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 are 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 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 (the agency specialized in the internationalization of the French economy) 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 Geopost), 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 700 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 get reach out to us to know more.
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 Senior SEO Manager, Suki Yang, shared their expertise on making good use of SEO in China and their knowledge on China online marketing. After introducing China SEO characteristics and China market specificities, they 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.
The booming Chinese e-commerce market makes a compelling case for global brands to localise their platform and services. The stake of not adapting is rather high, not to say radically disqualifying. Here, we provide a handful of tips which are worth considering when localizing your e-commerce platform.
The booming Chinese e-commerce market makes a compelling case for global brands to localise their platform and services. The stake of not adapting is rather high, not to say radically disqualifying. Here, we provide a handful of tips which are worth considering when localizing your e-commerce platform. 1) Online Chat Presence “One of the most distinctive online habits among Chinese consumers is the tendency to prefer instant messaging (IM) over e-mail. For instance, 87 percent of Chinese digital consumers use the Internet for IM” - BCG report “China’s Digital Generations 2.0 When it comes to online shopping, most Chinese consumers don’t take it lightly. When encountering an inquiry which requires an answer, according to researches, most shoppers prefer talking directly to customer services over waiting for an email reply. As different as it might sound, potential customers will be more likely to be turned away if a live chat is not properly implemented on your e-commerce site, regardless of how established your brand is at a global scale. In fact, most e-commerce websites in China are equipped with at least 2 formats of live chat for shoppers to choose from, especially highlighted in the product detail page where users need the most support. While localizing its content for the China market,  the korean online shopping site, Stylenanda, implemented a live chat in a prominent place: Booking.com puts its 24/7 hotline at the bottom of the page: altima° helped one of its clients, Thomas Cook, bringing their service to China. Live chat is among one of the UX improvements which was later implemented on their new site. 2) Easy Single Sign In The popularity of emails in China is not as high as in Western countries except for working purposes. Thus, for the local market, there are two common ways to login and register: through third party platforms or mobile numbers. Websites could be directly using the information retrieved from third party platforms by using third-party login, which helps save time for users to register. In addition to that, using mobile numbers to register is not only convenient for users to manage the account, but also good for the brand to ensure the authenticity of users information. Users can login with their WeChat and/or Weibo account on Tripadvisor’s Chinese site. Amazon.cn uses mobile numbers and WeChat accounts as the approach to register. Local social media accounts and mobile numbers can also be used to log in on Sephora.cn. 3) Category/Navigation Bar Major Chinese e-commerce websites use two kinds of navigation bars: the vertical mega menu on the left side, which helps refine the classification of products, and the horizontal navigation bar on top. Case: My protein is an European leading sport nutrition brand. When localizing their online shopping website in China, they split their sport supplements and protein powders into different categories, while it was only one on the original site. Instead of putting sport supplements in the navigation bar, they create a “Foodie” area on their Chinese website, considering that Asians put great attention to food related things. Skyscanner adds traveling inspirations and App downloading on their Chinese website. PayPal translated their navigation to fit the Chinese context, and add the receive the payment of foreign trade part according to Chinese use cases. Decathlon.cn changes their horizontal menu to the mega menu and highlights the sports filter. 4) The Uprising Social Media Tools in China        “ Social media is the key to success for e-commerce companies in China. ” A brand that wants to attract as many Chinese customers as possible do not want to miss out Chinese social media tools, such as Wechat and Weibo. Weibo is known as the “Chinese Twitter”, and it has become one of the most influential Social Network Service (SNS) in China. The other one, Wechat, would be more like a mobile Facebook, adapted to the Chinese market. As most of the transactions on Wechat happen between acquaintances, the conversion rate is subsequently higher on Wechat than on Weibo, given that sharings and recommendations coming from friends are more likely to striking than neutral postings. There is another online social community that’s worth mentioning, which is Zhihu. Zhihu is a Chinese version of Quora which captures a considerable amount of frequent and loyal users. It is no wonder that it has become the rising star among PR specialists from different brands. Overall, most companies use local social media platforms to promote and run campaigns. However, these could also be potentially leveraged to offer better customer services. Users could indeed follow social media accounts to ask questions and gain information on the products and services they are interested in. For example, some airline companies are starting to offer check-in services to users on their Wechat public account. The most relevant function related to social media on cross-border e-commerce platforms is sharing. Share buttons are usually put under the product’s picture or under the product’s title. Sometimes, when there is too much information on the product’s page, websites put share buttons on the right floating bar. To share product pages via Wechat, users can scan the related QR code. Amazon.cn puts local social media share icons under the product title. The Chinese version of TripAdvisor does not only highlight sharing functions on the right hand side, but also promotes their WeChat account under the photo gallery. While designing Bioderma’s Chinese website, we implemented share icons under the CTA, with a highlighted social media account link on the sticky bar, at the bottom. 5) Always Another Promotion Around the Corner! To leverage the mainstream sub-culture, most e-commerce websites regularly provide special local promotions to attract users. In recent years, merchants would manufacture “festivals” such as “11.11”, “12.12”, and “5.20”, to use them as the stunts for sales and promotions. In general, the information of promotion is put forward on banners, on the first screen. Here is how Sephora promotes their 11.11 sales information. Estee Lauder highlights the 11.11 campaign on their Chinese website in order to attract their targeted customers. Amazon.cn puts a slideshow in order to display their series of promotion event. 6) Trust is The Gold It is easy for shoppers to be skeptical while shopping online, hence the need of reassuring your customers on the fact that you are a reliable seller. As a matter of fact, there is very often a message of trust on Chinese e-commerce websites. For example, customers of fashion e-commerce websites are looking for proof of products authenticity and returning policy conditions. Reassuring notices are usually put on the header or on the pre-footer of the website. Clarins displays reassuring messages on the first screen of its Chinese website. Lookfantastic shows trust notices again on the checkout. Clinique’s Chinese website displays messages of trust on the product detail page. 7) Customer Info Regarding customers information, there are a couple of differences as well. For instance, Chinese users are usually not asked to fill in the post code. Unlike other citizens, most Chinese people don't know their exact post code, which anyway does not have any impact on the shipping process. Another specific information is the Fapiao. Fapiao are official invoices, registered at the local tax bureau, which are used as a final proof-of-purchase of a good or service. When purchasing goods for business use, consumers ask for a Fapiao as a proof. Not being able to provide Fapiaos to Chinese customers would constitute a large disadvantage compared to the competition. Estee Lauder has also changed the checkout form to ask for the user’s full name instead of his/her first and last names, in addition to adding a Fapiao field. 8) Tap, Scan and Pay Research shows that more than half of Chinese online shoppers would like to pay through third-party online payment platforms. In China, this business is blooming thanks to Alipay, WeChat pay and UnionPay (Quick & Online). Owned by Alibaba Group, Alipay is by far the biggest third-party payment platform. Aside from facilitating online transactions, Alipay has been diversifying their services, which include Yu’ebao - an online investment fund, and Ant Financial - an online financial service provider. WeChat Pay, developed by the IM giant Tencent, gained its popularity by offering a wide range of public services through it. As for UnionPay, it is the only domestic bank card issuer. While more than 70% of Chinese customers are using Alipay and Wechat pay, UnionPay failed to accumulate a user base as well as killer use cases. Over the course of time, using Alipay or Wechat payment is considered by most consumers as more convenient than using traditional Union Pay channels. Users can directly scan sellers’ QR code which supports Wechat or Alipay to pay the orders. Compared to filling all the bankcard information, scan and pay has quickly became the trend. E-commerce websites Revolve.com and lookfantastic.com added Alipay payment on their Chinese website. Club Med’s Chinese website – designed and developed by altima°, offers Alipay and Union pay as the 2 main methods of payment. 9) Real Inputs from Your Users Due to the lack of trust on product’s quality, more than 60% of Chinese customers tend to make payment decisions through product reviews. On most of the Chinese e-commerce websites, users are allowed to post opinions with pictures, and, are able to ask questions to those who already bought the product. Product reviews do not only allow users to know more about the product, but also encourage them to proceed to the transaction. Lancome’s and Bioderma’s Chinese site have added quite a lot of information on the product, compared to a short description on the original platforms.
"[在altima] 我们并不怕失败或者犯错,因为我们总是从中学到很多,然后一直进步。在这里大家都很包容,我们更快地成长,越来越宽容,越来越勇于创造,我们终将会越来越好。" 沈思在德国学习生活了将近六年, 她在那儿学习了德语并且完成了她的硕士学位,毕业专业为“国际管理与信息系统”。她第一次参与工作是在斯图加特的戴姆勒总部,然而在2016年的7月,她决定离开贝多芬的故乡回到中国。在altima°北京,作为数字项目的执行,她继续着她的职业生涯。年轻、充满活力,沈思勇于担当、敢于负责,很快成为了队伍中的重要一员。
"[在altima] 我们并不怕失败或者犯错,因为我们总是从中学到很多,然后一直进步。在这里大家都很包容,我们更快地成长,越来越宽容,越来越勇于创造,我们终将会越来越好。" 沈思在德国学习生活了将近六年, 她在那儿学习了德语并且完成了她的硕士学位,毕业专业为“国际管理与信息系统”。她第一次参与工作是在斯图加特的戴姆勒总部,然而在2016年的7月,她决定离开贝多芬的故乡回到中国。在altima°北京,作为数字项目的执行,她继续着她的职业生涯。年轻、充满活力,沈思勇于担当、敢于负责,很快成为了队伍中的重要一员。 在接下来的采访里,你会了解到她是怎样融入altima°的 你为什么会选择离开有好吃的巧克力和酸菜的国度——德国,回到中国呢? 沈思:  因为中国的美食。这可能听上去不是很严肃,但是我肯定很多在外国呆了很久的中国人都会同意。我太想念国内的食物了,实在没有什么吃的可以与中国的媲美。 当然,这是我回来的原因之一。另外我也很想念我的家人,回国的话可以离他们更近点。更重要的是,从职业的角度上来看,中国现在是一个很好的选择。经济发展相对活跃,提供了较多的机会。相比之下,德国情况变得比较严峻,特别是作为一个外国人,在事业上想要有进一步的发展是比较难的。 你在世界上最大的企业之一戴姆勒工作过;那么在中国,你期望怎样的企业文化呢? 沈思:  在来altima°之前,我也收到了其他公司的工作邀请。其中有一个来自一家有名的IT公司——位于北京的中国总部。但是,我犹豫了。和很多人一样,我被这样享有盛誉的公司吸引了:巨大的公司规模,世界科技的领导者。但是,我相信实事上可能由于成熟的本土化,在这些公司工作并没有那么有趣:内部结构会比较复杂甚至繁冗,作风也比较传统。我还没有准备好在那样的环境下工作,至少现在没有。我希望公司不只是把员工当生产机器,而是可以真正地去关心他们的发展。在这样的公司里你可以不断地提高你自己的能力,你可以有空间表达自己的想法,并且不用过于忧虑所说的每一句话会不会带来潜在的不好的影响。一个好的公司应该是一个我每天醒来都很乐意去工作的地方。另外,工作和生活的平衡对我来说也很重要。 除了以上这些,我想加入到年轻有活力的队伍当中去。这样往往会有更多的创新的想法,并且去实现他们。 当你来的altima°北京的的时候,你的第一印象是什么? 沈思: 非常年轻能干的团队。在这里,我们年轻,所以我们无畏前行。我们并不怕失败或者犯错,因为我们总是从中学到很多,然后一直进步。在这里大家都很包容,我们更快地成长,越来越宽容,越来越勇于创造,我们终将会越来越好。这里,同事更像是朋友,这让工作氛围更温暖,更令人愉快。 你在altima°北京的职位和具体工作是什么呢? 沈思: 我的职位是项目执行,负责数字化项目,包括网页产品和社交媒体活动。从项目的初期概念到最终实行,我参与制定数字化战略,与团队一起分析客户的目标和特性,以保证客户在中国这样一个竞争力和独特性都很强的市场上成功。现在,我正负责茱莉亚学院的项目,帮助他们通过社交媒体平台,提高他们的品牌在中国市场的知名度。这些任务对我来说都是非常好的学习机会。考虑到我们提供多种多样的专业服务,从网页的建设、本土化,到搜索引擎的营销、网页分析、社交媒体和市场营销管理,我有大把的机会学习各种技能。 除了工作,你很快地承担起组里的其他责任,你现在是快乐大使(Ministry of Happiness)的一员,并且也是团队建设的负责人之一。你主要都做些什么呢? 沈思: 在altima°,我们的口号是“快乐制造”, 所以我们成立了一个队伍(人人都可以加入)致力于改善我们的工作生活,增进公司各个办公室之间的沟通(北京办公室,上海办公室,很快将开设香港办公室)。我们经常会讨论一些很棒的想法,最近我们有了一个开通现场直播的点子,让中国的办公室之间可以通过及时视频来更好地沟通。 我们还有专门负责团队建设的,准备每次的团建活动。我们定期提供一些有趣的活动建议,然后通过投票的方式做决定。我们不仅可以一起开心地玩耍,还加强了团队的凝结力。 我觉得这些理念都太棒了,所以一当我得知,我就决定加入了。 你在altima°已经四个月了,你会愿意推荐别人来altima°工作吗? 沈思: 当然。其实我已经这么做了。而且,我的朋友们都知道我在这儿很开心。尽管有时候在北京我们的队友会说我听不懂的法语,但是我还是很乐意在这儿工作的。