Last month, Clavis Insight announced new plans to expand in China. By the summer of 2018 Clavis Insight will have over 45 full time hires in our Shanghai office delivering high quality eCommerce tracking to our Asian partners. The expansion will include the addition of new roles in sales, marketing, professional services and operations, doubling the company’s workforce in APAC.

A local solution is not going to meet the demands of manufactures looking for aggressive growth. Brands need one global platform that is going to track their eCommerce success, and that includes having a strong team in the world’s biggest eCommerce market.

There are a few key areas that make China unique compared to other markets, and brands that recognize and move to capitalize on these differences will jump ahead of the competition. These differences include an emphasis on cross-border sales, the predominance of mega-shopping days, the ascendency of Tmall for foreign brands, and much more.

Cross Boarder Sales: Cross Boarder sales is a term used frequently in China. Foreign Brands selling goods into China is known as “cross boarder sales”, a category which has boomed to over $40b in 2015. Tmall has established itself as the go to marketplace for Chinese shoppers looking at the cross-border category. The number of international brands on Tmall grew by 169% in 2016, reaching 14,500. These brands come from 63 different countries, but most notably from Japan, the United States, Korea, Germany, and Australia.  Of these 14,500 international brands, 80% of them had zero presence in China before being listed on Tmall.

Tmall Store within a store: To win in China means to win on Tmall. Western brands are able to set up their own “brand store”, filled with custom page skins. Tmall pages can be packed with gifs, images, videos, and deal highlights. In comparison, the shopping experience on Amazon in the US is based around product search results. While search is still a major metric to track in China, custom brand pages add a new dynamic to online shopping, and a new way for Brands to close the deal.

Massive Sales Events: Sales events in China drive sales on a magnitude not seen in the U.S. or other markets. On Singles Day 2016, shoppers spent $17.7b on Alibaba, growing 32% over 2015. Cyber Monday is the single biggest sales day in the United States, an event which “only” brought in $3.9b.

Read our eCommerce Market Profile on China to learn how brands can find success in China

by Danny Silverman

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