DigiDutch Alibaba Dutch King

Holland E-Day is starting in Alibaba’s Headquarter in Hangzhou, China. Everyone is standing up and clapping their hands, His Majesty Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands and Mr. Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba have arrived.

Alibaba headquarter E-Day

Alibaba was founded 16 years ago by 18 people who believed in small businesses, based on the idea of creating a place where small shops could sell online within the local Chinese market. As Mr. Ma phrased it ‘Everything could be possible’.  And it was. Today, we are joining one of the biggest e-commerce players in the world. Nowadays, the Alibaba Group has more buyers than the whole population of the United States.  But it’s no longer just an e-commerce platform, today this worldwide group involves 5 branches:  e-commerce, marketing, logistics, cloud computing and financial services.

DigiDutch E-Day Alibaba event

Listening to experienced people, sharing knowledge and concerns is always an excellent way to spend the day. Now, back in the bus heading to Shanghai, personally I am excited and very grateful to have being part of this day. All of these inspiring words are still echoing in my head and nothing could be worse than keeping these for myself.  Read, enjoy and share if you like!

  • Middle Class: In the next 5 years China expects their middle class population to increase up to half a billion citizens. Big cities will share markets with secondary cities and rural areas in China. This sector of the population is becoming real and earning more purchasing power.
  •  O2O: In an online purchase process the only moment when both worlds (online and offline) merge is during delivery. What the mailman does, the look and feel of the package and the product itself will determinate the customer’s feeling about the brand, the website and the service. That’s why we need to pay specially attention to this particular step in the process as it might be the only opportunity the brand has to make a good first impression to their customers.
  • Young people: all eyes are on the young people. They are not the future but the present. They are the reason behind the online boom China. The last Wechat report shows the 60% of Wechat users are between 15 and 29 years old. (‘Wechat Life report’, October 2015, by Digital Jungle). These people are active online consumers, who think ‘Alibaba is a life style’ and the numbers corroborate that story: 85% of online purchases in China are done on Taobao.com and Tmall.com.
  • Early adopters: China is a great market where companies and consumers are willing to try new things which help them and make their life easier. While in western countries we talk and talk again about online payments, in China they implement new different methods, use and develop them. Thus their early-birds mind, this market is a productive terrain for trying new ideas and improving them gradually to then bring these concepts to other countries.
  • The right partner: Most of the speakers emphasized the importance of finding the right partner. Because the company must adapt and localize their brand and products to the Chinese market. They need to find a partner they can trust and who understands them. While at the same time can have enough freedom to make decisions according to the mission, vision and goals of the company but taking into account the new market.
  • Adapt & localize: Following the point above, companies should adapt their product but also their process and their mentality to get into the new market. Markets cannot always be categorized as easier or more difficult to enter, each one is just different and we need to keep an open-mind to understand and be able to behave differently depending on where we are.
  • Mobile: This word is the key of the Chinese market. We need to always think from a ‘mobile’ point of view for both B2B and B2C, in each step of the online and offline purchasing process. Chinese society over-depend on technology and they include mobile devices in every action in their daily life.
  • Data: Thanks to the Internet, we are able to collect hundreds of terabytes of information about each single online consumer. But now we must go one step further. By understanding and analyzing this data companies will be able to know more about their actual customers or their leads. About what they need, what they dream… and by finding the right insight each company may provide them with the particular solution, at the precise time, solving their problems.

Written by Teresa Marin, International marketer in Webpower.










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