East seen from the west

What can small brands learn from Singles’ Day use of live-streaming?

No more an occasion for some treats to comfort lonely hearts, Singles’ Day is now an expression of singles’ empowerment and purchasing power. This year it was expected by its main “copyright owner” Alibaba to involve 250.000 brands and 800 million shoppers: due to the pandemic, more companies decided to invest in the online retail. In such overcrowding, a strategy involving creativity is essential to rise above the others, but it’s not enough. That’s why this year edition of the shopping event is marked by the rise of AI, the tool for targeting consumers and to lead them to the company’s website, greeted with a custom-made experience, guarantee for more sales.

Another point to keep in mind – especially for smaller brands who can’t afford too big discounts – is to combine small discounts with other kinds of promotions, like gifts, or to emphasise product launches; just like Dyson did a couple of years ago, launching its then-new Airwrap hair-curling tool exclusively on Singles Day: it was rewarded by 1,500 products sold on Tmall in the first 3 minutes. The novelty of the 2020 edition of 11.11, though, was the live-streaming. The phenomenon has a sales-boosting effect: two-thirds of Chinese consumers said they purchased products via live-streaming in the past year, and the tool is expected to have brought 125 billion dollars in sales in 2020, up from $63 billion in 2019. It’s a more dynamic and less boring way to experience online shopping, but also a handy way for companies to have feedback from their customers and engage them.

Exciting, yes, but looks like a deal only for big brands, like Lancôme, Dyson and Nike, who established partnerships with Alibaba. How can your small company benefit from their experience? As experts of China, where we’ve been being operating since 2007, we saw that market growing and changing fast. Brands must be ready for the next marketing tool: now it’s the moment of live-streaming. Even if e-commerce isn’t your thing – as it needs high investments and quite a complex organization – you can still benefit from it. Easier to manage and with a good costs-benefits ratio, live streaming promotion on social media is what you need to communicate with the Chinese market, thanks to which you can maximize KOLs’ partnerships and launch your new products online. Of course, this still needs know-how and experience, but that’s why we’re here for you.