JD.com is one of the names that are mentioned the most when it comes to selling online in China. It is simple: after Tmall JD.com is one of the main players on the market of B2C e-commerce. The demand for imported maternal and infant is growing every year in China. JD understood quickly that it would be beneficial for the platform to make use of its reputation to give foreign infant formula brands a place to succeed.
JD has been working on growing its global platform to ease the process for foreign brands but also on its reputation. JD, once known for being the place to buy electronics but is now winning market share in the wellness, beauty, health, and groceries market.
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China’s milk market overview in 2020
According to research by Euromonitor International, China is the second-largest dairy market after the United States. But it is estimated that by 2022 it will reach the United States becoming the largest dairy market in the world. The most consumed products in China are: fresh milk, powdered milk, and yogurtMarketing to china
The growth of the imported infant formula segment on JD
In 2019, JD.com was considered the largest retailer regarding infant formula in China. In the future, it is expected a huge growth of infant formula in China, especially in lower-tier cities.
This is attributed to population growth in those cities and rises in household incomes leading to higher consumer spending.
In fact, JD.com already announced that it would develop various products to attract and suit the different needs of the consumers.
Furthermore, JD.com was ranked first regarding its e-commerce penetration rate. It is showed that a huge amount of people used JD.com to buy infant formula.
High Demand for foreign infant formula brands in China
Foreign infant formulas are very popular in China’s e-commerce apps. The increasing trend among Chinese parents of providing their children with the best possible quality has influenced the increasing number of the foreign e-commerce platform in the Chinese digital marketplace.
In fact, Chinese parents trust foreign products more than local products because of many scandals involving local infant formula brands.
Quality is such an important topic for Chinese parents. This is obviously considered a crucial opportunity for international companies, which are often perceived by Chinese consumers to be of high quality, safe, and especially more reliable.
JD and BIOSTIME launch a brand new infant milk powder.
JD is working closely with foreign brands to accompany them in the Chinese market: let’s have a look at the Biostime case study.
JD.com has been working with French brand Biostime to launch brand new infant milk powder for 12-to-36 month babies.
JD.com owns a huge group of quality customers and leverages its advantages in big data and customer operations to help Biostime continuously improve its performance as the brand continues to grow in the China market.
The sales of Biostime milk powder in China grew by 12.6% in 2020.
The strongest selling point for JD: reputation
JD.com has optimized its reputation thanks to its logistics system and reliability. The quality of the products offered by the platform is also considered excellent. In fact, one of the most famous JD.com’s slogan is “quality first“.
To sum up, it guarantees strict inventory control that removes the danger of counterfeiting products (crucial for infant formula brands)
WeChat X JD: Social eCommerce Rise
Since 2014 JD.com has partnered with the giant Tencent, which allows it to act on the two social platforms WeChat and QQ. Thanks to this, the products on JD.com can also be searched by WeChat, which then offers the product pages of JD.com as search results.
Furthermore, also in close collaboration with Tencent, the JD mini-program Open Platform was also launched. Thanks to it, the sellers on JD.com will be able to open their own mini-programs to sell also within WeChat.
Not only that: the service is also open to various external partners from other sectors of the JD ecosystem. This integration between platforms creates great opportunities for companies.
To sell Infant Formula on JD, 1st Build eReputation
Use Baidu to Improve your Infant Formula Reputation
Baidu just released its 2020 data, and it shows that consumers spend more and more time researching brands and products before purchasing. It was aways true for Infant Formula, a necessary commodity that has been victime of many health scandale over the years in China.
In order to maximize your visibility on Baidu, you’ll need:
- A website in Mandarin, design with tools compatible with Baidu – meaning, you do not want any google plugins that would not load on the Chinese internet – and hosted in China or neighboring countries.
- A Baidu SEO effort: Original & Regular Content optimized for Baidu, landing pages optimized for Baidu, Backlinks… It will require about 6 months for your Website to rank on your main Keywords.
- Press release: they are important for your reputation, but they also give your website authority via the backlinks they provide.
- Undercover Marketing with forums & Q&A: Just like PR, platforms like Zhihu, Baidu Tieba, etc are great tools to build your reputation online and to generate organic traffic & backlinks.
Social Media for Infant Formula Brands are Keys:
WeChat: crucial for infrant formula brand legitimacy
Use WeChat to strengthen your brand’s reputation with already existing customers and/or to promote your brands to Chinese distributors (H5 brochure). Wechat has many interesting tools to engage with your consumer base (Mini-Program, Wechat Stores, Blog like function, geo localization, ads, channels, etc). However, WeChat should not be seen as a viral marketing tool. It is extremely hard to build a huge following on this app. For infant formula brands, opening a WeChat official account is crucial both for credibility and trust-building with their target audience.
Weibo: reach out to more consumers
Weibo: it’s a social media that is very useful to build brand awareness. This social media is such a powerful instrument to advertise and make creative campaigns to become popular. It also belongs to Alibaba, which also owns Tmall, Taobao, the most popular e-commerce platform in China.
Douyin x Kuaishou: go viral with short videos
Short videos & live-streaming apps have taken over China eCommerce market like a storm. Kuaishou & Douyin are the most popular of these apps and count millions of users. Kuaishou has a particular focus on eCommerce when compare to Douyin but both apps are great places to promote infant formula brands although the strategy & audience will differ slightly.
RED: The maternity and Infant Formula App
RED aka little red book is a popular reviews app with a focus on imported high end beauty & wellness focus. The app has quickly developped in to a KOLs & Social eCommerce app and majority of its users base are women from wealthy Chinese cities. It is no suprise that the maternity and infant formula segment have grown so fast on the app.
Because the core of this app is reviews – shopping note- the app is now a to-go place for shoppers that wishes to find more information on a products/brands before purchasing it. RED Shopping Notes also tends to rank on the first page of baidu because of their popularity. Just like PR, having consumers & Kols reviewing your infant formula brand on RED will give you a major reputation boost and help you increase your CR on JD (or any others ecommerce plaform you have chosen)
Do you want to promote your infant formula brand in China?
There are many opportunities for Western Infant Forumla Brands in China. With the right tools and the right digital markeitng strategy you’ll be able to take your brand to the next level.