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La Boutique France (literally “the French boutique” in French) was officially launched on Tmall Global last October. Several brands have already joined this cross-border e-commerce program offered by Geopost, a subsidiary of La Poste Group, the French public postal company.
La Boutique France (literally “the French boutique” in French) was officially launched on Tmall Global last October. Several brands have already joined this cross-border e-commerce program offered by Geopost, a subsidiary of La Poste Group, the French public postal company. By setting up a store on Tmall Global, the leading cross-border e-commerce platform in China, the French postal operator aims to gather “made in France” brands under the same roof to reach the growing trend of Chinese consumers buying products coming from overseas. La Boutique France homepage on Tmall Global during the Chinese New Year  Why is cross-border such a hot topic in China? To answer the expectations of Chinese online shoppers regarding overseas products, local e-commerce players have created platforms dedicated to cross-border e-commerce, widely encouraged by a favorable change in 2010 to the regulations towards exporters to China. According to iResearch, the cross-border e-commerce business accounted for over 6% of the overall China e-commerce business in 2015 and has grown upwards of 50% annually (versus +26% for overall e-commerce). Reported by eMarketer,31% of online Chinese shoppers have bought on cross-border e-commerce platforms in 2015, and over 21% of the total population is expected to do so by 2018. A large number of factors explain why the Chinese are attracted by cross-border online shopping. First of all, they have a strong interest in new brands and products which aren’t necessarily available in the domestic market. Secondly, products sold through cross-border are often cheaper than those distributed via traditional channels, partly thanks to favorable tax regulations. Thirdly, shoppers on cross-border e-commerce sites mostly look for genuine products and therefore feel some degree of protection from counterfeit goods. What is La Boutique France? With the support of the French government agency Business France (the agency specialized in the internationalization of the French economy) and Alibaba, the French postal company has launched a multi-brand store on Tmall Global accessible at laposte.tmall.hk. By setting up La Boutique France, Geopost has actually followed other national post operators such as Royal Mail, Australia post and New Zealand post which have already setup national boutiques in the past years. Several brands are already available on the Boutique France: Arcancil (cosmetics), Parashop, Bioderma, Bi-Oil, Uriage (skincare), Baghera (kids), Regilait (food) and more brands, including some famous names, are expected to join the program in the coming weeks. Arcancil was the first brand to join “La Boutique France” on Tmall Global France is late but now accelerating! Although France has a lot to offer in terms of brands and products, it is not yet a primary destination for Chinese online shoppers who buy from overseas. Indeed, France doesn’t appear in the top 5 countries on Tmall Global according to the latest “Annual Report on Tmall Global Data 2016” by Tmall Global and CBNData.  However, France and China have recently joined forces in order to facilitate a higher penetration of French products into China. The worldwide e-commerce giant Alibaba has committed to favor the promotion of French brands on its marketplaces and has established a qualification program in partnership with Business France for businesses willing to join the cross-border e-commerce program. As partners of Business France in this initiative to get closer to the Chinese giant, La Poste group has chosen to primarily help SMEs to take their first step on the largest e-commerce market worldwide. La Boutique France guarantees the authenticity of their products to the Chinese consumers, and promotes a French “art de vivre”. As a result, French online merchants now have access to a global selling-distribution offer, which includes the following services: uploading products online, managing orders, guaranteeing payments, prompting brands to build their awareness in China, shipping orders, clearing customs, delivering to the the end consumer’s household, as well as  customer service in Chinese. As a French business, why should you join La Boutique France? Geopost offers several advantages, such as: Allowing you to sell in China on Tmall Global and access their 650 million clients without the necessity to get a license Selling in China with a fast time-to-market (within 2 months) Providing a full-service e-commerce operations solution Taking advantage of a discounted pricing on shipping (handled by La Poste transport operators Geopost and Colissimo), as well as a marketing investment from La Poste group (over 1 million € per year) to build brand equity Reasonable investment requirements: a flat annual fee of 70 K€ for a 12-month subscription, 60 K€ per year for a 24-month commitment and even 50 K€ per year for a 36-month commitment (vs. a minimum of several hundreds K€ per year when setting up your own flagship store on Tmall Global and promoting it). Reduced risk of financial loss by adding La Boutique France’s offer to your BPI France export ensured budget I am a French brand, how could I join the program? If you represent a French business or a French brand, it’s possible to join the La Boutique France’s program. You are eligible to sell on La Boutique France if: Your brand is registered in France You have the brand’s authorization to sell in China Your products have a potential in China(1) Your products are authorized for airfreight For more information, feel free to download the full offer from Geopost (in French) and check the official video. If you are interested in joining La Boutique France, or would like to get additional information, please contact: Thibault Boiron (based in China), Managing Partner at altima° (tboiron (at) altima-agency.cn) Marc Lissak (based in France), La Boutique France Director at La Poste Group (marc.lissak (at) geopostgroup.com) And follow La Boutique France on Wechat: (1) La Boutique France's team can check your products' China e-market potential. Feel free to contact us to find out more.
China’s digital market evolves at a great pace. The incredible WeChat’s growth over the past 5 years is a clear illustration of China’s capacity and tendency to shake up users' habits, imposing brands to continuously adapt its marketing tactics and strategy in order to succeed.
China’s digital market evolves at a great pace. The incredible WeChat’s growth over the past 5 years is a clear illustration of China’s capacity and tendency to shake up users' habits, imposing brands to continuously adapt its marketing tactics and strategy in order to succeed. Arnaud Rofidal, altima° Asia’s CEO, evokes, in an Interview given to The French Chamber of Commerce in China’s magazine - Connexions: China, The Digital Revolution, China’s market characteristics along with the challenges for brands that these involve, among which the absolute necessity to be responsive to catch up with the latest marketing trends. To read the interview (in french, page 31), click on the below picture.
In China, users’ trust is key. Baidu, which experienced a series of scandals in the past few years due to the exposition of unreliable information, is trying to win back the trust of users on search results.
In China, when it comes to marketing (both online and offline), cultivating users’ trust is key. Baidu, which experienced a series of scandals in the past few years due to the exposition of unreliable information, is trying to win back the trust of users on search results. One illustration is given on the paid search results area, where Baidu reduced the numbers of ads, and made them more explicitly recognizable so that users can easily identify these as actual ads. Baidu also took actions on organic search results. In November 2016, the Chinese giant launched a new feature to protect official websites via its webmaster tool: Baidu Zhanzhang. The tool has been designed to prioritize the ranking of official websites on brand keywords, and therefore to further enhance the credibility and reliability of natural search results. It does happen that sometimes, when users search brand keywords on Baidu, fake brand websites appear in the results, impacting users’ experience and generating potential risks. Obviously, this does not only affect Baidu’s credibility, but also, and more importantly, brand sites themselves. When fake brand websites compete for rankings on brand keywords, official brand websites face challenges on both organic traffic and brand reputation sides. As shown below, a fake site positioned itself on Decathlon’s brand keywords, so whenever users typed in Decathlon in Chinese on Baidu (迪卡侬), it would appear as the first organic search result, before Decathlon’s website itself.  Decathlon's official website was in the 2nd position To solve this issue, we leveraged Baidu’s new tool - Baidu ZhanZhang - and its protection feature, submitting brand related keywords for Decathlon. the submitted brand keywords approved by Baidu After about a week, all submitted keywords were approved by Baidu. We then ran a test, searching Decathlon on Baidu, and indeed, the ranking was changed: Decathlon’s official website went up to the 1st spot, while the previous fake one disappeared from the top 3 results. Decathlon's genuine website now takes the first spot in organic results  Brands can submit up to three brand keywords for PC and mobile respectively. Once Baidu confirms these keywords, official websites are treated preferentially. It is also possible to report fake websites to Baidu, which will investigate and find a solution in order to protect genuine brand sites. Today, more and more brand sites are using this new feature, which has proven its usefulness and efficacy in a world where trust is a key factor of success.
Despite the fast changes the Chinese Internet landscape has experienced over the past few years, search engines continue to be an essential gateway for online researches. SEO therefore remains a well-adapted asset for current marketing challenges as much for brand reputation as for the generation of conversion.
Despite the fast changes the Chinese Internet landscape has experienced over the past few years, search engines continue to be an essential gateway for online researches. SEO therefore remains a well-adapted asset for current marketing challenges as much for brand reputation as for the generation of conversion. During the Breakfast Series organized by Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and held in Shanghai last month, our Managing Partner, Thibault Boiron, and myself, Suki Yang, Senior SEO Manager, shared our expertise on making good use of SEO in China and our knowledge on China online marketing. After introducing China SEO characteristics and China market specificities, we discussed the best way to leverage SEO in China, which revolves around the following three axes: Increasing your brand visibility through the creation of valuable and relevant content for users Maximizing ROI by combining SEO & Paid Search Controlling your brand's online reputation  To download the full presentation, click on the below picture:
With a population lately estimated around 720 million netizens and active at 85% every day, China internet has now become a gigantic node of interactions that brands need to constantly monitor to catch the latest trends and continue delivering successful services & products. At the heart of this new challenge: the tracking of quantitative and qualitative data.
With a population estimated around 720 million netizens and active at 85% every day, China internet has become a gigantic node of interactions that brands need to constantly monitor to catch the latest trends and continue delivering successful services & products. At the heart of this new challenge: the tracking of quantitative and qualitative data. Upon this inaugural article of the analytics series, we will dress up an overview of the Chinese analytics market over its different facets: characteristics, trends, challenges and tools. #1 Paid media concentrate most of attention Paid media (PPC & Display) historically dominate advertising digital investments, driven by the needs of reaching the masses and catching a maximum of visibility. However, while related technologies have gradually improved along the past years, allowing to target much more precisely specific audiences (e.g. programmatic buying), lots of marketers have continued to pilot their campaigns through generic KPIs, originally around ad centric measurement (impressions, clicks, CTR), but also more recently around site-centric measurement (pageviews, bounce-rate, conversions). In addition, Chinese paid media market also includes lots of fake traffic (robots) perturbing global analysis. As a direct consequence, the measure and comparison of the performance (ROI) between the different acquisition channels often remain unclear while efficient solutions actually exist (we will describe one below). #2 The Chinese internet: a complex terrain From a technical perspective now, the Chinese internet remains a constant challenge for digital analytics for two main reasons: Market is split between different ecosystems At the opposite of the West standards, China internet appears to be vertically organized around three pillars: Social media platforms (Wechat, Weibo, etc.) answering specific Chinese needs for feedbacks and interactions with brands Marketplaces (Taobao/Tmall, JingDong, etc.) concentrating most of online shopping activities Third-party websites (brands, portals, etc.) serving the informational needs about products and services And, as no bespoke user-centric analytics solution has been available on the market so far, data need to be aggregated manually from separate sources in order to draw the most accurate picture of the digital property, at the cost of a tedious (and time consuming) work. But one more time, solutions exist. Market is quickly evolving As many already know, China is a place where everything is used to going a little faster than anywhere else in the world. This characteristic is especially true on the Internet where technologies drive constant new usage and ease. 2016 has therefore been the year of the mobile with a penetration rate of over 90% of total Chinese netizens. Here also, this new trend came along with some tracking technical issues such as the accurate recognition of “phablets” (huge smartphones between mobile and tablet devices that knew a certain success in China). #3 Latest analytics trends On top of the specific market & technic issues mentioned above, China digital analytics will also face more global challenges in 2017:     - Attribution: understanding the relations between the different acquisition levers that lead to the final conversion, to optimize advertising investments. - Conversion Rate Optimization: optimizing on-site user experience to maximize conversions without massive increase of investment. - Data visualization: drawing performance report through clear indicators to detect trends ahead and smooth decision-making process. #4 Web analytics tools Originally existing through a myriad of tools developed either by brands or web agencies and mainly based on server logs, Chinese web analytics tools remained for a long time limited to basic tracking only. However, rapid developments in the digital landscape helped revamp the offer. Below is a list of what we believe are the most representative tools on the market today. Google Analytics, the reference Often falsely accused of perturbing page loading time when not of being totally blocked (as is the Google suite in China), the tool still appears as one of the most effective solution available on the market and is often quoted as much for its tracking flexibility (making possible to track international campaigns over different sources and mediums - e.g. PPC, affiliation, programmatic buying), as for its flexible reports allowing to cross metrics and dimensions together, and therefore accessing data at an unprecedented level, eventually driving analytics to its latest extensions: bringing UX and technical insights. Baidu Tongji, the complementary tool As often in China, local competitors imitate leading products: Baidu Tongji is probably the most emblematic example. However, if Baidu Tongji mostly focus on chasing after Google Analytics - but always a bit behind the times, marketers still refer to it for local search campaigns as the tool is, for instance, the unique way to retrieve Baidu SEO keywords. Google Data Studio, the game changer Newcome of the Google suite, Data Studio aims at providing powerful reports that talk to their target thanks to a simple and intuitive layout. While the tool was initially conceived to dynamically retrieve data from Google Analytics, it also supports manual imports allowing the display of data coming from other channels (social media, etc), which turn it into a well-adapted tool for the Chinese market situation, Also: read our detailed introduction of Google Data Studio. Conclusion In 2016, while the Chinese internet has finally found its DNA, China slowing economy has led brands to develop sustainable growth, and yet, only a few of them have chosen to take advantages of the (numerous) analytics benefits, mostly for lack of knowledge. In the next articles of this series, altima° China digital analytics experts will share concrete insights to help you better understand and handle this critical phase in your digital adventures. Stay tuned.

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