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TechNode Now Speaks French, Launching TechNode.fr With Partner VELVET Group

Velvet Partner Technode

VELVET is taking a further step to bridge the Chinese and global startup ecosystem. Today, I am proud to announce the launch of TechNode.fr, the French language version of China tech news portal TechNode.com.

Over the past few years, China has undergone exponential growth in digital with an Internet population of 618 million, 500 million mobile Internet users and more than 100 million tablet owners. In 2013, China overtook the United States to become the world’s largest e-commerce market with over €217 Billion in transaction value. TechNode.fr is designed to address French speaking countries & regions (France, Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec, Canada, etc.), opening doors for the 220 million French-speaking community to witness and understand the fast evolving digital landscape of China.

Thanks to VELVET’s expertise in both Chinese and French market, TechNode teamed up with us to design and operate this new website. VELVET is leveraging its team of Chinese, English and French copywriters based in Shanghai to deliver the latest news around China social media, mobile, e-commerce, startups and new trends.

TechNode (formerly known as MOBINODE) is the leading tech blog uncovering the latest news on start-up entrepreneurs, investors, large companies and industry trends in China and Asia. TechNode is the official partner of TechCrunch, managing TechCrunch China. Its main focus are: social media, mobile and e-commerce and new trends such as Big Data and augmented reality. Written in English, Chinese and French, TechNode aims to be the go-to source for original, insightful and opinionated content that helps connect the eco-system of entrepreneur’s, investors and consumers. TechNode is founded by Dr. Gang Lu, one of the most influential Chinese tech bloggers in global web industry.

With this new site, we just can’t wait to bring more online & offline interactivity between China and French web.

If you want more details about TechNode.fr or this announcement, please email us directly at: contact@technode.fr.

Infographic – Global Digital Statistics 2014

Let’s start the new year by looking at the big picture – at the world’s wired citizens and what they’re doing on the web. A new 180-page slideshow has been created showing all the facts and stats we have so far on Earth’s 2.5 billion web users. Let’s look over some Asia-related highlights:

  • There are now 1.86 billion active social network users around the world.
  • Across Asia, 635 million people have mobile data subscriptions so that they can go online on their phones.
  • Southeast Asia is the most mobile-centric area of the continent, with a 109% of mobile penetration rate.
  • Southeast Asia and South Asia have internet penetration rates below the world average of 35%.
  • Boosted by China, East Asia’s internet penetration rate is above average, at 48%.
  • 3 of the top 10 social networks (by active usage) are messaging apps: WeChat with 272 million active users; WhatsApp with 400 million; and QQ with 816 million. China’s Tencent owns both QQ and WeChat.

An Eye on China

With so many people fascinated by China’s fast digital growth, let’s look more at the latest China figures.

World web user facts for 2014 slide 01

World web user facts for 2014 slide 02

World web user facts for 2014 slide 03

World web user facts for 2014 slide 04

World web user facts for 2014 slide 05

Source: We Are Social

Infographic – Online Video: What Are the Chances?

While 74% of advertisers manage at least one issue related to digital, they expect agencies to offer them usable ideas on all media. In parallel, brands expect more agencies they have an advisory role.

According to Wyzowl video agency, this infographic shows the difference video makes in for online sites on a worldwide scale. Specifically it shows how video can impact consumers and business sales by affecting click throughs, conversions, time on site and purchases.

Online Video Trigger purchase

Infographic – People Shopping on Mobile Devices Visit More Sites Than Those on a PC

Mobile devices have made it possible for people to shop anywhere, anytime, and apparently, they’re taking advantage. According to Millward Brown Digital, people who shop from their mobiles visit more retailer sites than those who shop from their PCs (6.2 retailer visits per month on mobiles versus 2.9 on PCs). Mobile shoppers also use search engines and social media sites more than PC shoppers do. With all that opportunity to capture mobile purchases (or lose them to rivals), there’s all the more reason for retailers to make sure their mobile strategy is airtight.

 

Infographic Data Mobile Shoppers

TechCrunch Shanghai – Digital Innovation in Fashion from Technology to Services

Digital-in-Fashion

Technology is upending every single part of our daily life and fashion industry is no exception. CEO of VELVET Digital Agency Patrice Nordey, Digital General Manager at Nike China Nicolas Zurstrassen, Director of Ecommerce & Operations at Converse An Chiem, Director of Digital Marketing at Westin Hostel Penny Peng, and Regional Digital Manager Asia and Australia at Nivea Eike Wobker joined us at TechCrunch Shanghai to discuss digital innovations in fashion industry.

All panelists agreed that social media, like FacebookWeChat and Sina Weibo, plays a significant role in their interaction with customers.

In hospitality industry, the social media provides more convenience to customers, enabling them to search for hotels assorted based on reviews from friends, obtain customer services, etc., said Penny.

An Cheim noted that they want to maintain the application of social media at interactive level, to have two-way conversation with consumers, rather than going too far to become an ecommerce channel only.

In selection of digital technologies, brands always have to get back to the question of who your consumer is, what are their demands, and how do they want to be attracted to your brands, said Nocolas. The next crucial factor is to provide utility to them in terms of a tool, a story and a service. He added mobile marketing is not only about mobile phones, but about mobility or what the consumers need when they are out, and therefore, it is applicable to all wearables, like shoes and clothes.

According to Eike, digital provides an opportunity to glue different marketing channels together.

– See more on Technode!

China Digital Roundup I In-Store Technology, Michael Kors, TechCrunch Shanghai

A roundup on how digital is transforming our life and business – both in China and the rest of the world through November 22th.

Is In-Store Technology Increasing or Subduing the Relevance of Retail Employees? from Luxury Daily

Guccy In Store Technology

As luxury retailers implement more responsive and comprehensive technology into their stores, employees may find it challenging to prove their relevance.

Mobile technology holds clear advantages over people, such as the ability to retrieve warehouses of product information and design virtual outfits on the spot. While making technology a part of the retail experience can no longer be avoided, luxury retailers should be aware that shearing away too many jobs can hurt brand reputation and certain positions just can’t be replicated by a device.

The report notes that as technology continues to reinvent the retail space, retailers should invest in omnichannel capabilities that will enrich the relationships between consumer and sales associate.

 

China’s Mobile Habits, from Red Luxury

China mobile trends 2013

The smartphone phone has fundamentally changed the way consumers shop, from how they evaluate products to how they buy. A new study by Mindshare China and Millward Brown China urges brands to deliver “a seamless branding and retail experience across all platforms.”

“We know China is such a dynamic market and consumers are increasingly not only using PCs and laptops, but are now directly engaging on mobile platforms for shopping purposes. This increases expectations for brands to deliver a viable shopping experience on all store fronts,” says Ben Condit, Digital Partner at Mindshare China. “From the research, compellingly, we see this to be true across all market levels in China, not just at the top tier.”

 

Michael Kors Brings Instagram Campaign to Life at Tokyo Museum, from Luxury Daily

tokyo Michael Kors Instagram

U.S. label Michael Kors is connecting fans of its Selma handbag through an Instagram initiative that stimulates conversation and unites the brand’s global tribe of enthusiasts. The fan-fueled and city-focused #JetSetSelma effort builds upon Michael Kors’ already diverse product-based digital presence. The label has successfully used key social media platforms, such as Tumblr and Pinterest, to solidify its relationship with core consumers.

“#JetSetSelma is a platform on which to build the association between the handbag’s style, name and social media identity,” said Lisa Pomerantz, senior vice president of global communications and marketing at Michael Kors, New York.

 

TechCrunch Shanghai – How Chinese Bitcoin Businesses See the Market, from Technode

bitcoin conference TechCrunch Shanghai China

The trading price of Bitcoin, the algorithms-powered virtual currency, as of writing is about $530 on the trading platform Mt. Gox. Looking at real-time trading platforms the trading volume from China has been among the top markets worldwide. According to Bitcoin Charts,  31% of the total exchange volume worldwide is traded in CNY (Chinese Yuan).

During the event, the panelists conclude that 1) the value of Bitcoin would continue going up, 2) the commissions fee rates are lower than what traditional financial services charge. Bitcoin is the first time one currency has so many advantages, 1) scarcity, 2) distributed computing 3) digital payment 4) direct transactions that you don’t need any third-parties to process money and 5) it’s very safe that theoretically it cannot be stolen.

 

China’s Unstoppable E-Commerce Market Ready to ‘Explode’, from Jing Daily

China e-commerce expansion 1st market

According to the firm’s 2013 Global Retail E-Commerce Index, China’s $64 billion online retail market is expected to “explode” to reach $271 billion in the next five years, placing it at the top of the list for the world’s most promising e-commerce markets. The 30-country ranking includes both developing and developed markets, with Japan and the United States trailing China in second and third place on the list.

With a developing “Next Generation” categorization, China’s e-commerce market has “been able to shortcut the traditional online retail maturity curve as online retail grows at the same time that physical retail becomes more organized,” according to the report. Although there are still significant logistical challenges, the report predicts that “infrastruc­ture improvements, increased Internet access for rural regions, rising wealth, and consumers’ growing predisposition to spend” will all lead to the market’s continued boom.

China Digital Roundup I Mandarin Oriental, Lyst, The Fancy, Giorgio Armani

A roundup on how digital is transforming our life and business – both in China and the rest of the world through November 5th.

Mandarin Oriental Instagram Contest, from Luxury Daily

#MOinsider Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is furthering its 50th anniversary celebrations with an Instagram contest until Nov. 14 that aims to compile a broad range of experiences to give prospective consumers a feel for the area. The #MOInsider contest asks fans to submit photos of must-see experiences that represent what what Hong Kong and Bangkok mean to them. The deliberately broad guidelines for the contest will likely generate a full view of both environments.

“Instagram contests that focus on experience and destination oriented themes rather than narrow themes can be more successful in attracting participation and engagement from followers because it’s inclusive of everyone not just hotel guests,” said Tiffany Dowd, founder and president of Luxe Social Media, Boston. “Social media is all about word of mouth and peer-to-peer recommendations,” she said.

 

One Card to Rule Them All, from Business of Fashion

What's on your it lyst

The Internet has re-wired the way we shop. No longer limited to retailers that happen to be nearby, shoppers are now able to browse a much larger catalogue of products than ever before, across a wide array of e-commerce sites. But sifting though this expanded offering to find the right products poses new challenges of its own.

By aggregating large databases of products under one roof and layering on social curation tools, sites like Lyst and The Fancy have emerged to help consumers browse many retailers in one place, separate signal from noise, and find more interesting and personally relevant items. “It’s very easy to arrange things on-the-fly online, based on what you’re interested in,” says Chris Morton, founder and CEO of Lyst. “I now expect an experience that knows what I like and shows it to me.”

 

China’s 464 Million Mobile Web User in 2013, from Tech In Asia

A portrait of China's 464 million mobile web users (INFOGRAPHIC)

China has 591 million internet users and over 460 million mobile web users, according to figures from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). So who are these people, and what are they doing online on their phones?

A new infographic from Go Globe answers these questions. Delving into official figures, the graphic reveals that China’s mobile netizens are mostly young – 73.3 percent of them are under 36 years old.

 

Armani Website Redesign Shows Pinterest Influence, from Luxury Daily

Armani.com Online Store

Italian fashion label Giorgio Armani is seeking to pull consumers to its ecommerce options with a new Web site that emphasizes simplicity. The redesign allows consumers to easily navigate the world of Armani through enhanced search functions and cleaner categories. By making the Web site more functional, Armani is likely to see a boost in ecommerce.

“The Armani site redesign clearly shows the influence of Pinterest, which is a good thing,” said Michael Tchong, founder of Social Revolution and trend analyst at Ubercool, San Francisco.

Glamour Sales – Why mobile is a key for flash sales in China?

The Glamour Sales China homepage. (Glamour Sales)

With substantial discounts and limited quantities, online flash sales of designer goods became an e-commerce staple in the West after the start of the recession. According to Thibault Villet, CEO and co-founder of flash sales site Glamour Sales China, this lightning-fast form of e-commerce has just as much potential in Asian markets. After setting up in Japan in 2009, Glamour Sales Group opened its Chinese site in 2010, and announced a partnership with Neiman Marcus in 2012.

Villet recently presented on his company’s business strategy at Velvet Group’s Shanghai Fashion Web conference, which brought together industry professionals to discuss cutting-edge developments in digital marketing and e-commerce. Jing Daily reached out to Villet via email to discuss the unique opportunities and challenges that accompany conducting this distinctive form of e-commerce in China, including the specific demands of Chinese consumers and the constant need to adapt to rapidly changing technology.

Who is your target demographic in terms of age, income, and location? 

Over the last four years, we have grown a qualified  database of over 2.5 million fashionista members in China. They are spread out across 1,000 cities in all provinces, equally split between tier-one, tier-two, and tier-three and four cities. While we predominately target women aged 25 to 45, we also have a robust and fast-growing male customer base. All our customers, being  entrepreneurs, executives, or white collars, have in common the characteristics of being smart shoppers, highly interested in fashion, and open-minded to discover new brands.

Thibault Villet.

Are there any differences between conducting online flash sales in China as opposed to Europe or the United States?

The main difference versus Europe is that Chinese customers are very demanding when it comes to customer service and have been used to very fast delivery services. We deliver our customers across China in one to three days, and accept unconditional returns within seven days.

Versus the United States, Chinese customers expect much more detailed informations on brands and products, which requires additional depictions and detailed copywriting.

What are some of the main reasons your customers like to participate in flash sales—is it more about the bargain, the “thrill” that comes with buying something in limited quantity before it runs out, or the website’s curation?

Customers like to participate to our flash sales because of three factors: the website curation and the guarantee that all the products sold on Glamour Sales are authentic and of great quality, the excitement of the daily race, which on Glamour Sales China starts at 9 a.m., and the opportunity to buy at real bargain prices, which Glamour Sales does as we exclusively cooperate directly with brands or their official distributors, hence guaranteeing the best prices on the market.

What are some of the greatest challenges to conducting e-commerce in China at the moment?   

The market is growing fast and customers are expecting high-quality customer services, which starts from website speed to call center abilities to handle customer care. While we grow, offering a consistent and qualitative customer experience is our daily company focus. Technology is also evolving rapidly, and we have to continuously transform ourselves. We already run four platforms, including three mobile ones, and will release a  new version of the website before the end of the year.

How many customers purchase via mobile device as opposed to on a computer at the moment? Do you see this changing in the future?

We prepared ourselves for the rapid shift from desktop to mobile, as our sister company in Japan had already experienced it two years ago. Mobile commerce in China is now the fastest growing channel, and already represents a significant share of our business. It forces companies like ourselves to develop contents which are adapted first to mobile, and that will then be used on desktops.

How does your company utilize social media marketing?

Social media marketing is a the center of our marketing strategy in China. Our customers follow us on various platforms (Weibo, WeChat, etc.); we have built  strong and long-lasting relationships with social media key opinion leaders as well as key platforms such as Mogujie. We also  fully engage our own customer care teams in a personalized social relationship with our members and customers.

What is the status of Glamour Sales’ partnership with Neiman Marcus at the moment? Will there be any changes to the partnership now that the company is being sold?  

Neiman Marcus is and remains a strategic investor in Glamour Sales Holdings, and we are very pleased with this partnership.

– See more here on Jingdaily website.