Every day, we use the internet. We can use it to look up information, to interact with different persons around the world and even do some online shopping, to buy their maternity and baby goods. 10 years ago, who would have guessed that? For some people, it isn’t a habit yet, but in mainland China, online shopping is indispensable. The buyers don’t even use a regular computer or a laptop, instead they prefer their mobile device.

Over the last years we can definitely say that the number of online shoppers has skyrocketed. If we take a look at the growth from collected data, it shows that from 2013 till 2016 the number of online buyers has sharply increased by 301 million. In addition to that 90% of the purchases were made by consumers using their smartphone. Many e-commerce businesses have seen this development. And therefore, have created their own mobile marketing app to meet the consumers shopping expectations.

A few examples of businesses that have entered the online shopping platform are ‘’Ma Ma Lian Meng’’ (Mom Alliance) and ‘’Oct Momy.’’ These are subsidiaries of the parent company ‘’Gloctech Pty Ltd’’. Active on the social media app WeChat, these firms are selling maternity and baby goods through the online mall Ao Yi Gou.

In this article, you can read the experiences concerning e-commerce on WeChat of Chen Shan, the company’s president.

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Ma Ma Lian Meng (Mom Alliance): ‘’inner circle’’ friends

Ma Ma Lian Meng operates in a slightly different way to target a consumers group.

The firm target distinct companies to sell their maternity and baby goods but they do this in their closed inner circle network, which means they operate with a membership and recommendation system. To enter this closed inner circle network, you will need to do this with the aid of an existing member. With this method, its members know each other or are at least connected with one another.

An advantage of this is that the recommendations are sincere, which can help to eliminate fake reviews. this can contribute to a trustworthy atmosphere, where consumers could feel at ease.

Members of this e-commerce platform could also invite friends and family members. The bond between the members is closer and more personal, which can’t be achieved with a WeChat public account.

Ma Ma Lian Meng counts at this moment more than 2000 member groups, including companies such as: Tencent, Huawei, CRC, etc. In addition to that it has more than 1,600 large residential communities. In total, the Alliance has more than 400,000 users.

Word-of-mouth community

When parents purchase maternity and baby goods, they will often take the recommendations of another in consideration, according to Chen. Ma Ma Lian Meng is offers users a platform where they can exchange their recommendations, creating a word-of-mouth community.

As a result, the goods have in general a high quality, because you wouldn’t recommend something to ‘’inner circle’’ friends that’s not worth their money.

Oct Momy

The parent company Gloctech Pty Ltd has also founded a public account called Oct Momy to target a different consumer group. The e-commerce platform specializes in eight categories of imported goods:

  • infant formula and supplements
  • disposable diapers and other baby goods
  • cosmetics and skincare products
  • nutrition
  • household goods
  • personal care items
  • wellness
  • health care products

The objectives of this company are first of all, creating a fun environment for shoppers where they can share lifestyle tips and helping other people to improve their daily lives.

Secondly, offering a cross-border shopping network where shoppers can purchase imported goods with their smartphone.

Oct Momy also offers consumers super deals for bargain prices when they buy in bulk. In order to benefit from those deals you will need to form a group with your WeChat friends.

On the one hand, chats between friends have a high browsing rate, so it’s possible that some goods will be pushed to prospects or to friends who aren’t interested. On the other hand, this is a soft way to promote your product without annoying consumers.

Different import model for a different product

Gloctech Pty Ltd. has three import models: direct mail import, bonded import and general trade import.

Firstly, direct mail import is used when the product has an expire date, for example nutrition. This manner is fast and convenient for the consumer.

Secondly, we have bonded import. This is generally used for goods that have a higher price, are easily breakable or are difficult to transport. The goods are commonly shipped by plane or boat.

And lastly, general trade import. According to Chen, maternity and baby goods come in different shapes and sizes, it is needed for the import model to be suited to the characteristics and sales volume of the goods. For example, baby nutrition is high in demand and doesn’t need any significant changes, in this case it is best to use the general trade mode.

How can a new brand enter this market?

In Chen’s opinion, the first thing a brand should keep in mind are the competitors and namely the big brands. Your brand must have your own characteristics and unique selling points to attract the consumers and to have its market share.

What’s also important for a new brand, not to begin a price war with other players in the competitive market. You will lose for sure, because in the mainland market there’s always going to be cheaper brand. Therefore, you should create a product with a high quality so consumers will recommend it to their ‘’inner circle’’ network. Your product will maybe not be the cheapest but will be the most recommended and thus the most desired.

“it’s better to pay more than to buy the wrong stuff”, Chen Shan.

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