4 Innovative Tech Tools Brands are Using to Increase Consumer Engagement in China

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    Zarina Kunj has been leading business development for Tmall Global at Alibaba UK & Nordics since September 2018. She specializes in health and wellness, beauty technology, and food and beverage brands. Zarina believes that brands can enter the Chinese market by connecting them with more than 1.31 billion annual global active consumers across the Alibaba ecosystem, including more than 1 billion annual active consumers in China. Responsible for helping grow the business. She is based in London. Before she joined Alibaba, Zarina served as Vice President of Fashion & Sports Brand Partnerships at Lazada Group in Southeast Asia.The leading e-commerce company was acquired by Alibaba Group in 2016. The first ten years of her career were spent as a buyer for House of Fraser, Ralph Lauren, and Jaeger, specializing in high-end women’s and children’s clothing from Europe and the Middle East.Zarina has single peopleShe holds a degree in Fashion Marketing and Communications from Nottingham Trent University and has lived in London, Dubai and Singapore.

    With over 1 billion internet users, China is a digital-first country that is discovering the future of commerce, learning about the latest innovations and how brands are leveraging technology tools to increase consumer engagement. It is widely recognized as a place where you can find out if there are any animals.

    To understand how the pace of digital commerce has evolved, understand the consumer environment using insights from the user base of Alibaba Group’s Tmall and Tmall Global, home to brands in China. Helpful.

    • Mobile first: Over 90% shop on mobile apps, compared to around 65% in Western countries
    • Young people: More than 85% of shoppers are Millennials under 40 and 59% are Gen Z under 30.
    • Ready and willing to spend money: People in first and second-tier cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen are typically well-educated, have disposable income, and are more likely to spend money on pets than on children. are more likely to keep.
    • Highly Engaged: Chinese consumers spend significant amounts of time researching and interacting with brands and products before making a purchase. For example, a user typically launches Alibaba’s app up to nine times in her day.

    Overall, the mindset of Chinese consumers is completely digitally native, making it the perfect scenario for digital innovation to succeed.

    Here are four innovative Chinese technology tools every brand leader should know about.

    1. Live streaming: In 2016, live streaming was born through Alibaba’s Taobao Live. Live streaming allows brands and influencers, or KOLs, known in China as key opinion leaders, to sell products to consumers in real time through a platform.

    Livestream formats are typically demonstrative, but they can also be very informal, from styling sessions to makeup tutorials to tea tasting parties, creating what we call “shoppertainment,” entertainment-based rather than convenience. It’s at the core of things, entertainment shopping. About discovery, gamification, and social interaction. Consumers can watch live streams, play games, leave emojis, ask questions, and make purchases. Brand NPD can also benefit if consumers are willing to provide feedback on what else they would like to purchase, such as other colors or flavors. Livestreams have significantly increased throughout the pandemic, with brands leveraging the format to drive deeper engagement and sales. Another benefit is that you can sell everything from apples to iPhones through livestream commerce.

    2. Augmented Reality: Augmented reality (AR) is a tool that uses computer-generated images to allow viewers to see a virtual world integrated with the real world. AR can be very helpful in conversions and even in bringing products and experiences to life.

    Alibaba helped advance AR technology to offer personalized, invite-only, small group live streaming sessions. It recreated the in-store personal shopping experience of luxury brands such as Cartier, Burberry, and Gucci, which were among the first to introduce AR. Leverage technology to ensure the product fits perfectly to the customer, creating a closer connection with consumers who can virtually try on watches and jewelry.

    In 2022, Vogue China will pioneer an augmented reality fashion show, where audience members will wear augmented reality glasses, brands, artists, and mascots will walk the runway at the show, and consumers will be able to interact with the mascots, wear costumes, and more. , and even took virtual selfies.

    One of the benefits that AR 3D virtual try-on offers is a seamless digital experience that allows you to enjoy more shopping, whether you’re in lockdown, physically distanced from a store, or just want to shop on the go. of brands and products are more accessible to consumers. When you get home on a Friday night, AR technology adds a layer of tangibleness to your brand for consumers.

    3. Virtual influencer: Trend research agency WGSN predicts that by 2030, China’s virtual influencer (VI) market will be worth more than $42 billion, accounting for a significant share of the $530 billion global market.

    Alibaba creates its own hyper-realistic computer-generated influencers with Brand Ambassadors to help retailers build brand profiles and gain followers among China’s Gen Z digitally native consumers plays the role of Each piece is tailored to the profile of the target audience, leveraging insights from Alibaba’s platform to help idols resonate with consumers. For example, Ayayi has partnered with more than 30 of her luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, Burberry, and Prada, for his marketing campaigns in China. She has over 1 million followers.

    Brands are creating their own virtual influencers, and L’Oréal has Ms. Wu, a Chinese-French entrepreneur who works in the beauty field and cares about the environment. He can provide product and ingredient expertise on the collection and discuss L’Oréal’s sustainability credentials. . And in the world of health and wellness, there’s Holland & Barrett’s virtual avatar expert April, who allows consumers to ask product-specific questions and get technical answers during livestreams. April reduces the risk of misinformation due to human error, increasing consumer confidence before purchase and increasing conversions.

    For a wide range of non-luxury brands, you should also consider that the cost of investing in virtual influencers is much lower and less risky than investing in human ambassadors, potentially resulting in better ROI .

    4. Metaverse: The Metaverse is a huge opportunity. McKinsey predicts that the global Metaverse market will reach a value of US$5 trillion by 2030, and Gartner predicts that by 2026, a quarter of consumers will be involved in work, shopping, education, social , predicts that people will spend at least an hour a day in the digital metaverse for entertainment. .

    The Metaverse is an emerging 3D-enabled digital space that uses virtual reality, augmented reality, and other advanced technologies to enable people to have lifelike experiences online, and is already being used by brands to create in-store, gaming, and digital A place where we are launching events and opening up new realities for people. Consumers who combine the sensation of physical shopping with the wide range of choices offered by e-commerce, what we call “phygitals,” are the convergence of the physical and digital worlds, and the integration of these two worlds. The best part of is delivered to the end consumer.

    Taobao Life is Alibaba’s immersive virtual world where you can create your own avatar and explore the Metaverse. During the 2022 Valentine’s Day campaign, Tmall’s Luxury Pavilion channel will collaborate with eight brands, including Ralph Lauren, Valentino, and Versace, to create his 3D collection of clothing and accessories that consumers can try on in a gamified version of their shopping trip. I created a model. You can also shop with friends in the virtual world, find new friends, shop with virtual coins, and take selfies. Users tried on these virtual fashion items 6 million times and took 2 million virtual selfies. On average, each of his eight participating brands reached more than 5 million new users on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform.


    Consumer demands are constantly evolving and becoming increasingly diverse. It’s important for brands to understand that consumers live their lives both offline and online, and leverage the right innovative technologies in the physiological world to reach consumers across multiple touchpoints and enhance the transaction experience. Build deep connections with consumers through exploration, education and entertainment. The future of retail commerce is browsing, gaming, and shopping all in one place. Finally, as always, early adopters will receive significant learning benefits to optimize seamless consumer experiences for the future.

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