Chinese scramble for Aussie-made in world’s biggest shopping day
Jack Ma, chairman of China's online shopping giant Alibaba Group with actress Nicole Kidman at Singles Day in Shanghai last year.
Australia was the third-biggest source of products sold during China’s massive Singles Day shopping event last weekend — and while results are still trickling in, ASX-listed retailers have benefitted handsomely.
Singles Day or Double 11 (for November 11) was confirmed as the world’s biggest annual shopping date with some $33 billion in sales. Up to 90 per cent of purchases were made on mobile phones.
The event has evolved from a sales day to an all-out extravaganza with concerts and celebrity ambassadors including Aussie actress Nicole Kidman.
ASX-listed natural cosmetic producer Abundant Produce (ASX:ABT) was featured on Tmall’s ‘must buy’ list and promoted its participation in the event via Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo and WeChat.
Tmall, a Chinese online shopping mall with more than 50,000 merchants, is owned by Alibaba — China’s answer to Amazon.
“Social networks like Weibo and WeChat were a key focus for us through influencers to broaden our brand awareness,” said chief executive Shanan Birkin.
“In the lead up to the event there were 20 million viewers on the Weibo ad alone.
“The Chinese market is more advanced in marketing through their social networks and their payment systems are way quicker. But some parts of their marketing are quite dated. We’ve found you really do have to rely on people on the ground.”
China-focused retailer AuMake (ASX:AU8) said sales increased 15 per cent on Singles Day and traffic to its online daigou store was noticeably higher.
AuMake specialises in selling premium-priced Australian products to “daigou” — people who shop on behalf of a China resident.
“Customers view Singles Day as an opportunity to buy great bargains, and for AuMake it’s the perfect opportunity to promote and drive sales of new products to a broader customer base,” said AuMake chairman Keong Chan.
“We saw a 15 per cent lift in sales on the day of the event over the prior Saturday and it will continue to form part of our regular marketing activity.”
Australian retailers benefited from a perception in China that our products were “clean and green”, said Redleaf Securities chief executive John Athanasiou.
“The demand is there and we are fortunate that we have a good brand being from Australia,” Mr Athanasiou said.
“We’re clean and green and no one is going to question the quality of our vitamins or baby formula. You can make a point that it has run very fast — but we still are quite bullish on it.”