China’s e-commerce is the most impressive in the world, and many companies join the market every year. Vipshop is China’s third-largest online retailer and the world’s largest flash sales website. The total revenue of VIP.com in the third quarter of 2022 was $3 billion. In comparison to Taobao, the most popular e-commerce platform in China, VipShop’s products are commonly known to be better, with higher quality and better retail prices.
Vipshop’s brand advertisement is to provide authentic products, from all over the world, and with flash sales. Its products include women’s and men’s wear, children’s wear, shoes, beauty makeup, home textiles, and mother and baby care products. Let’s see how foreign brands can sell on one of China’s most popular e-commerce platforms.
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Vip Shop – the leading online discount retailer in China
Vip Shop (also called Wei Pin Hui) is a Chinese e-commerce website operating mainly on an online discount sales model. The company was launched in 2008 and since then it grew to become one of the most popular online marketplaces in China. The company’s annual net revenue declined in the last few years, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but as the Chinese e-commerce market is growing, so does Vip Shop.
Vip Shop became popular thanks to its business model, focusing on flash sales and significant discount offers on domestic and overseas brands, which is possible thanks to the company’s cooperation with many agents and manufacturers, that offer lower prices. As of 2022, there are more than 1600 brands that run special sales on the Vip Shop platform.
Flash sales accelerate consumer’s need to purchase
It seems that luxury goods have more brand influence and Vipshop should naturally give more attention, but the opposite is true. After Vipshop shifted the positioning of goods to brands such as light luxury, fast fashion, and high street, it turns into explosive growth. The sale system operated by Vipshop allows also unknown brands to break into the Chinese market.
The platform often organizes its sales around “featured brand+heavy discount+ flash sales” on many occasions. For example, there was a special event on the 19th of April, then Labour Day on April 29th, 30th of April, and May 1st. Vip Shop of course also participates in the main shopping events in China. You certainly feel it, Vipshop, and e-commerce platforms in general, don’t miss out on every occasion to sell.
Vip Shop successfully made it to the New York stock exchange
The proof of Vip Shop’s success came in 2012 when the company was awarded the no.1 on DTT 2012 High Tech and High Increase list and has been granted the honor to receive the top prize of “The best E-Commerce Company of 2012”. That year, the company was also listed on New York Stock Exchange, becoming the third most-successful online marketplace after Tmall and JD.
Weipinhui settled in the Wechat wallet
Since 2018, WeChat users are able to access directly the page of Vipshop through the “My Wallet-Third Party Services” portal and select and order their desired products. In that way, Chinese consumers can enjoy surprise benefits and achieve a renewed level of efficiency and fashion consumption.
Since WeChat is the most popular Chinese platform of all time, with more than 1.26 billion users, many of which also use WeChat Wallet, this move stimulated further growth of Vip Shop. Vipshop targets to transmit quality life and enhance the happiness experience to its consumers. Through this establishment, Wechat households can access to Weipinhui’s page and use the Wechat wallet to pay directly for orders. This is convenient for consumers and improves the sales revenue of the company.
Vip International – a new cross-border e-commerce offer in the Chinese market
Due to many problems with counterfeiting and fake products available on the Chinese market, to assure Chinese customers of the quality of overseas products sold on the platform, Vip Shop launched its sub-platform, Vip International in 2014. It’s another cross-border solution on the market, as Vip International is joining cross-border giants Tmall Global and JD Worldwide.
On Vip International, cross-border e-commerce customers can find foreign brands and flash sales on overseas products, as opposed to Chinese products sold on Vip Shop. Today, Vip International manages to take almost 10% of the total cross-border e-commerce market in China.
To ensure the quality of products sold on the platform, Vip International set up professional buyer groups in 11 countries and regions to guarantee the quality and authenticity of products sold. Many brands featured on the cross-border marketplace formed close relations and long-term partnerships with Vip Shop.
What is more, the company offers 24/7 customer service. When it comes to deliveries, Vip International launched a flexible logistics network with warehouses abroad and in China, in order to send products faster. It also works in customers’ favor, if they want to return the products, they get the refunds faster.
Who are the Chinese consumers of Vip Shop and Vip International?
Vipshop and Iresearch collaborated to publish a report on “The post-95s fashion consumption report. It clearly shows the interest from Vipshop to the Z Generation, who will become the main force of consumption, not only on the platform but in general.
This report is the first one based on the hundreds of millions of consumers’ big data of Vipshop club. It describes mainstream fashion consumption among the post-95s through multiple dimensions, such as their preferences, geographical purchasing power, and consumption behavior. “The company will continue to focus and fully embrace the “Z Generation”, helping to improve the consumer’s quality of life,” said Huang HongYing, vice president of Vipshop.
According to iResearch’s survey and recorded data, the post-95s take a leading position in the online shopping population, representing about 1/4 of e-commerce users. 63.9% of the post-95s respondents are using an E-commerce platform every day and 10% order online each day.
In addition, the men’s beauty makeup market is welcoming an outbreak, becoming the main feature that distinguishes post-95s consumers from other groups. The substantial increase will bring new potential for the market and lead new brands into the industry.
Consumers’ preference and habits
In terms of consumer preferences, makeup consumption is the strongest and became the main feature of the beauty consumption area among the post-95th. Lipstick, BB cream, and eyebrow pencil became the favorite cosmetics category, alongside with skincare, the biggest market segment.
In the purchase of luxury goods, most of them buy gifts and large-scale products. Jewelry and watches accounted for the highest proportion of demands and sales.
Besides their outstanding spending power, these young consumers are also considered a very influential generation. The report calls them “种草一代 Zhong cao yi dai” , which refers to their strong brand communication ability. Young generations are very connected online and they use to share their daily activity.
In the research about post-95s consumers’ habits, it was found that 41,8% said they would recommend good brands to their friends and family. In addition, more than 1/3 of them would forward useful information on the network and teach the elders how to use new apps.
How foreign companies can sell on Vip Shop?
If you are already familiar with the rules of e-commerce platforms in China, you might know that online marketplaces like Tmall, Taobao, JD and also Vip Shop don’t accept unknown brands on their platforms, because it’s not profitable for them. Chinese consumers don’t buy from brands they never heard of, so if you want to sell your products online, you need to work on your branding and e-reputation beforehand. Having a Chinese website, and good search engine optimization for Baidu and social media accounts should be your first steps.
When you already build your presence online, you can apply for setting up an account on Vip international. Vip International allows foreign brands to sell products via its cross-border solutions, so if you don’t have a legal entity in China, VIP International is your best option.
During the application process, you will be asked to provide documents such as:
- Company Name
- Contact Number
- Company’s description
- Website of the company
- Product classification
The procedure takes around a week and if it succeeds, you will get access to Vip International’s back end and be able to start uploading your products and brand info on the website.
How much does it cost?
As Vip Shop and Vip International are less popular than market giants, registration is cheaper. The products on Vipshop are available for pre-purchase, which means that you don’t have to pay membership fees, marketing costs, commissions, or listing fees.
But you need to be aware that VIP Shop and Vip International have partnerships with many well-known brands, so it might be harder for smaller brands to become visible. Therefore, we advise you to contact us, so that we can help you with your marketing strategy on the platform.
Contact us to start selling on Vip International!
At this stage of development, China has a lot of booming industries. This is a promising and huge market with its own culture and way to function. Ready to start a business in China? Do not hesitate to contact us if you need some more help.
Gentlemen Marketing Agency is specialized in digital marketing in the Chinese market. We are the most visible digital agency in China, providing e-commerce solutions, promotion and advertising, and SEO strategies, and all marketing agencies worthy of the name should be able to do.
Over more than 10 years we worked with more than 600 brands, helping them establish their presence in the Chinese market and reaching out to Chinese consumers. We are your China contact, ready to help you with your substantial e-commerce activities on one of the most popular flash sales websites in the world.
Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment or contact us to discuss your project in China!