How short videos became the new format for selling ?

Short videos are the new format for selling

Nowadays, according to a fast pace of life, people need brief and short information. Instead of a long and detailed written format, people prefer to watch a short and animated format

Did you know that Chinese users spent more than 25% of their phone time on short video mobile apps ? Consequently, 38.28% of leisure time was spent on mobile entertainment according to the China Good Life Survey.

In China, Douyin 抖音 (Chinese version of Tik Tok only usable in mainland China) is the leader of short videos mobile applications, followed by Kuaishou 快手.

Apart from Douyin and Kuaishou, short videos are on the rise on Wechat Channels as well. The super mobile application developed all formats of videos : short, long, live streaming sessions… 

Music, dance, lifestyle, humor, short story or advice videos are plenty for users to spend time on short videos apps. But how do brands manage to take short videos for selling ? 

Short videos are fun, creative and time-spending

Mobile applications such as Douyin and Kuaishou are based on browsing short videos endlessly. Users don’t expect to see advertising but creative content made by other users.

Some of the good ingredients to create a good video that will make people watch it to the end : Visual + Trendy music + Plot twist + People’s face.  

Brands have understood the importance of short videos and are now engaging with creators who have a large audience on Douyin to promote their products. 

Test and try products by Li Jiaqi : Mac Cosmetics

Video from Douyin @李佳琦 Austin Li

Short videos are recommended according to users’ interests

Douyin’s algorithm is made for entertaining users, consequently all of the content will be shown if the user has shown preferences to some of the categories of videos.

Douyin’s algorithm will highlight these user’s call-to-actions :

Active (likes, comments, shares, sending tips during live streaming…)

Watch-time (from the beginning to the end of the video, replay, swipe…)

Search methods (recommendation page, hashtags, music search tab…)

If a user has shown interest in a video showing shopping places, then Douyin’s algorithm would also suggest lookbook videos that could inspire the user to buy some new clothes or accessories.

Lookbook video on Douyin

Video from @曲岑兮 yitingyou

Brands are pushing ideas for collaboration with creators on Douyin : unboxing, test and try products, showing off clothes or luxury bags collection…

Watching several videos in a row with the same brand’s products will create the viewer’s desire and attract curiosity. On Douyin’s videos, users can directly shop products by clicking on the shop logo, which is usually just above the username. After arriving on the creator’s store, users could buy clothes, cosmetics products, DIY objects and other categories of products.

Short videos are great format for Millenials and + 30 years old people

Compared to mobile gaming and digital reading, short video have higher mobile user penetrations of 75.2% and the majority of China’s short-video users (which is over 70%) is between 18 and 35 years old and the majority are located in third-tier and fourth-tier cities than the top tier cities, according to China Internet Watch. 

Users of Douyin have a longer duration of the engagement. Around 30 million users opened Douyin early in the morning and browsed it late at night. 

Yet, the behavior of the users’ purchasing power is different. Chinese Z Generation people are more likely to buy instantly and are more quickly convinced of a trendy product, while those over 30 years old have a more thoughtful consumption and will take the time to learn more about the product’s details. 

But in both cases, it is profitable for the brand which is gaining notoriety. The more visible it is, the more users have the potential to turn into consumers or advise people around them about the products and brands they have seen, consequently creating word of mouth effect.

       Unboxing : Converse

Video from Douyin : @帕尔哈迪迪

Social commerce is now possible on Zhihu

Zhihu

有问题,上知乎 ! (For any questions, ask Zhihu) is the slogan of Zhihu, a Chinese platform where you can get answers for all kinds of topics.

With 220 million registered users, Zhihu is a real tool of trust since it creates interactions of questions and answers between a group of people around a subject. 

To begin with, why is Zhihu essential to brands ?

Online reputation management in China impacts so much on a brand’s image and visibility. Chinese search engine results and social media platforms are effective tools used for increasing online reputation. The best way to make a brand visible on the Chinese market is to implement a global marketing strategy on the main social media including Wechat, Xiaohongshu, Weibo, Douyin and Zhihu. Thus, by developing your strategy and raising brand awareness on Zhihu, you increase your brand’s visibility and build effective long-term promotion.

Besides, using Zhihu is also a tool to improve a brand’s Search Engine Optimization thanks to a high domain authority on Baidu, consequently one Zhihu page will be displayed on a Baidu search engine result page, no matter what the date of publication is. 

But except from being a community-based platform, Zhihu is now seen as a lever for doing business.

Here are some new functions added on Zhihu :

Brands and Product Recommendation Program :

Brands (Chinese or foreign brands) can post articles or answer questions related to their products by linking to a product on their websites or e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, Pinduoduo or Sunning. It is the best way to drive traffic and to help effectively potential customers.

For example, on the pictures below, a user asked for a liquid foundation. After describing her bad experiences with luxury brands like Armani, Lancôme or Estée Lauder, she is looking for any recommendation for other liquid foundations adapted to dried skin.

Among the answers she received, several products like Make Up For Ever’s foundation were recommended with the product’s details and application advice. If the user clicks on the button “去购买” (purchase) on the right, he is redirecting to the product page. 

Recommendation on cosmetics products with product’s links

Creators can also link their products to the shop (商品橱窗) on their Zhihu account main page. Besides, livestreaming sessions now include a shopping icon that leads the users directly to the product page on e-commerce platforms or leads to the creator’s store on Zhihu. Briefly, everything is done to facilitate the customer journey within Zhihu.

Zhihu

Creator’s jewelry store clickable on the creator’s main page

Raising trust through experts’ insights :

Zhihu uses knowledge, information, and personal experience that could influence the decision-making process of any potential consumer before purchasing. But the other main point of Zhihu now is the presence of experts including writers, scientists and businessmen that show legitimacy to the users.

Entertainment and inspiration on Zhihu :

If some users are looking for answers to specific questions, others just want to have fun on Zhihu. Films, videos, documentaries, and even TV series can be streaming and creators can receive a commission based on video views as well. 

The following picture shows a video introducing the interior design style from North European countries. By displaying a series of pictures, it gives inspiration on house decoration for fans of design.

Video introducing the interior design style from North European countries

VIP access

Zhihu is a free platform but users can take advantage of special contents or flash sales if they belong to the VIP club.

According to the topics you are interested in, a selection of articles or most popular contents is recommended on the membership tab. 

Other articles accessible only on VIP access

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at project@emotionchina.cn

We can propose you customized digital marketing services according to your needs.

For more information about Digital marketing and business in China, subscribe to our newsletter : https://www.subscribepage.com/chinabusinessletter

Sell to China with cross-border WeChat e-shop

Sell to China with cross-border WeChat e-shop is a smart investment for new brands looking to enter China market.

Cross-Border refers to an online trade between a business and a consumer located in a different country through marketplace platforms and e-commerce sites.

The Covid-19 has put the cross-border at the forefront with international travel shutdown.

Cross-border commerce has become a quite effective way for international companies to develop into China market without setting up a company in China.

It is quite attractive for SME, or for new brands to test the market before investing further.

Cross-border commerce is a relay of growth for brands outside of China to start entering the Chinese market while minimizing the risk.

China is a digital mobile country where you can do everything on mobile, especially on WeChat. You can sell to China with cross-border WeChat e-shop.

Social Selling with WeChat in China is growing fast. Social commerce is growing at 40% rate versus 20% for traditional e-commerce. It represents already USD360 billions in China versus USD 36 billions in US.

CBEC (Cross-border e-commerce) represents more than $100 billions in 2020, including social commerce.

All these numbers show that it is the smart choice for international companies to enter China with CBEC if not yet in China, and that social commerce can be the first step. This is even more true for SME.

How to enter and sell to China market for new brands?

Branding is first in China. Without brand e-reputation and awareness, you cannot succeed.

First step to enter China is to develop your brand awareness on Chinese social media, WeChat and Weibo in particular.

It will take 2 years about to establish your brand in China.

You need first to open a WeChat official account: Check here How to open a WeChat official account?

With WeChat, you will nurture your leads and develop a community. WeChat has lots of tools which can help you to grow your community and brand awareness, as it is really at the heart of the customer journey.

Then you can start to sell your products with WeChat with an e-shop.

Sell to China with cross-border WeChat e-shop, is really the most cost effective way to test or enter the market for SME or small brands.

WeChat stores give the brands the opportunity of entering the market step by step. The cross-border store is leveraging WeChat power to build a direct relationship with your customers.

Later-on when you are ready committing substantial investment, you can open store on Tmall global or JD.com worldwide, or any other platforms. In parallel, you must keep your social selling on WeChat as social selling will continue to grow in China in coming years.

When you will open stores on main traditional e-commerce platforms, you should consider a cross-platform strategy to be put in place.

Regarding comparison between main Ecommerce platforms and WeChat shop, herein for reference:

Our recommandation:

  • WeChat social commerce is a good China market entry point for western brands to enter China thanks to its integrated ecosystem
  • Tmall or JD.com are promotion heavy platforms with dominating traffic resource, more suitable for well known brands. You need ready to invest for long term

The WeChat store

The shop itself is built within WeChat, and linked with your official account.

The consumer will use a smartphone to browse products in your WeChat store. It is only one click away from making a purchase.

Then She/he will use WeChat pay to pay in one click.

Without leaving WeChat, consumers can finish a closed-loop purchasing process from learning about your products to finishing the payment.

When set up a WeChat store, it also requires to integrate the payment method with WeChat pay, to connect the shop with a warehouse, to register in China customs, and tie into a foreign payment gateway in the backend.

Of course, the WeChat store must be built in Chinese.

Strategy of CBEC shipping

In China, it is better to have short time delivery. It is then better to organize the supply Chain using the bonded importing model.

Many e-commerce pilot zones/free trade zones have been set up. You can then store your goods in a bonded warehouse in China mainland. The bonded warehouse model is more suitable for higher sales volumes and long-term solution.

On the payment is completed in WeChat, the logistic operator at the free trade zone connected to the WeChat store clears customs and dispatch the product.

Most of the FTZ logistics operators manage the WeChat stores stocks, inventories and distribution.

It is also possible to use the personal parcel or Business commercial shipping at the very start of entering China, but it gives longer delivery time. It is called the direct shipping model, products are shipped one by one.

Opening a Cross-border shop in WeChat

It is a project by itself.

It requires to follow a process and planning to be managed. It takes between one and 2 months to accomplish all steps.

We recommend brands to use a digital marketing expert with CBEC expertise to open a cross-border shop in WeChat together with the opening of the official account.

Emotion Digital can support your strategy to enter into China, help you to set up your WeChat marketing solutions and CBEC WeChat store.

Sell to China with cross-border WeChat e-shop is the right approach to enter China for unknown or small brands in China.

Benefit from our integrated Chinese social media approach with expertise on WeChat marketing to increase your brand awareness, boost and nurture your leads and sales.

Contact us, if you want to know more about China cross-border e-commerce and China marketing.

Stay up to date by following our blog and our Linkedin page.

https://www.linkedin.com/company/emotion-digital

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at project@emotionchina.cn

We can propose you customized digital marketing services according to your needs.

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Written by : Jean-Yves Laguillez