the user number went off the roof to more than 1 million users at the end of 2017. The social network is now taking over the international scene, with Toutiao buying, its competition popular in the US market. It is also trending across Asia such as Thailand. 


Few numbers to have in mind

15-second lip-syncing videos full of filters and stop-motion effects

1.73 million users in September 2017

1 billion videos viewed every day

#1 free video app of the Apple Chinese App store in November 2017

A quick success

The quick success of the app was off the charts! Let’s review what it was about?

As said earlier, the video social network grew with the interest that some KOLs took in the app, which accelerated its popularity immediately.

Moreover, Douyin collaborated with iQIYI, another video platform, in 2017 to present the first hip-hop talent show in China. That was a great strategy has the targeted audience of the app is Gen Z which has a strong pop culture.

The app is now know for some viral content that gain popularity overseas as well, such as the “Karma’s a bitch” makeover videos.


Douyin in Marketing

While this app sounds great you might be wondering how to use it for your brand? This is a few tips on how to succeed on Douyin.

Understand the target

The core audience of the app is Gen Z with 85% of users under 24. Women are the most represented gender but due to the strong pop culture on the platform men are also strong viewers. In terms of geographical location, it is clear that first second-tier cities are most of Douyin’s users with a higher education and searching for funny and original content videos.

Leverage the app’s advantages

  • As the editing capabilities of Douyin are amazing and intuitive, as a brand your need to think of how you will add value to users’ videos. The content on the platform is already great so really figure out your strong point in the game!
  • Your obsession should be to create engagement. Videos created on Douyin can be shared on major social media such as QQ, Weibo or WeChat. And that is what you need to aim for! Follow the line of the app and what users are really looking for to trigger an interest.
  • Finally, don’t mess up your hashtags! The platform uses # to create engagement on topics or challenges. Make your research and get your hashtags right to trend!

Vary your content

  • The app offers to create challenges, either with lip sync or dance, which are very popular. This is a good way to engage with your consumers and let them share their own message. Brand can use it during campaign to have engagement, reaction and content from their audience. But make sure to have thought about the key points in “Leveraging the advantages of the app” to gain momentum.
  • The short videos can also be used alternatively. Brands could create series of short videos on the app that add value to their consumers. For instance, instructional videos such as short tutorial can be featured. Think about using KOLs that make the videos go off the charts! The advantage is that it might involve a smaller budget that using influencers on major Chinese social media. Right now, “individual influencers currently costs between 5-20krmb per video” (according to Parklu) on Douyin.
  • Douyin also allows to live stream. If you want to reach generation Z think about using the app instead of other popular one that may not fit your target as well.
  • The social network recently released a live Q&A feature. Users have to pay for asking questions but the price is very low, around 3rmb, compared to other apps. This could be use in all sorts of ways to engage with consumers on topics or values close to the brand as well as their products. It would also be great to have live Q&A during brand events, tapping on the O2O trend, to make your audience play a more active role.


Apps China Chinese Chinese E-Commerce Plateforms eCommerce Life in China

How to Taobao: A Tutorial for Foreigners

Time of Taobao tutorial: 10min

If you are just moving to China and asking your new colleagues and friends where you can get this or that, everyone will have the same answer: Taobao! Therefore, it is a magic website where you can basically find anything you want either from brands (Tmall) or private vendors (Taobao). You’ll be surprise how easy and fast products will arrive to your house… life will be much sweeter after you watched our tutorial!

Click here to download the App or go to the website.


About Taobao

Taobao, in Chinese 淘宝网 is the biggest e-commerce platform in China, similar to Amazon in the West, with 369 Million active users. The platform even created a shopping festival called Single Day (11.11) and in 2017 they break the record selling over US$25.3 billion in 24hours.

Step 1: Create an Account


In order to create a Taobao account, you need the following:

  • Chinese phone number
  • Chinese bank account
  • Alipay account (preferably connected to your Chinese bank account)

Set up

It’s a 3 step process:

1- Link your account to your phone number

Create taobao account

2- Choose your password and username

create taobao account

3- Link your account to your Alipay

4- Register your delivery address

register address taobao


Step 2: Shop on Taobao

(Hosted on Youtube – need of a VPN)


Step 3: Delivery & Return Products


You can ask for the delivery details in the chat with the seller. Otherwise, products are usually shipped in a few days to your delivery address. If you are not home, the delivery agent will either call you or send you a text message indicating you the location of your package.

Return products

return product taobao  return product taobao  return product taobao  return product taobao

Get refunded: if you ordered a product and changed your mind you can get refunded before the product is delivered to you.

Return product & get refunded: if you received your product but don’t like it you can return it just choose where the delivery agent has to pick up your product and the money will be refunded to you.

taobao mascotte

Congrats you are now a true Chinese shopper!