Alibaba’s $25 billion Singles’ Day sale shone a spotlight on the potential of the Chinese market for international retailers and brands. Which-50 discussed the Alibaba opportunity with several experts, who said while many companies had already got in on the act, a huge opportunity remained.

“Australia had it’s best performance to date during Alibaba Singles’ Day this year. It was the third highest selling country off the back of just 63 merchants,” editor, Tess Bennett said.

One standout Australian performer was Blackmores, according to Bennett, who attended the Singles’ day event in Shanghai. Blackmores eclipsed its 2016 Singles Day sales numbers in just over two hours, she said.

Nora Network founder, Paul Greenberg, also identified Blackmores, along with Swisse as standout performers. “They’ve really got it nailed,” he told Which-50. Health and wellness products perform particularly well through Alibaba, according to Greenberg, and there’s also massive potential for the smaller owner-operated brands too.

“There’s a wonderful opportunity for those small ingredient brand businesses to tap into the China market,” Greenberg said.

The opportunity for retailers is two-fold according to AtlasTrend co-founder Kevin Hua. Alibaba’s domestic dominance gives retailers the opportunity to sell goods and services into the massive existing Chinese market, he said. And with no signs of slowing down, there is huge potential for a global market, according to Hua

“Alibaba is exploring and expanding globally as well. So that reach into China is ultimately going to reach out globally as well,” he said.

There are several considerations for retailers before diving into the Chinese market, according to Greenberg, “It’s not as easy as it looks and naturally any gold rush has its challenges.”

“Retailers have to have their product right, they have to have branding strategy right in China, their logistics, supply chain technology and customer engagement 100 per cent right.”

Things move quickly too, Greenberg said. “Today’s wow is tomorrow’s baseline” which means brands need to remain agile and adaptable.

Fortunately the Alibaba rush is spawning an “ecosystem of entrepreneurship” and technology that can assist retailers, he said.

AtlasTrend manages global share funds investing in companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google driving or benefiting from global themes such as big data and online shopping. Sign up to learn more.

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