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2022 China E-commerce 618 Insights Report

The pandemic has affected the macroeconomic situation, 618 is the second largest and one of the very important shopping festivals in China, it is the key event for all e-commerce merchants to compete for traffic and obtain sales, thus the fierce competition in marketing strategies among brands and platforms for 618 this year. The following are marketing insights and related platform strategies compiled from the QuestMobile 2022 618 Insights Report:

To recap, there were several developments concerning the platform economy before 618:

  • China's national policy regulates platform economic development, promotes and increases employment

  • Live broadcast e-commerce market promotes the rapid growth of the e-commerce industry

  • Major comprehensive e-commerce platforms and live-broadcast e-commerce platforms launched promotion policies and increased subsidies

  • WeChat advertising launched moments out-of-the-box advertisements to help brands launch new products

May 20 to June 18 is the key marketing cycle of 618, which can be divided into pre-sales period, auspicious start, special category period and limited-time carnival promotion, many e-commerce platforms will run various pre-emptive actions such as early investment promotion, early payment time, and final payment time. The final payment date is when users pay a deposit during the pre-sale period and then pay the final payment within a specific time to get the promotional price. Below is an overview of the marketing rhythms of Taobao, Pinduoduo and

  • Taobao and bring forward the payment deadline, so users experience a burst of traffic on the first wave of the payment deadline, mainly from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Compared with Pinduoduo, which did not arrange the final payment deadline, its user scale was staggered in the morning time.

  • The first wave of the last payment day encouraged users to purchase more products and cooperate with marketing activities more effectively. In addition, this strategy also encouraged cross-platform comparison and order, hence on May 31 the number of overlapping users among the three platforms was as high as 27.73 million.

  • Taobao and Pinduoduo e-commerce APPs have gained new audiences in the new first-tier cities and second-tier cities during the promotion period. Now Pinduoduo also has more comprehensive coverage of user age groups from the post-70s to the post-00s.

618 Platform Marketing Strategy

The live-broadcast e-commerce platform mainly focuses on intra-domain content and traffic, and implements traffic strategies in stages:

  • Momentum: Scenario marketing that all e-commerce platforms will use (example: Tmall 618 Cloud Queue, Super Interactive City); use celebrity popularity to drive and launch promotions (example: Douyin’s top influencer live broadcast room, Tmall 618 Stars Night)

  • Redirect: Tmall and first used joint advertising, and then product category days or special events held on all platforms as category-redirect; lastly is to create brand lists and popular products such as “Tmall must-buy list”, “Douyin Top 100 Trending Items” and so on.

  • Conversion: Through pre-sale promotions such as pre-sale price drops, cross-store full discounts, daily red envelopes, etc. to attract users and increase their shopping desire, and strengthen brand membership benefits such as brand membership gifts, first purchase gifts and other activities to promote member conversion.

The comprehensive e-commerce platform mainly realizes the overall business revenue through upgrading the marketing platform, focusing on marketing resources, and utilising subsidies. However, joint advertising is the most crucial traffic competition during the pre-sale period, many brands ride on 618 promotion joint channels to increase exposure and enhance marketing effects, to reap the first wave of traffic in the big promotion.

618 Advertising Analysis

Overall,618 creative ads are placed before and after payment day and the focus of the placement is tilted to 6.18. During the promotion period, online social media advertising cost was the highest - 45.9%, followed by online video media - 39.4%, and the rest are news, online music, and digital reading media. According to the report, among various media types, the beauty care and home appliance industries prefer advertising on social media; food and beverage prefer online videos, and maternal and child products prefer to be in short videos.

Besides that, new categories and main products are the main focus for brand owners, take the beauty industry as an example, nearly 90% of the investment resources are featuring facial skin care products, and the top advertisers are mainly internationally renowned brands. Domestic brands, on the other hand, are more inclined to focus on hot-selling products, such as reaching precise sub-groups through product functions/features, mainly targeting specific groups of audiences. The advertisement for personal care products focused on shampoo and hair care products, while the household appliances industry mainly focus on featuring refrigerators and air conditioners.

Content Marketing Strategy

The e-commerce platform creates teasers by creating content topics and increasing the market noise of the category, to attract brand stores/commodities to release new products or popular products, and then promote goods through the live broadcast room to drive conversion. The data shows that the top three occupied 618-related topic content interactions in 2022 include “#618ExpertsKeyPoints”, “#618Strategy”, and “#Douyin618GoodThingsFestival”. During big promotions, especially live broadcasts e-commerce companies continue to build momentum via live broadcasts to promote goods, supported by creating various theme days, task competitions and other platform activities to help traffic redirect and conversion. During the 618 periods, the top 3 categories of Douyin and Kuaishou platform category sales were skincare, casual snacks, and makeup.

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