What Can China’s Social Commerce Teach Marketers In The US?

It has been predicted that China’s eCommerce revenues will overtake that of the US thereby becoming the world’s #1 global market.  However, it appears that China is already 5 years ahead of us where the integration of shopping and social behaviours.  There are 2 primary differences between China’s online behaviour and that of the US:

  • First and foremost, internet users in the US are “content consumers” whereas those in China are “content creators.”
  • Second, the gap between the consumption of social media and empowered consumer purchasing still exists in the US. Conversely, with the use of social media, Chinese users have simultaneously achieved substantial purchasing power.

Consequently, social media is the pillar of engagement and interaction where successful brands in China are concerned whereas it doesn’t play a significant role in US marketing activities.  Furthermore, Chines brands are embracing social influence and recognizing content value on eCommerce platforms while we still refuse to acknowledge the Chinese consumer’s online social tendencies.

So what can we learn from the Chinese model? In order to gain a sense of social commerce evolvement in the US, we should pay attention to how the Chinese have tightly integrated their social experiences with eCommerce.  The only way for any brand to command social media attention is by delivering services and utility.  Simply advertising on different social media platforms will only drive consumers away.  We have seen this happen with China’s Weibo and Facebook here in America.

If the US is going to keep pace with the Chinese and stay ahead of the game in social commerce, marketers have to include proof of social media in all marketing activities, prepare for conducting commerce when and where the consumer wants it, and shift the focus away from advertising on social media.