Transcript: China E-Commerce Roadshow

There are eight videos in the 'China e-commerce roadshow' series. Read the individual video transcripts by clicking below.
View the videos here

  • Scott Li
    It is not easy to get brand awareness; it depends on the cause, it depends on your market strategies and market plan. So I think it is necessary for the New Zealand companies to think about especially for the new brand for the China market how to get brand awareness.

    Actually it's advice for not only NZ commerce for actually all the players in China. If you want to play in China E-Commerce I don’t suggest you create probably three or five years market strategy; it's not use. Just plan quick; plan quick and act quick then get some feedback from the market. Then do optimisation [1.03] then again try and test; get feedback and optimise. It's kind of a [1.13] approach. With this approach you can quickly get familiar with the market; get familiar with the consumers and there is no waste of time. It's the approach; or it's actually the common use approach in China E-Commerce. 

    For NZ companies they can utilise the New Zealand country image because the New Zealand country image is quite good for Chinese consumers. It is clear, pure and natural product. China consumers like that. 

  • John O'Loghlen

    [Music intro]

    Top tip: be open minded. You need to seriously kind of move your blinders and your blinkers away and let your brand lead its own life in China. The Chinese consumers are going to have very different preferences to what New Zealand consumers have, or let's say Caucasian traditional New Zealand consumers. As long as you don’t dilute or compromise your brand DNA and the ethics and morals of your company. You need to listen to Chinese; they’re going to tell you what to do; how to unlock this value and how to really let your businesses explode up there. Often times you’re products are going to end up doing slightly different things in that market and that’s not always a bad thing.

    [Music interlude]

    I think a great thing is find that internal someone young in your organisation or someone who’s been up in China to kind of kick the tyres, have a look on some of the more kind of sea to sea platforms and just see where is your product; is it in the market, are your competitor’s products in the market, who’s buying them, where are they selling, what are the price points, what are the volumes. You can find out most of that information by looking on a lot of these platforms even as a consumer. 

    [Music interlude]

    Chinese are hungry for the best brands in the world; they want safe products, they want healthy products, they want products from overseas that have managed to transverse the culture and translate into the local culture.

    [Music interlude]

    I’ve met a lot of people who have great New Zealand products but I ask them, “Do you really think your product is best in class globally right now? Is your wine, your honey, your children’s clothing, your mother-care, your plastic containers or whatever it may be, do you hand on heart think that’s the best product in the world? Because if it's not you’ve got to appreciate you’ll be competing against people with much bigger budgets than you have who do have that type of product. They may have been in business in Europe for hundreds of years; big family businesses.

    They may have huge FMCG multi-national balance sheets behind them. If you’re not best in the class in what you produce globally you don’t really deserve to be in that Chinese market place; it's just that tough and that competitive.

  • Ophenia Lang

    [Music intro]

    The biggest challenge for New Zealand companies to get into the E-Commerce system in China, I think it would be which way to go. The market is so big and there are so many points of entry that they can take. You can go E-Commerce platform, you can do your own E-Commerce website and the choices are so many. I think the challenge is to making the right choice and a strategic move.

    [Music interlude]

    Top tips I would give to a New Zealand company entering China or already in China would be test and trial and optimise again and again. It's a dynamic market; it changes all the time and channels, marketing and consumers changes as well. So something works this month it might not work next month; so it's a constant learning curve for all the companies including the ones in China. 

    [Music interlude]

    To stay ahead of all this competition in China for a New Zealand company sometimes it seems very difficult but actually because we’re from New Zealand the Chinese consumer actually values product overseas and New Zealand has a very good brand as a country. As a brand who is China doing E-Commerce actually know your audience, preserve your brand and keep connecting with them; you will be ahead of your competitors. 

  • Mark Tanner

    [Music intro]

    The biggest challenge for New Zealand companies trying to tap into China, I don’t think it's just E-Commerce but the market in general is competition. If you look at China there’s about 500 new product launches every day and they’re all competing for that same market; so it is incredibly cluttered and incredibly difficult to get noticed in the market. So I guess it's a case of really honing in on who your target market is, where they are and making sure you hit them with the right channels.

    So using key opinion leaders and it doesn’t have to be A-list celebrities; it can be your grass roots influences. They can help amplify your message and break through the clutter; but also making sure you are at those key touch points. The Chinese do a lot of research and you want to make sure you’re at each of those key touch points and saying something that resonates with those consumers.

    [Music interlude]

    My recommendations for a company really early in the journey would be to I guess rather than jumping in, is take a little time to research the market and really understand the market and understand where their niche is and where the opportunities are and then focus on that rather than trying to be all to everyone.

    [Music interlude]

    I think in general China is rapidly changing in every step of the market, but E-Commerce is really leading that change. What we’re seeing at China Skinny is a lot of integration between different channels. So in the past E-Commerce has just been clicking by but now you’re seeing integration with social media and a lot of the offline assets, a lot of these E-Commerce platform zones, gaming, movies and all sorts of different channels that are all becoming part of the ecosystem for E-Commerce; so I would expect to see a lot more integration.

    [Music interlude]

    A key piece of advice for New Zealand businesses is you can’t really underestimate the value of spending time in market. Go get your hands dirty, go get your feet on the ground and look around; rather than just the things you read and see in the new here. Actually go spend some time and talk to some consumers, talk to some retailers and it will really help you understand that market.

  • Livia Wang

    [Music intro]

    I will recommend if a New Zealand company is just beginning to enter the market there are several things you will really need to look at. First of all, what kind of resources we have; for example, do we have local Chinese residents who can actually endorse the brand; and do our customers already love our products. And also we may need to look at who are actually your consumers; for example are they traders, are they end consumers, are they Chinese immigrants? Who are they? To make sure we identify them as crystal clear as possible and then that will help us when we design a strategy into this market as a more effective solution. For New Zealand clients I would recommend to say make sure we stay as who you are as a brand. Don’t worry too much about the E-Commerce change; you will always change. And make sure you choose the right partner to help you to understand the market because we are dealing with all the changes daily and we are just able to get enough to keep up with the demand. And if you are not in the market it would be very wise to have the right partner to partner with.

    [Music interlude]

    Stay as a New Zealand company but as effective as possible under the Chinese solutions and strategies. A lot of things even we do doesn’t mean that you will have results; for example, you have your own [1.42] social media, you have your Chinese website, you have all the Chinese materials; but without knowing where to deliver those messages you could be at risk to spend your money on the wrong channels. So be careful when you move every single step and watch out the results and the purpose of each of the different channels and what it can bring to you. 

  • Glen Murphy

    [Music intro]

    The biggest challenge for New Zealand companies tapping into E-Commerce markets in China is I think really understanding the consumer first; who are they targeting. It's very easy to go through the channels and to get very excited about the volume and the opportunities and they’re massive and they’re awesome; however the competition is also massive, so unless you have a really firm idea of who you’re targeting, why you’re going to appeal to your target consumer and how you’re going to get to them it’s going to be really difficult for you to be focused enough to be successful.

    [Music interlude]

    One thing I think you can see is that it's going to keep being incredibly competitive; in fact it's going to increase, that’s not going to stop. Chinese E-Commerce is going to go global and we’re starting to see that already. We’re going to see a lot more merging between E-Commerce, social media, payment systems; and that’s already happening but that’s just going to continue, as well as other forms of e-leisure and that’s starting again already and it's going to just continue and grow and grow and grow. So there’s lots of things going to happen but one thing that we can be sure about it's going to grow; the second thing we can be sure about is we really don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. 

    [Music interlude]

    I think if there’s one other thing that I would talk about to a New Zealand it's about focus. We’re really small; all of our companies are small and so it is really hard to compete in such a complicated, ever changing dynamic market particularly in the E-Commerce environment. So be nimble, get close to your customers, get close to your channels so that you can adjust really, really quickly. So make use of your smallness to be successful.

  • Echo Tan

    [Music intro]

    So I think the biggest challenges to actually understand the ecosystem of E-Commerce. So most of the time I think our customers tend to look at E-Commerce which is one channel or tend to look at just a team or [0.24] stand-alone partner to work with. But if you look at the complexity or comprehensive ecosystem they all have their role to play in the ecosystem. So actually understand the big picture; who can you work with, you need to work with. That’s actually quite challenging for some of our customers.

    [Music interlude]

    So what I would suggest is take a small step and don’t really think you will get all the strategy right because this whole E-Commerce in China is evolving really fast itself. So you can’t really plan out for what’s going to happen in three or five years’ time; actually no one really knows. So take a small step and every time you learn from it before you take the next step.

    [Music interlude]

    The future is certainly very promising but I think E-Commerce over the time will just be a normal channel you work with; you know, just like the supermarket and the food service. But the beauty of E-Commerce is actually in my very humble opinion the E-Commerce can glue the business together by helping and by providing big data of consumer behaviour, by connecting the online/offline.

    [Music interlude]

    I think first of all you really need to understand who you need to target and understand your customers. And don’t really think you can target the market but think about a niche segment and build the content that will be able to talk to them and engaging with them.

  • Alex Qian

    The biggest challenge for New Zealand companies to tap into China E-Commerce channel is that the opportunity is massive but they tend to lose focus and the importance of choosing the right channel and the right partner to work is always going to be very challenging for New Zealand companies.

    [Music interlude]

    China is definitely a mass market for New Zealand so don’t panic. Take it slow and make sure you focus.

    [Music interlude]

    The future of China E-Commerce is really dynamic; I would say it's quite hard to predict. However the recent trend I would say is that shift from PC to mobile has changed so quickly and exceeded many people’s expectation. There are new coming trends like broadcasting of selling products through [1.16] leaders has become quite a trendy thing in China. In the future from my personal perspective is that way more consumers are going to vertical websites, vertical platforms or vertical apps who are specialised in certain categories, certain areas; so they will be more focused and with more invest service provided from these platforms.

    [Music interlude]

    New Zealand is known as a very lateral and clean green country for Chinese consumers, so I would say that focus on the brand, focus on the brand story and focus on the brand proposition and make sure you deliver the right messages to your Chinese audience or Chinese consumers.