Learnings from China's coronavirus recovery

by Drapers Online

This article was originally published on DrapersOnline.

China is lifting its lockdown. What does that mean for the country’s retail landscape and what can UK retailers learn from China?

Once the centre of the global coronavirus pandemic, China is now the first nation trying to return to something like business as usual. Restrictions are slowly being lifted across the country as the spread of infection seems to slow. Even in Wuhan, the city where the crisis began, lockdown measures are being eased.

Residents were able to leave the area and domestic flights restarted from early April. Chinese shopping centres, bars and restaurants are beginning to reopen their doors.

Chinese lessons

Elena Gatti, managing director of Azoya Europe, a solution provider for businesses looking to enter the Chinese ecommerce market, agrees that UK retailers can also use the lockdown to experiment with new ways to reach consumers: “The last two months have forced retail players to experiment with online marketing methods such as livestreaming and WeChat group marketing – going beyond investing in advertising.

Livestreaming in China involves hosts or influencers presenting items during a live video session. Often there are raffles or games to keep people entertained, and hosts will try on outfits and give viewers a sense of what products look and feel like.

“For WeChat, some store employees set up large groups for loyal customers, where they gave out coupons and promotions. They also sometimes gave advice on how to put together outfits or apply make-up. Although the eco-system in China is very different from the UK, these measures could be ‘translated’ to the UK market.”  Read more at DrapersOnline.