COVID-19 has pushed for a swift adoption of e-commerce among businesses. Confinement has encouraged new consumers to jump into the online channel, driven by necessity to follow the example of other first-time online shoppers, leading to an increase in cyber purchases. This has led many old-school SMEs, which had been resting on their laurels, to take the plunge into the online world. The share of households buying online has doubled compared to last year (Kantar Media, 2020), reaching 3.6%.
In this article, we will focus on the innovations that have occurred in recent months in China, analysing the trends according to the different consumer profiles that have emerged in the wake of the pandemic.
With COVID-19, the search for peace of mind has increased, both in terms of price and the choice of products. These forward-thinking shoppers search tirelessly to obtain the most reliable information possible. In the case of iPrice, the Malaysia-based shopping aggregator has collaborated with the company ViSenze to launch an AI-powered shopping lens application. Users shop by taking a photo of a product that the AI algorithm then finds a selection of, the contents of which are compared in terms of brands, prices and delivery times via iPrice’s database, as well as their respective options in terms of vouchers and discount coupons.
Consumers who are connected to emotions, the so-called New Romantics, need information on how to use certain products that they have purchased. To appeal to the New Romantics, the KOLs have emerged, key opinion leaders in China – they create high-quality content on social media, for a loyal following. Chinese KOLs have become true stars, with the power to influence public opinion, either by showcasing a product or by talking about it and influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions.
As well as increasing the habit of consuming products online, staying at home has also increased the desire to try new experiences and stream content like never before. This is the case with the rise of brands such as Love, Bonito, based in Singapore, a brand which created a streamlined omnichannel experience in 2020. Shoppers can choose to browse online and try on in-store, where shop staff will recommend additional products to complement the look, adding a personal touch.
Lack of contact with friends and family has reeked havoc. For the Nonconformists, they seek to focus on the common good. One example includes Pinduoduo, a recommendation platform that allows friends to participate in group purchases, thus bringing down the price of some sale items and allowing them to enjoy the offer as a group. In this way, they can interact with their old friends, all whilst hunting out bargains, without ever changing out of their slippers.
This world power, China, is already implementing new strategies to reach the latest consumer profiles that have emerged as a result of the pandemic. Are you already clear as to what defines these new profiles, and what kind of strategies will you use to reach your new target audience? Pointbleu is looking forward to hearing from you.