These tactics are helping Chinese retailers survive the coronavirus crisis

by Digital Commerce 360

This article was originally released on Digital Commerce 360.

In China, things are all but back to normal as restaurants, bars, and retail stores start to reopen. But for some time, many Chinese retail players saw sales hit rock bottom and had to resort to measures such as livestreaming and private social media groups to keep their businesses alive. We take a look at some of their proven, innovative tactics and how U.S. retail players can apply them now to stay alive. 

Livestreaming and ecommerce

Livestreaming ecommerce in China is a phenomenon that began in 2014/15 and started to take off in 2018, with Taobao Live selling 100 billion RMB (~US$15 billion) of merchandise that year.

How retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers are responding to unprecedented challenges while taking advantage of new opportunities to increase online sales.

In China, most brands livestream on Taobao, Alibaba’s eBay-like C2C ecommerce platform where anyone from mom and pop shops to venture-backed retail start-ups and gray-market daigou sellers can sell to Chinese customers. Daigou is an emerging form of cross-border exporting in which an individual or group of exporters outside China purchases goods for customers in China.

Brands can either choose to host a livestreaming session on their own channels or elect to work with an influencer. During the session, the host presents the brand and tries on different products one by one, telling the audience how it looks and feels. “Lipstick King” influencer Austin Li reportedly tried on 300 different types of lipstick in a single day of livestreaming. Read more Digital Commerce 360 

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