Breaking down data silos to win in China eCommerce

 

With the number of international brands in China set to double by 2023 and a static user base across platforms, it’s getting too expensive for most brands to remain reliant on a single platform with a unilateral marketing, merchandising and customer strategy. 

Brands that will win are those that can deploy specific strategies for each platform to maximize their marketing spend and increase conversion rates.

However, doing this requires the right data in the right format coming together for all teams and agencies that work on the brand. 

 

Some background

  • Chinese eCommerce is dominated by large marketplaces such as Tmall and JD.com
  • More than 60% of eCommerce sales in China take place on Tmall, but increasingly brands are expanding to JD.com as well as opening stores on WeChat and Xiaohongshu to reach new audiences and utilize lower cost marketing options
  • While Tmall has its own in-platform marketing channels, brands use other platforms such as WeChat, Weibo, Xiaohongshu, and Douyin to drive brand awareness and consideration as well as driving traffic to their own Tmall or JD.com stores when this is allowed
  • Most international brands outsource the operation of their Tmall Store to a third party agency called a TP
  • Marketing activities on social media platforms such as WeChat and Weibo are managed by media and marketing agencies

Multi-platform strategies are critical to success in China

When an international brand first enters into China, they typically start by opening a store on Tmall Global with a TP and begin content marketing and some basic CRM on WeChat with a marketing agency.

Over time, they often find that the free and organic traffic they are used to receiving on Tmall diminishes as more brands are added to the platform.  They find themselves in a cycle of only being able to get free traffic by participating in discount events that eat into their margins, have high entry costs, and don’t always necessarily align with their retail calendar. 

To counter this, brands launch stores on other marketplace platforms such as JD.com and they start to look at other ways of driving traffic to their Tmall store.

Tmall has some great onsite marketing tools such as livestreaming, but off-platform marketing on platforms such as Weibo and Xiaohongshu (RED) are crucial to acquiring new customers and driving efficiency in media spend.  The less brand awareness a brand has in China, the more important it is to ensure they have the right mix of off and onsite marketing channels.  Social media content on WeChat and Weibo as well as viral videos on Xiaohongshu (RED) translate into searches for a brand on Tmall.

The rise of data silos

However, bringing on these new platforms brings on a different type of headache for the brand.  As the number of platforms increases, the number of data streams increases as well as the number of agencies and third parties.

Data from each platform comes in different formats, different time periods, and with different integration points and methods required to access it.  One option is to build point-to-point integrations between each platform and your own data warehouse, but this is costly and complicated to implement.

Silos of data form with each agency having their own set of data from the platforms they manage, and internal silos form on the brand side with different teams looking at different versions of the truth.

Decisions both for short term tactical optimizations and longer-term strategic plans require the complete picture of a brand’s own data, as well as data from third party platforms and other partners, all delivered in a timely, accessible, and business-ready format.

Until the brand has a unified and business-ready view of their data from multiple platforms, they won’t be able to effectively deploy their marketing spend, optimize assortments, or focus their customer strategy by platform.

How INTEGRAT3 can help

INTEGRAT3 breaks down data silos and removes the cost and complexity associated with gaining access to your data across multiple eCommerce and marketing platforms in China and gives it to you in a business-ready, timely, and usable format.

Our source connectors automatically download your data from the platforms and our analysis-ready models transform the data into a business-ready format before making it available via a single API to your business intelligence software such as Tableau, Microsoft PowerBI, and Qlikview.

We give you the ability to store all of your historical data points and create any of the views you need to make faster, smarter, and better decisions with your China eCommerce and marketing data.

You also have the ability to create and combine data to do your own transformations that fit your own business needs.

INTEGRAT3 INTELLIGENCE

Don’t have your own reporting, business intelligence, or data visualization tool?  No problem.

INTEGRAT3 Intelligence is a full end to end analytics platform that provides you with a full set of plug and play dashboards made specifically for China eCommerce.  We’ll have you up and running fast.

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