VELVET Presents: What Are Chinese Travelers Saying About Your Brand?

VELVET, the digital agency for premium and luxury brands, is excited to invite guests to a presentation about one of the most relevant tools for digital marketers today: social listening and tracking.

VELVET and 6Estates, an AI powered Big Data analytics company, will co-present insights from a study based on the online activities of Chinese outbound travelers to UK and France, as well as the digital discussions around UK and France between the peak travel months of October 2015 to April 2016.

Founded in 2014, 6Estates is a Singapore-based technology company that spun off from NExT a joint research center between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Tsinghua University of China, to provide global business real-time insights and predictions of consumer behavior and preferences with a focus on China.

Leveraging on large volumes of data collection and analysis with AI-based Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning & Knowledge Graph technologies, 6Estates processes digital consumer content to facilitate smarter marketing decisions to bridge the gap between global businesses of which are keen to understand the China market, and Chinese businesses competing in global markets.

Join us in discussing the results of a report based on over one million data points.

The invite-only event is part of a bi-monthly series co-organized with our strategic partner, XNode Co-working Space and Startup Accelerator.

Speakers:

Patrice Nordey, Founder & CEO, VELVET

Patrice Nordey is a digital veteran with over 15 years of e-business experience across Europe and APAC. He consults international companies on the deployment of Digital Marketing & Communication, Social Media, and e-Commerce in China.

Prior to VELVET, Nordey worked at L’Atelier, the innovation arm of BNP Paribas. During his 11-year tenure, he spearheaded major digital projects as part of the strategy department in the Paris head office before serving as APAC CEO in Shanghai.

Xu Tao, Head of Product, 6Estates

Xu Tao is a passionate Product Evangelist specializing in products and solutions that improve the consumer experience and generate consumer insights. Throughout his career, he has helped build web apps, mobile apps, data analytics applications, and virtual chatbots using NLP/NLG and machine learning technologies. Prior to joining 6Estates, Xu Tao was the Regional Product Manager for WDS, a subsidiary of Xerox.

Presentation:

  • Top sightseeing and shopping destinations in the UK/France
  • Top brands shopped in the UK/France
  • Top brands discussed online
  • Travel preferences by demographic
  • Purchasing patterns
  • Points of influence & impact (celebrity, events, news, public policy)

 

 

2015/2016 Snapshot of Digital & Luxury in China

2015 was a watershed year for digital innovation in China. For the first time, China became more than another market or the source of cheaply manufactured goods. Instead, it was at the center of innovation for digital communication strategies and technologies. We’ve gathered some of the year’s highlights in this field, as well as our predictions for 2016 and put them into a PDF. We’ve included our Top 5 Innovative Campaigns, Top 5 Social Media Moments, Top 5 Platforms To Watch, and Our 5 Predictions for 2016. We hope you enjoy and share it!

Click here to download the PDF: 2015/2016 Snapshot of Digital & Luxury in China (pdf)

What does Weibo’s new character limit mean for brands?

1,500 most common Chinese characters.

1,500 most common Chinese characters.


Last week, Chinese Twitter-like social network Weibo announced that starting today, January 28, it will begin a month-long trial of offering VIP users the option to publish up to 2,000 characters per post. Weibo plans to roll out the new feature to all 500 million users by February 28. The current character limit is 140.

This announcement comes hot on the heels of news that Twitter will increase its character limit from 140 to 10,000.

Weibo’s character limit increase won’t visually affect user timelines too much—since posts will show only the first 140 characters—but that’s partly the problem.

More room for content will certainly help with storytelling. However, Weibo’s main problem has less to do with text and more to do with visual experience, which is key for social media at the moment. Instagram and Tumblr led the way for visual dominant platforms in the west. In China, WeChat improved upon its Tencent predecessor QQ Messenger by offering users a more media rich experience and is currently the number one social network in China. Next generation networks like Snapchat, Meerkat and Periscope skew even purer visual, by featuring ephemeral video.

According to Weibo’s own data, only 10 percent of original posts surpass the current character limit. Furthermore, since the beginning, users have employed the basic solution of posting screenshots to circumvent the character limit. Despite this reality, a Weibo spokesperson told the South China Morning Post via email that increasing character limit will “offer greater choice and a better user experience”—a statement that seems misguided at best.

While Weibo has seen a user decline in recent years, it remains the second most popular social network in China and the platform of choice for PR due to its open, viral nature. Furthermore, no indigenous Instagram or Tumblr alternative has succeeded in capturing a large audience. Weibo is better positioned than any other player to make the leap to a visual driven platform by tweaking its interface (pair down features, enhance visuals) or creating a new platform and migrating users.

Digital Roundup | Lancôme Digital Moves, Online Fashion Store, Young Car Buyers, Online Wine Sales, Digital Credit Card

A roundup on how digital is transforming our life and business – both in China and the rest of the world through March 24th.

Lancome Digital Reward Elite Program
Lancôme Ramping Up Digital Initiatives

By WWD

Lancôme is ramping up its digital efforts with a pair of digital initiatives designed to draw in new consumers. The Lancôme Elite Rewards program is based on a social media model — in addition to purchasing product, members can earn points by connecting with Lancôme USA through social media, whether it’s uploading a glammed-up Instagram selfie to show off a new Rough in Love lipstick using a specified hash tag, watching makeup tutorials on lancome.com or checking in at a Lancôme beauty event on Foursquare. A simple dashboard accessible through lancome-usa.com helps members track and manage their points earned in real time.

 

14 Online Fashion Stores, from Cheap to Couture, for Hong Kong Shoppers

By TechInAsia

Hong Kong is known for its shopping and for being a hip and fun place – yet it’s still surprising just how many diverse and awesome online shopping choices there are in the city. There’s a funky mix of Hong Kong-based tech startups and fashion labels that are doing interesting things with ecommerce. Many of them not only sell in Hong Kong but have also expanded across the region. Plus, this list will also look into some big-bucks ecommerce companies that are accessible to clothes shoppers in the territory.

 

China’s Idealistic Young Car Buyers Demand Eco-friendly Options

By JING DAILY

Car buyers in China are getting younger, and the young will soon be the dominant players on the car-buying scene, according to a recent Chinese market survey. In addition to impacting how cars are marketed in China, it may also impact how they’re made: the findings show that more young car buyers are concerned not only with the performance of the cars, but also with their environmental and health aspects. To understand the young people’s car purchasing decisions and what influences them, Chinese social network RenRen teamed up with Chinese auto site Chewen.com and global information company Nielsen.

 

How the Internet is Boosting Foreign Wine Sales in China

By Red Luxury

According to a report published by Bordeaux Management School in France, 27 % of wine sales in China last year were made over the internet. By contrast, online sales accounted for only 8 to 10% of wines purchased in Europe and just 2% in the United States. On Singles Day on November 11, in a 24-hour period, Chinese importer Summergate Fine Wines sold over 100,000 bottles. Wine sales worldwide total more than $5 billion every year. Last year, California exports to China reached $35 million, an all-time high that ranks the state as the fifth-largest export market. Amazon has also capitalized on the trend, and began to offer wines from California through its Chinese portal last October; over half of the initial online sales went to Shanghai.

 

Chinese Central Bank Calls Off Digital Credit Card Business

by Technode

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the Chinese central bank, reportedly released a notice to suspend the digital credit card businesses together with mobile payment services enabled by scanning the QR codes (source in Chinese). Despite the innovations in QR code payment technology, it also brings information and capital security concerns for the customers. Virtual credit card is still a pre-matured business in terms of user identification and capital security, according to the PBOC. The heat for digital credit card business was at full strength in Chinese Internet arena last week as both AliPay Wallet and WeChat Payment, the mobile payment arms of Chinese Internet giants Alibaba and Tencent, announced they planned to explore this sector together with China CITIC Bank.

Infographic – 2013 Year in Review for China’s TMT industry

After a year that saw the burgeoning entrepreneurship cutting across China in 2011 and a following year that tasted the backlash in 2012 — painfully leads to the termination of venture capital spree in addition to the shutdown of innumerable failures, we are now at the end of 2013 and looking back at a year which is neither so good nor so bad for Chinese Technology, Media & Telecommunication industry.

IPO Window Reopens | Breakthroughs that set for changes | 2013 goes down as the most active for Internet M&A | Xiaomi becomes a cult | Lei Jun, starts a business at 40 | 2013 is a lost year in terms of creativity and innovation.

TECHNODE 2013 Year in review

Source: TechnodeL

China Digital Roundup | Google Glass, eBay’s Online Mall, WeChat, Alibaba

A roundup on how digital is transforming our life and business – both in China and the rest of the world through January 24th.

L'Oreal Matrix Google Glass

L’Oreal’s Matrix Offers Stylist’s-Eye View with Google Glass

By BrandChannel

Google Glass may still be a novelty of sorts for just about everyone outside its “Explorer” program, but that’s not stopping global beauty brand L’Oreal from incorporating the futuristic specs into its personal care brands. According to Retailing Today, L’Oréal subsidiary Matrix is using Google Glass to help teach hairstylists how to do better work. Called “Matrix Class for Glass,” the initiative will include blogger video series, a salon professional education platform, and an app that “will house an exclusive library of content that can be downloaded by consumers and professionals.”

 

eBay said to open online mall to lure fancy brands

By CNET

Word has it that eBay has plans to open an online marketplace that caters to various brands, according to The Wall Street Journal. Rather than using the eBay moniker, this site is said to be called “The Plaza.” On “The Plaza,” it’s said that brands will be able to sell directly to consumers — just like with eBay — but won’t have to be listed next to second-hand items or possible knock-offs. It said that with the rumored online mall, merchants could sell their goods through eBay but not have “to worry about weakening their brand.”

 

Next WeChat 5.2 update show LinkedIn integration and a makeover for Android

By Tech In Asia

China’s most popular messaging app and social network WeChat’s upcoming version 5.2 update will likely come with LinkedIn integration and a new interface for Android users, according to Pingwest. The following screenshots come from a private beta version, so the updates aren’t final, yet. This is a major move early in LinkedIn’s official Chinese career, especially since it doesn’t even have a Chinese-language site yet. LinkedIn first revealed it had plans to officially expand to China last week when the professional networking site announced it hired a new president for LinkedIn China in the form of Derek Shen. Company shares rose strongly on the news.

 

Alibaba on Tour: the China’s Tech Giant draws a crowd in Amazon and Microsoft land

By GeekWire

Alibaba may not be a household name in the United States yet, but the company is a giant in China — with a dominant e-commerce platform, growing cloud computing system, smartphone operating system and even a finance business. It’s sometimes described as Amazon, PayPal and eBay combined, with a bit of Google thrown in for good measure. And the company is widely expected to make a headline-grabbing IPO this year. So we jumped at the opportunity to sit down with Wang Jian, Alibaba’s chief technology officer, as part of a visit by some of the company’s top executives to the Seattle region this week.

 

Asians spend 257% more on brands they follow online

By Red Luxury

A new study from Waggener Edstrom Communications found that Asian consumers spend up to 257 percent more on brands they follow online. “This study shows that in 2014 digital-driven brand storytelling is central to successful communications. Consumers want to be engaged by brands online,” said Matthew Lackie, Senior Vice President at Waggener Edstrom. “We are seeing that B2B and B2C companies will be rewarded in 2014 with larger spends, engagement rates, and higher levels of brand advocacy when they provide their audiences with great content.”

China Digital Roundup | Personal Care, Wearable Device, 3D Printing, Social Media

A roundup on how digital is transforming our life and business – both in China and the rest of the world through January 17th.

Digital Inception Review

17% Personal Care Brands Have Mobile-Optimized Sites in China

By Luxury Daily

Half of the mobile sites examined in L2′s latest China report offer click-to-call customer service and a quarter provide one-click email for customer service. L2′s Personal Care China report asserts that the fragmented digital landscape, big investments and the need for localized marketing has forced several personal care players to resign their efforts in China. For the brands committed to navigating the densely forested paths to consumers, L2 argues that digital is the clearest avenue available.

 

China now has half a billion mobile web users, 618 million total internet users

By Tech In Asia

Here are the latest figures from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) for December 2013. They show strong growth from the agency’s last report midway through 2013 when we saw that China had 591 million internet users and 460 million mobile netizens. The number of mobile web users has more than doubled from the end of 2009 when there were only 233 million accessing the web via phones. China’s smartphone boom – there are about 270 million active Android users in the country right now – has surely caused a big bump in mobile web browsing in the past few years.

 

This Bracelet Knows When You’ve Had Too Much Sun

By Fast Co

Introduced at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, the June may look like a bracelet you’d buy at Claire’s, but it’s actually a fashionably designed wearable that measures exposure to the sun. Made by Netatmo and designed by Louis Vuitton and Harry Winston collaborator Camille Toupet, the June syncs over Bluetooth to a paired iPhone, where an app tells you how much sun you’re getting based upon readings from the bracelet’s photovoltaic gem, and then recommends sunglasses, a hat or a specific sunscreen based upon the measurements. While Netatmo’s June might seems like a gadget for outliers, it actually represents an important step forward. It’s wearable tech that someone might buy for looks alone, not giving a damn about how “smart” it is.

 

3D Printing is Starting to Revolutionize the Fashion Industry

By SCMP

Will the 3-D printer replace the sewing machine as the favored tool of fashion designers? In recent months, 3-D-printed clothes and accessories have shown upon Project Runway (a contestant printed belts), the actual runway (Dutch designer Iris van Herpen’s 3-D-printed collection called Voltage) and on the Neiman Marcus website (which sells 3-D pieces such as Bathsheba Grossman’s sculptural stainless steel orbs). A few days ago, 3-D-printed fashion had perhaps its biggest moment when CBS broadcast the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Model Cara Delevingne walked the runway in computer-generated angel wings, while Lindsay Ellingson was outfitted in a corset, bustle and arm pieces intricately designed to look like snowflakes.

 

The Need to Address China Social Media Differently

By Fast Co

A brand or a company venturing online in China better not do so in the way they would in the West. Expect participation and engagement. Both positive and negative. Produce quality content or engage in a smart way and people will respond with a host of likes, comments and re-posts. Whole debates might rage, prompted by your video, infographic or picture. The research company Altimeter recently mapped China, followed by Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia, as the most engaged online populations in the world. The U.S., UK, Germany and France were significant laggards by this measure.

 

Photo courtesy: L2

Infographic – Global Digital Statistics 2014

Let’s start the new year by looking at the big picture – at the world’s wired citizens and what they’re doing on the web. A new 180-page slideshow has been created showing all the facts and stats we have so far on Earth’s 2.5 billion web users. Let’s look over some Asia-related highlights:

  • There are now 1.86 billion active social network users around the world.
  • Across Asia, 635 million people have mobile data subscriptions so that they can go online on their phones.
  • Southeast Asia is the most mobile-centric area of the continent, with a 109% of mobile penetration rate.
  • Southeast Asia and South Asia have internet penetration rates below the world average of 35%.
  • Boosted by China, East Asia’s internet penetration rate is above average, at 48%.
  • 3 of the top 10 social networks (by active usage) are messaging apps: WeChat with 272 million active users; WhatsApp with 400 million; and QQ with 816 million. China’s Tencent owns both QQ and WeChat.

An Eye on China

With so many people fascinated by China’s fast digital growth, let’s look more at the latest China figures.

World web user facts for 2014 slide 01

World web user facts for 2014 slide 02

World web user facts for 2014 slide 03

World web user facts for 2014 slide 04

World web user facts for 2014 slide 05

Source: We Are Social

China Digital Roundup I Apple, Tmall, Fan BingBing, LightInTheBox

A roundup on how digital is transforming our life and business – both in China and the rest of the world through January 10th.

Apple aims for more Chinese customers with a new e-store on Alibaba’s Tmall, by Tech in Asia

Apple Store tmall Premium Brand

Apple has opened an official web store on Tmall, Alibaba’s “online mall” for brands and big-name merchants, reports the Wall Street Journal. Accessible at apple.tmall.com, the new online storefront marks Apple’s first foray into setting up an e-store outside of its online Apple Store.

What’s the significance here? For one thing, it’s a sign that Apple is directly utilizing yet another sales channel through which it can reach Chinese consumers. Last December it finalized a massive deal with domestic telco China Mobile, and it will cut the ribbon at a shiny new Apple Store in Beijing today.

 

Fan Bingbing’s potent ‘Star Effect’ worth $74 million on Taobao, by JingDaily

Fan Bingbing Taobao iron man

Brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chopard, Cartier, Mercedes-Benz, Adidas, Moët & Chandon, and L’Oreal knew what they were doing when they hired actress Fan Bingbing (范冰冰) as their celebrity brand ambassador: a report last month by online retail giant Alibaba’s Taobao revealed that the Iron Man 3 star has generated US$74 million (RMB450 million) in e-commerce revenue.

Showing that “star effect” is actually quantifiable, the e-tailer released its list of the most lucrative brand ambassadors generating income for the site in 2013. According to the report, Fan easily topped the charts. The ranking was calculated by taking into account the name keyword searches that brought in the most revenue, along with the total sales revenue of each brand with a celebrity ambassador, according to Taobao. Unsurprisingly, her largest influence was in the areas of women’s dresses, handbags, high heels, and sunglasses.

 

Try on virtual makeup and pay with your hand with Retail Tech at CES 2014, by Brand Channel

ModiFace Makeup Mirror

Traditionally the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an event that offers a glimpse of the future in technology from a consumer perspective. CES 2014 is no different—but it wasn’t just a glitzy keynote by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer that was creating buzz. Also on display were several technological innovations that suggest a whole new retail world is right around the corner.

The latest innovations are: “3D Augmented Reality Makeup and Anti-Aging Beauty Mirror” by ModiFace, The Biometric Scanner by PulseWallet, the virtual currency BitCoin and the tracking technology iBeacon by Apple. This is just the beginning of a brave new retail world—and consumers have yet to weigh in on just how much technology they want to help them shop.

 

China’s LightInTheBox acquires Ador, the Seattle-based social commerce site, by Tech in Asia

Ader LightInTheBox social ecommerce

LightInTheBox, the China-based e-commerce and sourcing company, has acquired Ador, the Seattle-based social e-commerce startup, for an undisclosed sum. The Lockerz team then launched Ador last April as a site where users could follow celebrities and models, track what they wear, and then purchase goods from retailers that provide Ador with a cut.

The acquisition is quite an interesting one. Ador appears to be in a state of constant transition, and a relationship with LightInTheBox – which, as a business and a brand, is pretty far from a sexy social e-commerce firm – will likely bring about further changes in its business model. Meanwhile, LightInTheBox can leverage Ador’s expertise in social and its existing partnerships with US retailers to move beyond its reputation as a seller of high-quality, inexpensive Chinese goods. In addition, the Ador team’s experience at Amazon will bring along knowledge and industry connections.

 

China Luxury Trends for 2014, by Red Luxury

China Luxury trends

China is a country in constant change. The rate of change related to anything China has been phenomenal, presenting both challenges and opportunities for luxury companies who want to part of this promising market.

Despite a much-reported growth ‘slowdown’ and political upheavals, China’s growth will continue. We expect Chinese luxury consumers’ desire for less conspicuous consumption and unique experiential pursuits to gain further momentum this year. Other trends to watch in 2014 include:

E-Commerce/M-Commerce Becoming the Norm – Lower Tiered Cities Become Major Battlefield – Research & Purchase Model Is Here to Stay – Growth of “Lifestyle” Brands – Shift from Rapid Store Expansion to Improve Store Productivity – Second Hand Luxury Boom – China to Become Greener.