This year’s Black Friday has come and gone, and we are seeing that online shopping is now a growing habit with more people now prefer to shop at home instead of visiting offline stores. While most Chinese consumers do not have the privilege to visit bricks-and-mortars stores outside the country, their demand for high-quality foreign goods is being fulfilled via cross-border e-commerce, which enables global retailers to sell directly to Chinese consumers. Azoya took this opportunity to manage the Black Friday campaigns for clients. Most of our clients had witnessed a hike of sales during the Black Friday campaigns, and some of them have sales result 10 times higher than expectation.
19 retailers had launched their Black Friday campaigns from November 23 to November 27. Some of them are well-known pharmacies, online fashion retailer, online beauty retailer, etc. Azoya’s Chinese local team played an important role, which is to plan, coordinate and execute the campaigns from the China end. Our tasks include managed operations, digital marketing, warehousing and logistics, and all that are tailored for the China market.
What We have done for them
1. Plan the Campaigns
The Black Friday is originally an American promotion event, though it is becoming international, but retailers in the US usually offer better deals to customers on that day. This is also perceived by most Chinese consumers, and it is crucial that the consumers are educated that they can get better deals from other countries as well. A good news is that a 2015 survey by Alipay has shown that 75% of Chinese consumers that shop overseas online are female, and categories like beauty products, nutrition supplements, mom and baby products and fashion apparels are the best selling categories for the China market.
To sell more products from the above-mentioned categories, Azoya expanded the one-day campaigns to a whole week, which gives enough exposure of the campaign. Different deals were released at different times of a day throughout the weeks to attract the attention of customers. The method also encourages them to share with their friends about their little ‘discovery’ and build up traffic steadily.
|November 21||November 22-23||November 24-25||November 26-27|
|Home Depot and Apparel Campaign||Mom and Baby Campaign||Beauty and Cosmetics Campaign||Encore Campaign|
Azoya has also investigated the market and made a prediction of sales based on analysis of previous sales figures. The prediction will be sent to the retailers weeks in advance to prepare the inventory and to schedule order fulfilment for the Black Friday campaign.
During the Black Friday campaigns, Azoya’s local operations were promoting the selected products according to campaign schedule, and make changes to the lists according to inventory and sales figures. The top 3 selling products were closely monitored by operations and will be promoted through various channels.
Pharmacy Direct and NetPharmacy sales reports on a campaign day had indicated that there was increasing demand for male health supplements, while these products were previously defined as long-tail. Operations discovered that the traffic was coming from a piece of content published on social media that became popular. Consumers of these products either scanned the QR code at the bottom of the article or clicked a planted link to come to the purchase page. Some of the products promoted by the article were soon running low in stocks.
Upon receiving this piece of information, operations acted immediately to bundle these top selling products with resembling long-tails and promote these bundles through various marketing channels. Those out-of-stocks products were replaced with alternatives. Requests were also made to the retailers to make resupply of inventory. The result was surprisingly good and retailers sold a lot more than the daily average.
3. Selecting Marketing Channels
It is a known fact that traffic acquisition in China is becoming difficult, partly due to the segmentation of traffic, and partly due to the rising cost of media purchase. In the case of Black Friday campaign, retailers need to be specific about their approach to their target consumers or otherwise they would achieve the desired result.
Azoya’s local marketing team has customised marketing plans for each retailer to match their best selling categories to the right channels. The campaign of Feelunique was promoted through multiple influential WeChat accounts that focused on beauty and cosmetics. Their followers and mostly young women, which is the target customers of the retailer. The local marketing team measures the performance of each account through a tag system developed in-house, which enables automatic tracking of UV and conversion to sales.
The key to success here is through tests and trials to discover the channels with best ROI. With years of experiments on the affiliate marketing, Azoya’s local marketing force has developed a mechanism to identify appropriate channels and accumulate hundreds of marketing channels including shopping guides, key opinion leaders (KOL), app push notifications, digital marketing (advertisement, DSP, SEM, CPC etc.).
4. Mobile Payment
WeChat as a crucial gateway for retailers to reach consumers, is a complex of social media platform, online browser, messaging app and mini-apps market. To adapt to the growing trend of m-commerce, Azoya is continuing to personalise shopping experience in the app, engage and entertain customer through social media, integrate mobile payment solution, and ultimately make shopping frictionless.
Just before the Black Friday campaign, Azoya launched WeChat Pay for online pharmacies and brands. Amcal, Pharmacy4Less and Roy Young are among the first Australian pharmacy retailers to launch WeChat Pay, as well as Net Pharmacy in New Zealand. Integration of WeChat Pay on the e-commerce sites allows customers to purchase directly from built-in WeChat browser without having to migrate to another platform to complete the transaction.
During the Black Friday campaign, retailers that support WeChat Pay were hugely benefited when the traffic referred from popular contents on WeChat can be directly converted to customers inside the app. Retailers can also keep in touch with these customers on WeChat once the purchase completes.
Azoya had also cooperated with Alipay during the Black Friday campaigns to give out 10,000 ‘red envelopes’ to customers. The ‘red envelopes’ is a form of a digital coupon that customers will receive once they complete a transaction, and in this case, customers need to pay via Alipay to deduct a random amount of money from their orders. The ‘red envelopes’ successfully drove a large amount of Alipay users to retailers’ sites and improves conversion from baskets to orders. Some retailers even saw more than 50% of baskets to orders conversion.
“It was a very big day for us – we participated with both our brands that are present in the Chinese market, Roy Young Chemist and Pharmacy 4 Less and as expected the results are very, very positive – we sold about ten times our normal volumes.We’re really impressed with Azoya’s experienced operations team and intimate knowledge about the Chinese market.”
— Rania Awad, general manager e-commerce for Pharmacy 4 Less