All You Need to Know About Social Commerce in China

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Are you planning to grow your online business in China? Social commerce is a concept worthy of exploring. It’s been around since social media and eCommerce platforms included live streaming and selling features.

In this article, learn more about social commerce and its potential in your business.

Overview of the social commerce sector

The retail social commerce sector will increase to $474.81 billion by 2023, although it’s still an emerging concept in the US. However, in China, it’s a disruptive force that changes the way consumers shop online.

China’s social commerce sales reached $186.04 billion in 2019, which is ten times the number of sales in the United States at merely $19.42 billion in 2019.

Social Commerce in China

What is social commerce?

Social commerce is the buying and selling of items in social media networks. For example, on the WeChat app, the users enjoy the use of social network features and, at the same time, shop online without having to go out of the app itself.

The young consumers are drivers of social commerce growth. The top five items that these young consumers shop on social commerce platforms are beauty products, apparel, home products, health supplements, and personal care.

For companies in the retail sector, social commerce opens the door to promoting and selling products on social media platforms. For example, brands can take advantage of Douyin’s eCommerce features that allow viewers to click links that direct them to the Taobao store.

Why should global brands like you consider social commerce in China?

Social commerce works best for companies that sell products online. One of the reasons you should consider exploring it is that consumers in China use mobile devices to shop. That said, your website should be mobile-friendly.

Most consumers in China love social buying. Moreover, eCommerce platforms are armed heavily with features that connect social networks and innovative programs like WeChat mini-programs and live streaming.

Consumers get to shop and find the best deals through these means, making social buying engaging, fun, and convenient.

There are three types of social commerce platforms in China that consumers use:

Content sharing platforms

Brands and influencers use content sharing platforms like Douyin, Kuaishou, Xiaohongshu, and Mogujie to publish engaging posts and lure shoppers into buying products.

The secret to staying engaged is to offer detailed features of the products via live streaming and short videos. Shoppers can immediately buy items through the links embedded in videos or posts.

Membership-based platforms

Yunji and Beidian are membership-based social commerce in an S2B2C (Supplier-to-Business-to-Customer) business model.

For example, Yunji sources products from suppliers and brands (S) and sell them to micro-store owners (B) on the platform. The micro-store owners then sell and distribute products to their networks or the end-consumers (C).

Once you are a member, Yunji connects users with brands, suppliers, distributors, and more. The micro-businesses then earn commissions from the products sold or recruit new members.

Team purchase platforms

Another way shoppers use social commerce is through group buying platforms. They shop on Pinduoduo or Jingxi and buy items at low prices when they form teams with at least two people.

The consumers who form the group are the sale initiators as they buy items with friends and family members.

That said, consumers like sharing great bargains with others because they get items at the lowest prices while earning commissions if friends join the team and purchase orders.

Social Commerce in China: Final Thoughts

The use of mobile devices has transformed eCommerce in China, and that’s how social commerce was born. It will be part of the future of retail, offering opportunities for global brands as well.

To get started, you can go for WeChat and Douyin as your first step in growing your online presence. Be sure to work with experts and specialists in our team to help you navigate the basics of setting up a store and to advanced as to create an online marketing strategy that includes images, audios, and videos for a holistic approach.

Let us know how LIMPID can help you get started.

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