Holidays in the West are wrapping up, and preparations are in full swing for the Chinese New Year—the biggest celebration in the East.
It’s a time that celebrates family, health, prosperity, and tradition.
As it turns out, it’s also a time when shoppers tend to purchase the most in the preparation for celebrations across several categories.
In this guide, we’re breaking down strategies you can use as an online store owner to maximize your sales during these crucial weeks in the eastern markets.
How much do people really shop during Chinese New Year?
There’s no question around it: shopping in the East peaks before and during Chinese New Year. Here are some details on categories, channels, and timelines involved.
Which categories are most popular for shopping?
Criteo reports that in preparation for the Chinese New Year, the largest uplift in average daily sales happens across the fashion, food and groceries, and health and beauty categories.
According to the same report, the travel category is particularly popular, too. Before the Chinese New Year, travel sales increase by 33% in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. After the holiday, they peak in Vietnam and Hong Kong.
How and where do people shop?
Criteo also states that many sales happen on mobile, and particularly in retail apps—more than on mobile web, which makes the mobile checkout process more important than ever.
It’s also important to note that both ecommerce and local retail in the consumer goods category have seen significant increases during the 12 weeks leading up to and during the Chinese New Year.
Providing a frictionless, simple, and quick way to purchase across multiple channels—those where your potential customers expect you—has become crucial.
Make the most from Chinese social media platforms
Marketing and selling in China means marketing and selling on their main social channels—which include none of mainstream, Western platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
In other words, platforms like WeChat and Weibo have the largest part of the attention ecommerce businesses desire.
There’s no doubt about it.
With mainstream social media blocked, WeChat has taken the lead spot in China with over a billion monthly active users.
Even with around 100 million of its users being outside of China, WeChat is the place to be if you want to sell into this region.
Here are some more key pieces of information that will nudge you to build your presence on WeChat:
- There are over 900 million daily active users
- Chinese users check WeChat for an average of 10 times a day
- 800 million users use WeChat Pay
On top of that, Sina Weibo, the Chinese alternative to Twitter, now counts nearly half a billion users. Looking at Sina Weibo’s user growth and financial reports, they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
One thing’s for sure: the Chinese prioritize staying connected as well as shopping with ease, and they’ve adopted systems that help them do that.
Brands like Gucci, BMW, and Longchamp have already been running campaigns on WeChat for this purpose.
The good news? You can increase your reach, impact, and sales in China by building a presence on their key social channels and making the purchase process quick.
Our favorite way to make this happen? Remove any friction that might make your potential customer drop out of the checkout process.
We built a feature in jumper that helps you achieve just that: share anywhere.
Inside jumper, you can add your products along with their description, price, weight, variants, and other important details (for more help with that, this is the perfect post for you).
Once you have the products you want to sell through WeChat or Weibo, grab the link from your Product dashboard, and share it with your audience.
You can find this below your product name or on the Share button in the Actions column:
The link you share will lead to a fully automated checkout, making this purchase simple and enjoyable without extra time required from you.
Remember to make your products part of a bigger picture and a story that will grab the attention of your potential buyers!
Create an easy social media checkout process in other key countries
Even though you can focus on limited number of China-specific platforms in the above case, the good news is that you can make the most out of your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram presence in surrounding and equally important countries in this time of year.
Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia play a massive role in the spike in spending during Chinese New Year. They celebrate the festival as public holidays and set aside budgets that they mainly spend on food, travel, and gift giving.
For example, Singapore has over 4 million active social media users, the majority of which are active on Facebook and Instagram.
In Malaysia’s case, almost all internet users spend use Facebook and over half are on Instagram:
This means that setting up a strong social media sales funnel during the Chinese New Year can help you increase your impact in these countries.
Furthermore, don’t forget about the Chinese nationals overseas—especially in United States and Canada:
This means that even if you’re not based in Asian countries, you can optimize your social media strategy to attract more sales for the Chinese New Year.
A good social media sales funnel consists of a range of products you want to sell on social media—all of which you can add to your jumper dashboard as mentioned earlier—and pieces of content that will help you attract relevant social media users and get them to take action.
How can you do this before and during the Chinese New Year celebrations? Here are a few ideas.
Host a social media contest. With food, travel, and gifts being the main categories for spending during this time, brainstorm ways to associate your brand with the traditional food or clothes, festivities, or even zodiac animals, through a contest or a trivia quiz.
Weave your products in to drive key engagement. You can even create contest-specific hashtags and use it to drive sales on Facebook by using jumper’s integration!
Use video to showcase the uniqueness of your product. Whether it’s behind-the-scenes, a showcase of your product in real life, or a demo video to get the most out of your product, demonstrate how your product fits into the lifestyle of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Don’t forget to get creative with this one, because with all the preparation, travel, dining and celebration that happens during this time of year, your product can serve a special purpose and become the wanted item for many of your potential customers both in and out of Asia.
Partner with Key Opinion Leaders
Finally, let’s not forget about influencers.
In China, however, they’re not called influencers, but Key Opinion Leaders or KOLs, and here’s one valuable thing to know about them: they undoubtedly know how to master their presence across multiple Chinese platforms.
When you look at the absolute leaders among KOLs, you’ll notice they typically have 6- to 8-figure followings on more than one platform—and brands as huge as Chanel and Max Factor want them.
However, the influencers you choose to work with don’t need to be the biggest celebrities with multi-million followings. All they need to have is influence on an audience that matters to you.
One of the key challenges of influencer marketing in any industry or market has been proving ROI.
It’s no surprise: influencers promote your products for you, but you have no direct access to their individual activity and analytics, you can’t track the customer journey between channels you don’t own, and it’s difficult to predict results.
Which also means it’s difficult to plan entire influencer campaigns, and it’s no different for Asian markets.
The process of finding KOLs who are particularly well-known among your target audience in China and other key countries during Chinese New Year isn’t any different than in the West. You’ll also run into the same questions as with any other influencer campaign:
- Should I pay commission based on a spike in sales?
- How will I know which KOL drove what amount of sales?
- Will I be at a financial loss?
With jumper, we decided to tackle these questions and help ecommerce businesses to meticulously track sales that have come from each particular KOL.
Remember the product setup we mentioned in an earlier section? When creating a product for your Key Opinion Leader, you will create a product name, which also makes up a product hashtag, unique to your KOL.
Instead of having one generic product link and using it for each of your KOLs, this way you can easily track the sales that came from individual KOLs.
When you create the same product for two KOLs, this is what it will look like in your jumper dashboard:
From here, just like above, you can generate links using the hashtag below the name or by using the share button from the Actions column.
And just like that, you can analyze the success of each of your KOLs in your jumper sales report and dig as deep as you want to by filtering by specific timeframes.
As a result, you’ll be able to calculate your return on investment for each KOL, as well as figure out what worked (and should be repeated in the future) and what didn’t.
Skyrocket your sales this Chinese New Year
Selling on social media on any occasion, including China’s biggest holiday, doesn’t have to be complicated.
Remember, this optimization isn’t limited to China, and you can create great return on your investment by focusing on communities of Chinese overseas as they’ll be celebrating their holiday as well.
At its core, it boils down to making your products part of a narrative that attracts your ideal customer and making it as frictionless as possible to proceed to purchase the product.
As we mentioned, you can do this by:
- Linking to automated checkout bots on China’s leading social platforms
- Building a simple but powerful social media sales funnel on mainstream platforms in other key Asian countries
- Making the most out of Key Opinion Leaders and measuring their impact with links that are unique to them
Ready to give these strategies a try? You can implement them all with a free jumper account!