British Haircare Brand ghd on How to Prepare for China’s Largest Shopping Festival 11.11

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Podcast OpenYou’re listening to Alicast, a deep dive into revolutionary and rising traits in e-commerce, on-line funds and digital leisure, introduced to you by Alibaba Group.

In this dialog, Alison Tudor-Ackroyd talks with Davin Leong, managing director for Asia Pacific at British hairstyling and equipment model ghd, about China’s fast-growing hair care market and participating in China’s largest buying competition, 11.11.

They dig into what manufacturers want to do to make a profitable 11.11 debut.

Other subjects lined embody how and when to use Alibaba’s Hey Box to launch new merchandise within the Chinese market.

Leong spoke with us from Shanghai the place he’s based mostly. He has labored in China for over 5 years and within the magnificence business for over 15 years.

ghd was based in Leeds in 2001 and launched in China with Alibaba’s Tmall Global in April. It sells roughly 2 million stylers yearly.

In 2016, the model grew to become a part of the Coty Professional Beauty division, however final yr, Coty bought a majority stake in its skilled enterprise — together with the Wella, Clairol and OPI manufacturers, as well as to ghd — to world personal fairness agency KKR. As a part of the transaction, Coty acquired web money proceeds of about US$2.5 billion and nonetheless retains a 40 % stake within the enterprise.

ghd’s launch occasion in China, April 23, 2021. Photo: ghd

Below is a transcript of this Alicast, edited for readability and brevity

Alison Tudor-Ackroyd: To kick off, may you inform us Davin, have you ever taken half in any buying festivals in China?Davin Leong:First of all thanks for having me on the present. To reply your query, I’ve undoubtedly been concerned in quite a lot of these main buying festivals in China. The apparent one which comes to thoughts could be the 6.18 buying competition. And then clearly the logical one is 11.11. These two are big buying festivals and large buying events for Chinese shoppers. Why? Because quite a lot of manufacturers take the chance to showcase their newest and best, and naturally there are value-added incentives for shoppers to make purchases. You can definitely see that the entire client market main up, to whether or not it’s 6.18 or 11.11, the months, the weeks main up to these two buying home windows, there’s simply quite a lot of pleasure.Brands clearly interact the media, attempting to get much more consciousness out prior to the beginning of the buying competition. So, for ghd we’ve partnered up with Tmall very carefully on these from its infancy stage with Tmall Global, beginning in 2018 and extra just lately, after we first began our Tmall China enterprise. We additionally participated within the 6.18 buying competition. So actually working carefully with Tmall to actually carry extra pleasure to the Chinese shoppers and in addition extra pleasure to the ghd shoppers as properly.Alison Tudor-Ackroyd: How far upfront do you begin planning for a significant buying competition?Davin Leong: It takes months to actually put one thing compelling collectively. And it’s not only a one-sided initiative, that means it’s not only a model however on the identical time, it’s not simply Tmall, simply to quote an instance. It’s actually a partnership, by which I imply either side want to actually strategize, actually put collectively a compelling business provide on the identical time, and to actually put in place a robust media marketing campaign.

And these items do take somewhat little bit of strategizing, somewhat little bit of planning by way of the way you need to allocate your sources accordingly. So, for instance, for Double 11 it might be simply November, however yearly the expectation modifications, and it’s getting lots sooner for manufacturers, for shoppers to begin to get thinking about what’s coming on the eleventh of November.We begin to plan as early as June, July. So, it appears somewhat bit odd that you’ve got a 6.18 promotion and straight after that, you’re actually beginning to plan what’s arising on November 11. So, we take part in lots of issues, from, for instance, a smaller buying event in September, the place it’s arguably a testbed to see if in case you have bought your model technique in addition to your business technique proper. And if in case you have, completely satisfied days.

Tmall will share with you somewhat bit extra by way of what’s to come from October, the early a part of November, and also you begin to strategize somewhat bit extra by way of your media activations. And if you happen to don’t, then clearly there’s a distinct dialog the place you have got to in a short time begin to make some changes so that you simply’re in a position to then course right and just be sure you have all of your geese lined up to guarantee that you’ve got the precise engagement and the precise visibility in arguably a really aggressive atmosphere throughout a really key buying window.So yeah, it takes an excellent variety of months of planning, and typically you’d additionally require to plan as far forward as 12 to 18 months out. Largely since you’re not simply the one participant in any given class. As manufacturers, we have now a accountability to pitch somewhat bit forward, excite our prospects in Tmall to see what’s arising. Whether there’s an innovation for instance, or an enormous media marketing campaign main up to November 11. So, it takes quite a lot of planning and it’s not only a easy activation identical to what we have now skilled 20 years in the past while you’re collaborating in an enormous brick-and-mortar buying competition. Today it’s totally different, for certain.Alison Tudor-Ackroyd: How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted retailers of their planning for 11.11. Has it made supply-chain administration and much more superior planning forward of a significant buying competition much more crucial?Davin Leong: Absolutely so, as a result of I don’t suppose there’s one model, one firm, one nation that has not felt the results of the pandemic from a provide chain standpoint. So, definitely, I feel what it actually requires us as a model to do is to be very, very shut to the market, very, very shut to our prospects and really shut to our shoppers as properly. So I feel in some ways, it provides somewhat bit extra colour to what I stated earlier by way of having that ahead planning, you realize taking months forward by way of planning and an association to just be sure you have enough sources in place, enough stock and in addition on the identical time planning along with Tmall, for instance, by way of what’s to come. Tmall’s clearly our strategic companion.We definitely need to be sure that all activations are carried out to a degree that either side are [happy]. We definitely place quite a lot of emphasis on execution. So we definitely want to handle our stock lots higher. In doing so, we actually want to have a good distance off by way of managing our provide chain and ensuring that we have now enough shares to fulfill the calls for of the Chinese client.

Watch to study what’s Alibaba’s Hey Box

Alison Tudor-Ackroyd: Can you inform us somewhat bit about what you’ve bought deliberate for 11.11. You’ve just lately had a product launch, are you going to be constructing on that momentum?Davin Leong: We simply got here out of an enormous collaboration with Tmall, the place we participated in Hey Box, Xiao Hei He in Chinese, Was a joint collaboration between Tmall and ghd, the place we took the chance to introduce what we actually time period as a game-changer within the styler market within the coiffure market, the place we launched younger ghd unplugged, which is a cordless hair styler. We utilized this as an enormous occasion that helped us to showcase what the model stands for. And on the identical time additionally what Tmall is in a position to carry to the Chinese market successfully new, revolutionary merchandise to the Chinese market.

Obviously, there’s quite a lot of planning behind this and we’re completely excited by way of the outcomes thus far, however because the age-old saying goes, the straightforward half has been carried out, that means, having a bodily occasion. The difficult half is how will we maintain the curiosity of a Chinese client. And due to this fact, we have now a longer-term technique by way of our media, a longer-term technique by way of our partnership with Tmall. So, we have now actions in October that may assist us to proceed to drive engagement, constructing model consciousness, main up into November 11, the place we’ll come again as soon as once more, with the unplugged story and the proposition, and on the identical time, placing collectively a few of our key blockbuster merchandise for instance, platinum plus, which is our cream-of-the-crop hair styler. And bringing out the entire story of what ghd stands for, which is clearly, enjoying within the premium sector of the market, having the ability to present shoppers with a broad dimension by way of their magnificence hair wants.

So, we’ll be bringing out much more business provides to shoppers, however extra importantly, it’s to actually showcase what the model stands for, which is clearly about hair. We work with skilled stylists, we’re a classy model in a classy enterprise the place we all know all issues about traits, hair and our partnerships with celebrities, influencers and the like. We will likely be clearly leveraging quite a lot of our partnerships and influences to carry the story out to the shoppers significantly throughout November 11.

ghd celebrates its China launch by way of Tmall in type

Alison Tudor-Ackroyd: Last query from me. I feel the world is intrigued by what’s occurring in China’s e-commerce market extra broadly. And you’ve been in China a few years now. I’d have an interest to hear what your key studying is about how Chinese consumers behave and the way manufacturers corresponding to ghd have to have to react to the market and what can executives and the remainder of the world study from this buying habits that’s going to be seen writ massive throughout 11.11.Davin Leong: We have to acknowledge that the Chinese shoppers of right this moment are definitely extra demanding. They’re definitely extra discerning and definitely extra prosperous. So, they’re extra well-read, traveled, extra uncovered. So, if you happen to put all of these items collectively, they’re definitely extra demanding. So, what it means is for manufacturers like ourselves, we have now to be very, very clear by way of who we’re and the way will we as a model relate to the Chinese client. So, having the dialog with the model, it’s extra essential than ever earlier than by which, I imply, once more, it’s is now not relevant the place you have got an excellent product and also you suppose that it’s an essential model from someplace exterior of China.And it really works, it doesn’t. Chinese shoppers are definitely, as I stated, extra demanding, and we definitely want to reply quite a lot of questions to their wants and desires. The world of digital has already given them extra entry to data by way of what manufacturers are and what merchandise are. So, we definitely want to be very robust and genuine by way of who we’re and the way are we’re in a position to present the related and proper merchandise to meet client expectations. I feel past that, it’s additionally having the appreciation by way of how briskly and fast the market is. So actually having that capability to be nimble agile, versatile by way of how we go about doing enterprise, how we go about partaking shoppers at each touchpoint.Consumers lately are very cellular, proper? Everything to them, it’s on their cellular machine. So, whether or not is it from their cellular e-payments or how do they work together and talk with their pals, colleagues, et cetera, the social engagements are all carried out via the machine. So, we want to be very current you realize to the shoppers and in addition understanding, you realize, various kinds of shoppers in various kinds of totally different elements of their journey and the connection with the model. So, having that capability to learn and perceive, and be very focused to who we would like to communicate to and the way we would like to communicate with the totally different shoppers can also be very crucial. And due to this fact that’s the place the good thing about working with Tmall comes into play, the place we’re in a position to assess, you realize, information, client information that clearly the Tmall system is in a position to present for us to give you the chance to chart our course very tactically, however on the identical time strategically, that may assist us to make extra knowledgeable decisions.And on the identical time, be extra optimum by way of our engagement and investments, as a result of on the finish of the day, for manufacturers like ourselves and in addition within the curiosity of Tmall, regardless of doing all the pieces that I’ve spoken of about model engagement, it’s actually about creating the site visitors into the shops and ensuring that we try this conversion and in the end registering the transaction. Right. So actually understanding the patron journey and being related at each single touchpoint of the patron. I feel it’s very crucial. And whether or not on a robust buying competition like November 11, or simply on a day-to-day degree, I feel the power to work very carefully with a companion like Tmall it’s very, crucial, significantly for a model like ours.We should not a mass model the place we have now a large distribution. We are selective by way of the place our manufacturers will likely be current. And we clearly selected to work with Tmall very carefully for causes as I shared earlier. But additionally, as an extension to that Tmall truly understands magnificence. And Tmall has clearly the expertise and the credibility by way of constructing manufacturers. And due to this fact, you realize, we, we definitely see the good thing about truly working very carefully with Tmall as a robust companion. And I feel the outcomes that we have now seen in a really quick time frame have confirmed that this resolution is the precise one.Alison Tudor-Ackroyd: Thank you. Your insights are enormously appreciated. Thank you for your time. It’s been a pleasure having you right here right this moment.Davin Leong: Pleasure’s all mine. Thank you for the chat and wonderful to have this time with you.

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“Alicast” is a manufacturing of Alizila, the company newsroom of Alibaba. It’s produced by Monica Suk and edited by Alison Tudor-Ackroyd. If you’re in a podcast app already, please comply with “Alicast”. If you’re listening on Alizila’s web site and wish every new episode of “Alicast” delivered to you as they’re revealed, obtain any podcast app, then search for “Alicast” to comply with the present. Thank you for listening.

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