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Kiwi brand ecostore used live streaming technology and social media to triple sales and achieve marketing success on last year’s Singles Day in China.

The 11.11 juggernaut grows larger and more powerful every year – making it an immensely attractive vehicle for brands. However, with the annual event dominated by multinational brands – with equally large marketing budgets – how do niche brands, reach consumers for the world’s single biggest shopping event?

New Zealand’s health and eco-friendly brand ecostore used live streaming technology and social media to achieve sales of more than RMB2.2 million or NZ$445,000 during the 24-hour shopping frenzy.
In the first hour to 1am the brand achieved NZ$200,000 in sales and over the 24-hour period ecostore sold more than 29,000 products to 14,576 customers.
Overall ecostore’s 11.11 promotion delivered a 318 percent increase in sales over the 2015 event, which attracted NZ$130,000 in sales.

So, how did they do it?
ecostore’s 11.11 figures are impressive – however, there is no such thing as an overnight success.
ecostore launched in China via the Tmall platform in October 2015. Since July 2016, the brand has worked with social media agency UMS to build awareness and recognition through social media marketing campaigns and online promotions.

In the lead-up to 11.11, UMS helped ecostore broker a partnership deal with Tmall to run an hour-long live stream to promote the brand and showcase its range of environmentally friendly products.
The live stream featured ecostore’s New Zealand co-founders Malcolm and Melanie Rands, who took viewers on a tour of New Zealand stores to showcase the brand’s retail experience. The co-founders also interacted with live viewers, awarded prizes and answered questions. 

More than 2,000 people watched the hour-long event live with the content receiving 13,000 likes and 1,900 comments during the stream.
Derek Yiquan Yu, China Market Manager at ecostore, said “This is a very encouraging figure for us and we are really happy with the results. It’s great for us to learn from the latest in e-commerce innovation.”

ecostore also attributes its 11.11 sales success to the brand’s ability to respond to the increased market interest in environmentally-friendly products.
China is experiencing an increase in discerning consumers, who are seeking out an eco-friendly lifestyle due to pollution and environment problems.
Derek said, “Customers like to do their research and learn the story behind the brand, which is why the Tmall Live Stream was so valuable. It gave us the opportunity to tell the brand story to a new market.”

As a result, the brand’s laundry liquid, delicate and wool wash and fabric softeners sold out in the first ten minutes. The brand’s 11.11 performance helped boost its Tmall store to a Level 5 ranking, putting it in the top ten percent of Tmall brands in its category.

“This reflects how dynamic the market is in China and how important it is to capture your target market’s interests and be prepared to respond to changes.”

Derek said it is important that brands are flexible and respond to the changing market.
“This reflects how dynamic the market is in China and how important it is to capture your target market’s interests and be prepared to respond to changes.”
“As a brand, we need to figure out what Chinese people want and then find an angle to talk about our brand in China. As a new brand in China, this can be hard, but you need to try to understand your target market in China. You need to know who they are, what they want, their lifestyle, their behaviours and then come up with a relevant, localised marketing campaign.” 
 
11.11 2016 at a glance
•    The 24-hour Singles Day shopping frenzy, notched up a staggering RMB120 billion (USD$17.8 billion), an increase of 32% from 2015’s total sales of RMB2 billion (USD$14.3 billion).
•    It took less than seven minutes for Tmall to reach RMB10 billion in sales.
•    82 percent of sales were transacted on mobile devices.
•    There were 1.04 billion payment transactions processed, up from 710 million in 2015.

 

Glenn Baker

Professional writer/editor with 35-plus years experience - including radio copywriting, various television writing/production roles, and writing for business magazines. I have also co-owned a wholesale food distribution business.

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