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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.


Chinese e-commerce strategy: E-marketplace, Social e-commerce or own website?