A new sales platform is set to revolutionise the way sellers connect with, and track, 30 million Chinese customers.
New Zealand manufacturers targeting online Chinese consumers can now market and sell their products directly to customers on a dedicated overseas brands platform, cutting out agents and maintaining better control of their branding and distribution into the world’s biggest market.
One of China’s fastest-growing e-commerce businesses, Aomaijia Group has officially launched its Australasia office in Sydney, which will source products from Australia and New Zealand to sell to online Chinese consumers. It is the fifth international office following openings in Paris, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Seoul.
Established in 2015 in Guangdong the company rolled out its online platform the following year. In 2019 the company’s total customer base has grown by more than 200 percent and it now has more than 30 million registered users across its three digital platforms.
In total Aomaijia sells more than 100,000 product lines across 3,000 individual brands. Unlike China’s two best-known online retail platforms, Taobao and T-Mall, Aomaijia almost exclusively sells international brands. This makes the platform entirely focussed on supporting the branding strategy of international manufacturers.
In 2018, total New Zealand exports to China rose to a record NZ$16.6 billion with beef, lamb, dairy and sawlog exports accounting for the fastest growing segments. As well as non-perishable consumables Aomaijia, sells meat, dairy and fresh produce across its retail platforms.
The company today signed agreements with five leading Australian companies Sukin, Kids Smart, NESTLE Australia, b.box and TASMAN UGG. They will join other Australian brands Swisse, Blackmores, Nature’s Way and a2 Milk as well as Kiwi brands, Manuka Health and karen.murrell which are already available across the e-commerce platform.
Speaking at the signing of these agreements, Aomaijia Group CEO, Maggie Liu (pictured), says, “Even though most of our sales go through digital channels we are not simply an online mall. Other online trading platforms allow overseas companies to connect very quickly with millions of Chinese consumers; but they have significant limitations.
“The biggest drawback is that online malls sell many products through second-hand agents who may or, in many cases, may not be appointed by product producers. They generate sales but the trade-off is a loss of control in branding, distribution and retail pricing.”
Aomaijia distinguishes itself by only dealing directly with manufacturers, or their appointed agencies, and not distributors or daigou – individuals or small groups who typically buy consumer goods in retail outlets and ship them directly to customers in China.
Says Aomaijia CEO, Ms. Liu, “Daigou have filled a market need in China; while they actively promote brands, in reality they operate a rather unsophisticated and inefficient distribution network.
“The Aomaijia platform was created to give suppliers control of their branding in China but also control over distribution, sales volumes and ultimately their profits.”
International brands not only benefit from access to China’s most sophisticated retail e-commerce platform, Aomaijia can supply an entire suite of services from supply chain financing and management through to technical services and tracking end users through tailor-made CRM solutions.
Aomaijia’s business to consumer (B2C) sales rest on three platforms, a mobile phone app; an online retail site (www.aomygod.com); and a mini sales program operated on the WeChat social media app which has more than one billion users.
A unique part of its e-commerce model is that the company has 14 physical stores in key locations across all of China’s major first-tier cities, with plans to open one hundred more over the next 12 months.
The stores feature online kiosks for speciality orders and allow buyers to sample new product lines which may not be familiar in China. Giving customers the chance to test products also reassures them of authenticity, a key selling point in China where consumers are increasingly wary of fake products, particularly in supplements, vitamins and infant formulas where Australian and New Zealand brands are very highly regarded.
NESTLE Oceania’s Head of Cross Border Development, Matthiew-Nicolas Quentin says, these stores are a great competitive advantage, “Aomaijia does not just offer product displays, Chinese consumers are highly demanding, they want to know everything about our products and that’s the role this platform plays.”