This Works is a very progressive British personal care brand particularly well known for its range of sleep-related products.
For the past 3 years Avenue51 has been providing the thought leaders at ThisWorks with a complete cross border e-commerce solution that enabled them to succeed in rapidly acquiring more than £5m of marketshare in Mainland China and become a household brand name with unparalleled levels of low investment.
The case study of how this project has unfolded is exemplary in many aspects, particularly in the innovative use of personal retail and live streaming as smart vehicles for acquiring marketshare. An outline of the details of this ongoing project can be found below.
FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS
A strong part of the success of this project can be contributed to a laser focus on one SKU, a sleep spray. By centralising most of the resources on this one SKU it has been possible to educate a high number of retailers much faster on the benefits of the brand. And in a relatively short period of time everyone is talking positively about ThisWorks on the internet in China.
BEYOND PROFESSIONAL ONLINE RETAIL
Aside from listing the products with professional online retailers in Mainland China, ThisWorks approved Avenue51 to extend product listings to our network of personal retailers – these are individuals who write or live stream product reviews with the explicit intention of inviting their followers to purchase.
The Avenue51 network of more than 50k personal retailers are based in both the UK and in Mainland China. Personal retailer do not need to hold stock, they simply take the order/payment and fulfilment to the shopper is completed by Avenue51 logistics.
In a very short period of time sales from this channel were soaring.
CONTROLLING THE NETWORK
As the number of ThisWorks online retailers ramped up, the enforcement of reasonable price parity amongst the retailers was a critical function performed by the Avenue51 online retail team. This ensured the shoppers’ buying decisions were not paralyzed by indecision on where to shop.
The same team were also responsible for ensuring that retailers were only using the brand assets supplied to them, and not creating their own – which could possibly have lead to a deterioration in the perception of the brand.
ATTRACTING PLATFORM RETAILERS
As sales among the network of both personal and professional online retailers grew, the goliath platform based retailers also became appointed stockists. Note: Platform retailers are those who own the major platform/marketplaces used by online retailers. In China this would include JD, Tmall/Taobao and Kaola, whereas in the UK this is dominated by Amazon.
SOCIAL MEDIA BUILDS CONFIDENCE
It is quite typical in Mainland China for prospective shoppers to search and reference social media reviews about a brand before making their buying decision.
The Avenue51 social media team in Mainland China sent samples to many targeted relevant shoppers who were encouraged to review This Works products and post their opinions on Little Red Book.
Consequently shoppers searching for the brand were instantly presented with up to a thousands reviews which, due to the quality of the products, were mostly positive.
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