To end 2017 strong, many retailers are pursuing growth in China’s large, booming market. Why China? Last year, retail sales in China on Singles’ Day (November 11) alone equalled total U.S. sales on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday – combined.
This June, Chinese online marketplace JD.com held a mid-year sales event that earned $17.7 US billion, reports China Daily. Experts expect competitor Alibaba will respond with even more attractive deals to smash its global sales record on Singles Day this fall.
The lure of China’s massive, enthusiastic retail market is too powerful for U.S. retailers to ignore. Retailers need a China strategy to capitalize on major sales opportunities through cross-border e-commerce, as Chinese consumers crave American-made goods.
Chinese consumers have expanded their shopping habits to search for quality products and brands on foreign e-commerce websites. They shop online for the ease and convenience of avoiding crowded shopping malls during the busy holiday season.
Now is the perfect time for U.S. retailers to plan ahead for this year’s upcoming holiday sales campaigns targeting Chinese shoppers.
China’s Hottest Shopping Holidays
For an effective China strategy, U.S. retailers should participate in Chinese holiday sales to test out their products and services, and entice Chinese consumers with marketing to raise brand awareness.
In addition to the major shopping festivals, including mid-year sales and Singles’ Day, Western festivals like Black Friday and newer sales events like Double 12 have grown in popularity in China. Here are some highlights for retailers to consider in their strategy:
Singles’ Day: November 11, 2017
Singles’ Day, a 24-hour online sale in China, has surpassed Black Friday to become the world’s biggest shopping day. On Singles’ Day 2016, one-third of sales on Alibaba, China’s powerhouse online marketplace, came from global brands, including U.S. products, evidence of strong demand for products “Made in the USA.”
Black Friday: November 24, 2017
Chinese consumers now celebrate America’s iconic shopping holiday. On Black Friday 2016, Chinese shoppers spent an average of $109 US, according to iResearch, a Chinese e-commerce market research firm. Compared to the daily average, sales of online cosmetics and personal care brands were 10 times higher, online pharmacy sales rose were four to nine times higher, and apparel and shoe sales rose 470%.
Double 12: December 12, 2017
Double Twelve appeases those left unsatisfied by Double Eleven. This festival is new and smaller than Double Eleven; however, it is expected to grow further. In 2016, total transactions on Tmall on Double Twelve rose 46% over the previous year, according to China Internet Watch. The event focuses on social commerce for smaller merchants and individual sellers who use blogs, live-streamed videos and other promotional content.
To attract discerning, tech-savvy Chinese consumers, retailers should choose a suitable way to enter the China market, use omnichannel marketing campaigns, and adapt every holiday promotion to Chinese shopping behaviors and expectations, including interactive mobile marketing. China’s affluence and e-commerce growth offer hope to U.S. retailers who still have enough time to prepare for 2017 holiday sales.
Azoya builds and operates e-commerce sites in China for overseas retailers.