Many years ago when eCommerce was in its infancy we in Europe took our lead from the west, in particular from the good old US of A......but no more!
We have become used to all the effort and investment to drive 'traffic' towards our eCommerce websites.....but no more!
This crisis has driven even more people to interact online with those brands than can best serve them whilst in lockdown. In addition the use of social media has dramatically increased and has empowered sat at home commercially and socially savvy people on paid furlough start to build out micro businesses that one day might become macro global brands - who knew?
China’s tech giants have been stealthily extending their interests in content platforms, with potential e-commerce content marketing and social media opportunities high on the agenda.
In a statement issued earlier this year, Alibaba hailed live streaming and content-to-commerce as the number one driver of e-commerce sales and announced its intent to double down on live streaming-to-commerce initiatives.
I write about the rise of 'Social Commerce' quite a lot, in fact the majority of innovation in this space isn't coming from Facebook or Instagram it's coming out of China and for those with a commercially savvy brain I strongly recommend you keep an eye on this space, but simply watching and not doing is another matter.
'Social Commerce' is the near future direction of travel for enabling a powerhouse of commercial opportunities allowing you to remain front of mind in a world where your website is quickly becoming the last place your consumer will go.
Do you remember when using a mobile phone was just for making calls or sending that quick text message, well making calls is now hovering around number 10 on the things you use it for.
Without a doubt consumers have a voracious appetite when it comes to consuming all kinds of content, logically most of this consumption is occurring via mobile devices.
In Internet culture, the 1% rule is a rule of thumb pertaining to participation in an internet community, stating that only 1% of the users of a website actively create new content, while the other 99% of the participants only lurk.
Today brands need to become media companies in their own right if they are to cut through the huge swathes of content being created every single minute of the day.
Weibo recently announced that its native live streaming platform, Yizhibo, will be rolling out Taobao integration. While the development is big news in its own right, it also underscores the momentum driving e-commerce content marketing and what is going to define media, marketing, and retail trends for China in 2020.
When I see the continued rise of 'social commerce', and in particular 'live streaming' I wonder how much the so called developed parts of the world are looking at this and wondering "is this an now a timely opportunity to help us change what we do as a business?"
In February this year, Alibaba took on a 10.8 percent stake in Bilibili (Tencent holds a similarly sized stake), whose e-commerce business was growing sluggishly in comparison with the exponential growth of its live-streaming revenue. Content-to-commerce integration between Bilibili and Taobao swiftly followed.
The rise in engaging content is being driven by users on social platforms like 'TikTok' and of course YouTube and Instagram, but simply re-purposing your corporate message that was originally designed for another medium won't cut it when audiences are looking for original, engaging and authentic content.
So instead of thinking 'advert's what's your plan?
Finally, and just to drive the point home even further - Singles Day in China for 2020 will surpass not only all of the U.S. retail holidays (Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday), but 2019’s record-setting US$38.4 billion for Alibaba alone, at a 26% increase YoY.
This is real, this is happening now, what's your plan to rethink social media?
What's this story got to do with eCommerce and Content you might ask, well feel free to supplant the incremental product driven non socially savvy consumer focus story for many others, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Thomas Cook, Marks & Spencer etc.