The app industry is continuing to grow, according to a new year-end analysis from app intelligence firm App Annie, out today, which found that app downloads, time spent in apps and revenue grew across the board over the course of 2016. Worldwide downloads were up 15 percent year-over-year, time spent in apps was up 25 percent, and the revenue paid to developers increased by 40 percent.
In tech news in the past week, China’s social media app Weibo is showing signs of a strong rebound in a WeChat world, and luxury brands have been wasting no time taking advantage of the platform’s expanding reach.
Fendi recently rolled out a new campaign on Weibo asking followers of the Italian leather handbag brand to show off their best selfies. In a culture where the selfie is everything, the company enlisted the aid of not just one, but three different selfie apps to give users a variety of ways in which they could show off their smile with Fendi’s new “Hypnoteyes” capsule collection.
As China’s online live-streaming platforms have seen record levels of engagement in the past year, beauty brands have been quick to adopt them in order to reach Chinese consumers—especially millennials.
According to a newly released report by L2 on the rise of live-streaming as a marketing tool in China, around two-thirds of global cosmetics brands now utilize it on one or more of the 31 most prominent live-streaming platforms in China. With popularity largely driven by celebrities and key opinion leaders (KOLs), live-streaming can be especially useful when famous brand ambassadors serve as hosts to the online events.
China may be a vast and growing fashion market, but it is not — as many foreign brands and investors might assume — a nation with unified tastes when it comes to online shopping.
It is a fascinating exercise to dig deeper into our exhaustive well of data to compare and contrast the way people shop in the major cities and the outlying provinces, which are home to an extraordinarily diverse array of second, third and fourth tier cities.
Alibaba’s gigantic online shopping holiday saw another record-smashing year in China, with mobile continuing to become an even more dominant shopping platform.
For the November 11 Singles’ Day shopping event, sales reached US$17.8 billion (RMB120.7 billion) on Alibaba platforms alone, rising from last year’s $14.3 billion. This marked a growth rate of 32 percent, down from over 60 percent last year. The total number of transactions hit the 1 billion mark this year (1.04 billion to be exact), up from 710 million last year.
China's business regulator said it has warned leading online shopping companies, including Alibaba Group Holding and JD.com, against adopting dodgy sales tactics at the upcoming "Singles Day" festival, China's biggest shopping day of the year.
The stakes are high in the one-day event, held annually on Nov. 11, which sees billions of dollars of goods sold online at steep discounts, and is watched as a barometer for the e-commerce industry and consumer economy in China as a whole. Alibaba's transactions alone exceeded $14 billion last year and are expected to grow this year.
Over the years, designers have expressed many and varied grievances about China’s fashion weeks, but one particular problem has persisted. However much these once parochial events have improved to become slick and professional affairs, weak showrooms have continually let them down. Now, change is clearly on the horizon.
If the latest season is anything to go by, 2015 could be the year that wholesale buyers and vendors finally get together to do substantial business at a new breed of multibrand showrooms that have cropped up in China’s fashion capitals. Most operate out of Shanghai, appearing during fashion week, but a few now have permanent year-round spaces there. Some are operating on the scale of a small trade show dealing almost exclusively with Chinese brands, while others are staking a claim in a variety of niche markets, catering to both domestic and international designer labels.
Alibaba Group’s Alipay payment service is being introduced at 10 key overseas airports in an effort to further expand the company’s reach beyond China’s borders. The ambition is to make payments and access to other mobile services more seamless for Chinese travelers at their overseas destinations.
As competition in China’s mobile payments industry is heating up, Alipay is making another move to make itself ubiquitous for Chinese customers as it expands the reach of its services to 10 overseas airports. Alipay has long been the market leader in China, but is facing increased competition from Tencent, the internet giant behind WeChat and its competing WeChat Pay feature. Similar to Alipay, WeChat Pay is trying to expand beyond China’s borders to strengthen its competitive positioning in the Chinese market. Notably, both Apple and Samsung have also entered China’s mobile payments market and are perhaps more competitive in Chinese overseas payments than they are in domestic payments.
As foreign luxury brands remain a lucrative target for China’s top e-commerce platforms, B2C online retailer JD.com continues its push to attract fashion labels abroad with a current focus on British companies.
During London Fashion Week earlier this month, the brand staged its third international runway show following similar presentations at New York and Milan’s fashion weeks in previous seasons. Featuring collections by Chinese designers including EVE de CINA, Kevin Kelly, NE TIGER, By Creations, and X Lando, items on the show’s runway were made available for purchase on JD.com.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s delivery affiliate will continue to prioritise growth over profits as it builds the logistics network at the heart of the Chinese e-commerce giant’s global expansion.
While Cainiao Smart Logistics Network Ltd. needs funds to continue its investment in its distribution network, it only wants the backing of investors who endorse its model of incurring losses to build scale, chief executive officer Judy Tong told partners at a conference in Hangzhou. Those losses have prompted a US investigation into why largest shareholder Alibaba does not fully fold the smaller company into its own results. But she said both companies have provided data to prove they have played by the rules.
If advertisers in the U.S. are unclear on how much to pay social media influencers, the landscape is even murkier in China, especially on the popular messaging app WeChat.
WeChat has more than 762 million monthly active users, but the closed network is a hard nut to crack for many marketers. So influencers, called “key opinion leaders” over there, are a shortcut for brands to build a personal connection with their audience on a platform that fans trust.
High-end opinion leaders usually have verified accounts in “Subscription” on WeChat, where they publish sponsored posts or videos for brands, while smaller influencers with personal accounts post on their “Moments” to increase brand visibility.
For retailers looking for the best ways to make purchases convenient for Chinese customers, a new study confirms that mobile payments are more critical than ever in the China market.
According to the results of a recent Nielsen survey, 99 percent of Chinese online shoppers now use mobile payment apps, up from 96 percent last year. The survey of 5,000 people also found that handheld mobile devices continue to dominate as the platform of choice for online shopping, used by 81 percent of survey respondents compared to 59 percent for desktop computers and 57 percent for laptop computers.
NEW YORK – When entering a new market, the biggest mistake brands can make is failing to alter their marketing strategy for any cultural differences, according to an executive from Export Now.
During a panel at the National Retail Federation’s Retail’s Big Show 2017 on Jan. 17, speakers noted that brands need to do their homework before entering Asia, as preferences and consumer behavior can vary greatly from country to country and even within one market. While a brand’s core branding should remain intact, as it is what will attract consumers, brands should not be afraid to reposition products or services to better appeal to Asian shoppers
Today, out of WeChat’s 700-plus million active users, nearly 300 million have added their bank information to WeChat Pay, enabling them to withdraw from and add money to their virtual wallets. That’s contributed to the most bustling mobile payments economy in the world: In 2015, China’s mobile transactions surged to $235 billion, surpassing the U.S. for the first time. According to iResearch, China’s mobile payments market is estimated to be worth 15.7 trillion yuan in 2016—28 times the $62.5 billion forecast by eMarketer for the U.S. in 2017—and 28.5 trillion yuan in 2018.
Handbags designed by Italy’s Gucci edged out French atelier Chanel as a must-have among affluent Chinese women, according to a survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets.
Kering-owned Gucci has seen a resurgence of interest among fashionable affluents in part because of the brand’s aesthetic overhaul under the direction of Alessandro Michele. The revitalization of the brand’s codes via Mr. Michele’s use of motifs and its uptick in digital marketing has lead to Gucci being selected as the top brand choice for Chinese women in the market to buy high-end handbags or shoes in the next year.
Amazon is a minor player in China, with about 1% of the local e-commerce market. To drum up interest in its products imported from the U.S., Amazon just put a video ad on WeChat, the all-purpose mobile app, with a link guiding people to its online shop. H&M sent its followers a pinball-like mobile game to win discounts; once finished, the game deposited players inside the brand's e-store. Even Dior has used WeChat to push sales: In August, it hosted a WeChat flash sale for a customizable limited-edition powder-pink Dior handbag selling for $4,130.
Singles’ Day, the 24-hour shopping bonanza made famous by Alibaba and its increasingly elaborate Singles’ Day festivities, has come and gone—but what does it tell us about Chinese travel?
As Jing Daily previously reported, this year’s Singles’ Day broke another record by reaching a total transaction value of US$17.8 billion (RMB 120.7 billion) in the span of 24 hours. This number only accounts for Alibaba’s various online marketplaces, such as B2C platform Tmall, C2C platform Taobao, and its recently rebranded travel marketplace, Fliggy (formerly known as Alitrip). While international media attention mostly focused on the stunning value of transactions during this one-day event, investors were less impressed, and the Alibaba stock dropped by 1.4 percent. While Alibaba’s transaction volume alone shattered all previous records, growth had dipped from 60 percent the year prior to 32 percent in 2016.
Alibaba turned Single’s Day, the Chinese holiday for the single-set, into a huge economic opportunity through a savvy marketing blitz. The company raked in $5 billion during the first 90 minutes of the sale, totaling $14.3 billion in just 24 hours largely through its online shopping platforms, Taobao.com and Tmall.com.
The Chinese government has passed new cybersecurity regulations Nov. 7 that will put stringent new requirements on technology companies operating in the country. The proposed Cybersecurity Law comes with data localization, surveillance, and real-name requirements.
The regulation would require instant messaging services and other internet companies to require users to register with their real names and personal information, and to censor content that is “prohibited.” Real name policies restrict anonymity and can encourage self-censorship for online communication.
If you’re an avid user of WeChat, either for personal or business reasons (or both), you may have seen news of the introduction of the “WeChat Mini Program” (with no official English name, the program is called Weixin Xiaochengxu, 微信小程序 in Chinese) shared by your friends in group chats or in their Moments.
It is not an exaggeration to say that a new era has possibly come to WeChat with the Mini Program in the game. Since Tencent officially sent out invitations for the internal testing of the Mini Program (previously known as application accounts) on the morning of September 22, China’s tech scene has been buzzing about the news. Here are a few key things that brands should know about the new program:
Nearly 600 million Chinese tourists will flock to local tourist spots or fly overseas during the country's 67th National Day holiday, a seven-day break nicknamed "Golden Week." Unexpectedly, the new hot destination is Morocco, the North African country. South Korea, Thailand and Japan continue to be the top 10 most popular travel destinations.
While American accessible luxury brand Coach has shuttered its online shop on Alibaba’s Tmall, its sales on WeChat will continue at a time when high-end labels are slowly warming to the idea of e-commerce on the mobile messaging app.
Earlier this month, Coach announced that it would close down its official Tmall store, reducing its China e-commerce sales channels to a standalone online store and WeChat shop. The brand was originally the first global luxury label to join Tmall with the launch of its pilot “online pop-up flagship” in December 2011, which it later closed in January 2012. It later re-joined the platform in 2015 after a few additional luxury brands had opened shops in the interim to sell fashion, including Burberry, Ports 1961, and Calvin Klein.
Authenticity and competitive price have always been the major concerns for China’s online luxury consumers, but now retailers might want to add style to the recipe.
On Tuesday, flash luxury sales site Mei.com held a pre-launch event for its annual “916” shopping festival, a three-day shopping extravaganza from Sept 16 to 18.
With the theme “Explore your own style,” the event kicked off the opening of a high-tech virtual reality fashion center in Shanghai. At the center, visitors can experience different styles through VR eyewear, try on various looks, and play with a 360-degree mirror installed with cameras.
Luxury handbag maker Coach Inc. has closed its flagship shop on Alibaba Group Holding’s business-to-consumer sales site, TMall.
Coach said it would continue to provide online shopping via its own website and its WeChat account on the social-media app operated by Alibaba rival Tencent Holdings Ltd. Coach has offered coupons on WeChat and launched a media campaign on the app.
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