During the 618 Sales event this year, two e-commerce giants, Jingdong and Tmall, adopted a marketing model of high-frequency interaction and online and offline integration to meet the shopping needs of consumers through upgrades and provide them with a qualified shopping experience. This article will comprehensively analyse the marketing strategies of Jingdong and Tmall during the 618 Sales event, focusing on the following two questions: What is the significant change in 618 this year compared to previous years? What is the future direction of e-commerce promotion?
The promotion of the 618 sales event
The promotion theme reflects the strategy and direction behind this sales event. By analysing the whole promotions on different platforms, we can find the most important part the platform is interested in.
JD.com: 618 National Mid-Year Festival.
In fact, Jingdong realised that Tmall's 11.11 shopping festival holds the dominant position of in e-commerce sales events. It goal was therefore to convey to consumers that Jingdong's 618, the second largest e-commerce shopping festival, has the same sales strength and nature as the 11.11 promotion. This is a way of relying on consumers' perceptions to popularise and strengthen their communication needs.
Tmall.com: The Ideal Life Carnival.
Tmall has switched from an original quality and fashion orientation to the new slogan of “Ideal Life on Tmall” and has proposed the words of five major trends that include sustainable living, single men and women, smart life and breaking boundaries. This change in focus reflects the state of consumer demand. Publishing various lists from this year's Tmall 38 Queen's Day to Tmall Ideal Life Carnival showed that Tmall is trying to play an active role to lead consumer trends.
618's marketing rhythm is more intensive
The marketing rhythm shows the specific marketing tactics of each e-commerce company during the promotional period. Any further communication inside and outside the platform must be under the guidance of this marketing rhythm. Therefore, the intense marketing rhythm can effectively attract consumers’ attention at this time through two aspects: by targeting users according to prior category planning and luring offline users through the lucky money activities to the online store.
Comparing the entire marketing of the two companies in the 618 shopping festival, we can find several similarities between them:
A. The 618’s marketing period was very long: about 30 days from start to finish, and the final campaign lasted at least 5 days.
B. Both platforms invited brands to participate in the 618 event by leveraging the influence of brand spokespersons and integrating resources to increase visibility.
C. The marketing took place inside and outside the platform in order to reach the widest possible target groups on various channels such as Weibo and variety shows.
Cross-border brand cooperation and platform strength
Various brand events can be seen every day throughout the event. For merchants, this is an excellent opportunity to increase brand awareness. For the platform, the brands increase sales. The platform is partnering with more brands to attract more consumers who are fans of the brands.
This year, Tmall.com and JD.com used the star effect to invite brand representatives to the live show event, which lead consumers to the festival and shopping. The innovative marketing of the traditional cross-border brands has also boosted the sales of many domestic brands. For example, Zhouheiya (a Chinese snack brand) and Yunifang (a Chinese brand for skin care product) worked together to launch the little spicy kiss lipstick. And the "Tmall Advertising Ceremony" implanted 618 brands and products with a brainstorming and a fun Thai advertising style.
Diversified marketing approaches
Compared to the logistics propaganda last year, the event promotion of this year's 618 Sales was more about cross-border marketing with a variety of entertainment shows.
We found that JD.com’s intensive event marketing was based on highlighting specific categories and the core capabilities of logistics. For example, the "Red Story Season 2" is based on the theme of their own logisticians to tell the story and express their logistical skills.
In addition, IP-based content marketing is becoming increasingly important. For example, on JD.com, it combined with Disney's IP and collected the well-known brands that are officially authorised by Disney. Samsung, Huawei Glory and hundreds of other well-known brands authorised by Disney have teamed to create a dreamy 618 that differed from the promotional events of recent years.
Integration of online and offline improves the shopping experience
With the introduction of new retail, e-commerce marketing is no longer limited to online platforms. It has become a trend that online platforms are driving consumers and offline stores enhancing the shopping experience.
Stores are an important place for the interaction between brands and consumers. For example, Tmall's National Tide Action has created 70 new offline retail lighting stores to provide a combined consumer service experience. By creating a new model of retail stores, online hot sales will bring customers to the offline stores. JD suggested Offline Stores Carnival: Through the "Jingdong Member Code" mini program or JD's APP, customers can find out which offline stores in the area are taking part in the big sales event and getting coupons to buy in these offline stores. Brands and retailers can collaborate with JD.com in the area of big data sharing and precision marketing to earn revenue through digital transformation.
Finally, let us return to the question at the beginning. In the 4 to 5 years since its foundation, the 618 shopping festival has become the second largest e-commerce promotion activity in the Chinese market. The saturation of the development of online e-commerce platforms and the reduced growth of consumers in the online market led e-commerce platforms to improve the consumer experience and increase sales by taking advantage of offline opportunities. The participation of offline stores in this year’s 618 event is the biggest change compared to previous years. In the future, the offline stores will become another indispensable important place for e-commerce. On the one hand, the online traffic dividend of Internet companies is not over yet as the online market still has potential growth and space in the fourth and fifth tier cities. On the other hand, the tier 1 and 2 cities will continue to enhance online and offline integration as they improve their consumption. Based on these, it is predicted that there will be more and more e-commerce offline stores.
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