Indianretailer.com has recently hosted a webinar session on the topic The New Normal Webinar: Successful Post Lockdown Strategies with Xia Feng, Founder & CEO, The How Consulting in association in association with alavi.ai on 11th June. Xia Feng is a former senior executive in the fashion and retail industry, who now advises US and European businesses to succeed in China.
Alvi is a online digital marketing application that makes technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning easy to use for SMEs in the online retail space. Alvi helps companies not only in identifying the audience which will be interested in their product categories but making them interested in buying those products as well. Such precision helps companies in slashing their marketing spend by targeted advertising.
Learning from China
Covid 19 has caused very different consumer sentiments as the market has opened up; China is the first country to witness this change. Most of the businesses shut down in China post 23rd January and opened in late March. It was the worst quarter for the Chinese economy ever when GDP was plumped by 6.8% and retail sales had registered the fall of 19% ( as compared to 8% jump in the previous year). Usually, these numbers used to fall on the positive side.
During the lockdown period ecommerce registers the growth of 16%. As soon as quarantine announced, many small retailers jumped online As per Xia here are few strategies which they adopted.
Live streaming was already a very big phenomenon in China and Covid 19 further escalated the trend. The only difference is, earlier only influencers used to do it, but now right from CEO of the company to restaurant chef everybody is doing the same. Live streaming is turning out to be a very interesting trend of online selling.
In the presentation, Xia quoted the example of beauty vlogger who started his journey through brick and mortar stores and end-up selling via live streams using Alibaba’s B2C platform. Now people are using different of technics to engage with their audience including bringing experience using cloud technology, social clients and many other disruptive technologies.
Virtual Department store
Citing the example of a departmental store located in Honjo China where they turn entire department store into virtual shopping channel. Store associates were involved in hosting in live streaming channels. The audience was through these associates who actually worked as advisor to them.
EBay and Myer, the Australian marketplace, are joining forces to launch what they are billing as the world’s first virtual reality department store.
Digital fashion brand Ambassador
Many fashion brands when they opened again after lockdown they turned their store associates into a digital brand ambassador. Since, Wechat is a popular shopping app, the store's associates used the Wechat platform to keep contact with their VIP and existing customers, lapsed and new customers. Brands provided the store staff the digital images and trained them sufficiently to spread social messaging while integrating the brand promotion.
Car Shopping from home
Car sales were dropped whopping 95% as coronavirus hit. When people were scared of stepping out of their homes, many automakes used live streaming to boost the sales. For example, Chinese carmaker Geely is the latest to launch a new online service to try to boost sales in the country. It joins the likes of Tesla, BMW and Mercedes-Benz who are now actively marketing cars over the internet.
Factory to closet gone digital
Online selling has started disrupting the traditional institutions of buying and selling. Covid 19 lockdown cause order pileup at factories and a huge backlog of inventories. So factories are encouraging their employees to conduct direct selling sessions online. Through this model, they don’t need any wholesalers to bring the product into traditional distribution channels. Many of them have opened their shop at Tmall.