Over the past couple of years, China Influencer brands have emerged as 11.11 Singles Day sales powerhouses.
But it was this year that they really proved themselves.
For the first time in 11.11 Singles Day history, China Influencer brands broke into the top ten best-selling female fashion stores. By the end of Singles Day 2017, a total of 6 Influencer-run stores made it into the Top-30. Out of those six, four made over 100 million RMB in 11.11 Singles Day sales.
More China Influencer Brands 11.11 Singles Day Sales Stats:
- Within the first 10 minutes of Singles Day, revenue from stores managed by the blogger incubator 宸帆 reached a combined 100 million RMB. Within two hours, sales reached 200 million RMB.
- Within the first 30 minutes of Singles Day, Taobao stores run by famous Influencers Zhang Dayi and Cherie stormed into the Top-10 in the entire women’s apparel category. This was the first time Influencer-run stores have done that in Singles Day history.
- At the end of the day, 6 influencer stores made it onto the ranking of the Top-30 female apparel stores. That’s three more than last year.
- The Influencer-run store “ANNA IT IS AMAZING” ranked 7th overall in women’s apparel and Zhang Dayi’s store “吾欢喜的衣橱” ranked 8th.
- Four Influencer brands made over 100 million RMB:
- “ANNA IT IS AMAZING”, “吾欢喜的衣橱”, “钱夫人家雪梨定制” and “大喜自制独立复古女装”.
Who Are These Influencers?
For those who follow PARKLU’s blog, some of these names shouldn’t come as a surprise. They’ve been on our radar for a long time. Many had impressive 11.11 Singles Day sales last year, but this year they really knocked it out of the park.
Here’s a quick look at some of the Influencers behind these top-selling stores:
Taobao store: ANNA IT IS AMAZING (also known as ASM)
Born in 1985, Anna has been running her online store, headquartered in Hangzhou, for more than 7 years. Although she has nearly 2 million followers, very little is known about Anna’s personal life and her Weibo content is mainly related to fashion. Her style is a bit more sophisticated than some of the other top Influencer-run stores.
Taobao Store: 吾欢喜的衣橱
Zhang was born in Shanghai in 1988. She began her modeling career for Japanese style magazines like Rayli, ViVi, and Mina. After modeling for decades, she started her own business and launched a Taobao shop in 2014.
Zhang is considered the most business-savvy influencer in China. The same year she started working online, she published her first short video and became the first influencer to use videos to introduce her products. She was also the first Influencer to partner with the now-famous blogger incubator Ruhan.
Taobao Store: 钱夫人家雪梨定制
Born in 1990, Cheri (whose real name is朱宸慧) is the ex-girlfriend of Wang Si Cong, the only son of Chinese tycoon Wang Jianlin of Wanda Group. Leveraging her fame, Cherie opened her first Taobao shop with her classmates during her junior year at college.
Fast forward to today and Cherie is an incredibly successful businesswoman and soon-to-be mother. In a recent Weibo post, Cherie revealed her pregnancy. She encouraged Chinese women to become mothers during their careers, as motherhood, she argues, becomes another strong driver of success and to be a role model for your children.
What is the Secret to Their 11.11 Singles Day Sales Success?
They are not working alone:
China Influencer brands are advanced e-commerce operations run by blogger incubators. The influencers are the outward-facing personality of the brand and are responsible for developing a loyal audience who turns to them for fashion advice. Behind them, they have a large team managing logistics, manufacturing and social media content creation. Many of these stores are headquartered in Hangzhou right near the factories which allows them to save time and run their operations very efficiently.
They have a massive following on Weibo:
The majority of these influencers who have their own brands and Taobao stores are very influential on Weibo, for example, Zhang Dayi has 5.6 million followers and Cherie has 4.4 million. They spend an enormous amount of energy cultivating relationships with their followers and turning them into loyal fans and customers. Sharing new products and offers on Weibo has become an everyday part of running a Taobao store. These stores will actually preview items that they are working on and decide how many pieces to manufacture based on fan comments and engagement.
But why Weibo and not Another Social Platform?
There are three reasons for this:
- Weibo is an open social platform and content is easily shareable. Weibo’s paid promotion mechanisms also make it easier to spread a message to a large audience. Furthermore, because Weibo is an open platform, users can see each other’s comments and interact with each other as well.
- Weibo and Taobao have a partnership and have created Weibo Window, a frictionless shopping experience allowing followers to view a post with product links then directly purchase the item from the influencer’s Taobao store without ever leaving Weibo. It has been shown that Weibo users are 3x more likely to purchase a product through Weibo Window than through a store link in the post text.
- Weibo allows users to post a variety of content types including long-form videos- short-form videos, live streaming, Weibo Stories, photos, and articles.
Start Preparing Far in Advance:
While for most brands Singles Day is just one event out of many throughout the year, many of these China influencer brands build their entire yearly manufacturing and promotion schedules based on 11.11 Singles Day Sales.
They spend the early part of the year growing their audience, designing products, and creating customer loyalty through giveaways and other campaigns. They also design exclusive products available only on Singles Day. In the weeks prior to Singles Day, they will become extremely active on social media using a variety of content types to showcase their products. They will also share coupons with their followers. During the lead-up to this year’s Singles Day, from November 3rd through November 10th, Weibo influencers shared 2.83 million coupons with their followers.
The Future of China Influencer Brands
Currently, the majority of large China influencer brands are in the women’s fashion industry, but in the future, we will see them expanding into other areas such as cosmetics, baby, F&B, and fitness. This year the cosmetics store Mo Amour (美沫艾莫尔), founded by makeup influencer Zhang Mofan performed extremely well on Singles Day. Within the first 2 minutes of this year’s Singles Day, her store brought in more revenue than they did throughout the entire day on Singles Day last year.
While brands are still deciding whether or not influencer marketing works, Chinese influencers are creating their own stores and out-selling brands. Companies need to evolve and adapt their marketing strategies more quickly or risk being left in the dust.