Taobao…The Land of Self-Trained Experts

The Chinese consumer is the smartest consumer I know. They know the global price point for all of their favorite brands and are very sophisticated in their research. The consumer often starts researching their purchases months before they’re ready to buy.

We recently launched an international baby brand, and we found that the average journey before purchase started 12 to 15 months BEFORE the child was even BORN! When we launch a brand that isn’t already activated in China, we have to adjust expectations because we’re essentially going to lose a year. But if you know that in advance, you can plan accordingly.

Another complaint we hear from global executives and is that they can’t tie their social media investments and all their activation work directly to sales, and it’s because the journeys are much longer and more drawn out. So do the research. Find out what the “experts” who are buying your products are doing before they buy. What does their consumer journey look like? I really encourage you to do this. Understanding the expert nature of Taobao shoppers and their extensive research cycle is key to understanding how to succeed online in China.

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