Practicology is now Pattern

By Joanna Perry | Global Head of Marketing

Practicology – a Pattern company has put measures in place to protect its business and employees across Greater China due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

At the same time, we want to share some insight into our current trading activity in China; and highlight how the epidemic is placing greater emphasis on online channels to reach consumers as they restrict their activity outside the home. We have been able to quickly resume a service to our clients and partners to maximise their trading opportunity during this uncertain time.

After the extended Chinese New Year public holiday, Practicology put home-working in place for team members in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong; all now have access to our systems to be able to complete their work as normal. We have also arranged shipments of medical-grade face masks and surgical gloves to our Greater China colleagues.

All of the brands that we work with in China will achieve sales revenues in February 2020 through the channels we trade that exceed those of February 2019. We would like to publicly thank our Greater China team for their hard work and commitment to ensure that this result has been possible.

While the coronavirus outbreak has impacted upon retail sales in the region it has also created opportunities for certain brands; particularly through their online sales channels supported by Alibaba’s increased investment in fulfilment services.

By enabling homeworking, our teams are fully functioning at a time when their workload has increased to deal with customer queries and developing appropriate digital marketing campaigns.

For example, sales for Thorne - a US supplements brand we represent on Tmall Global - have increased by circa 50% in February compared to January as consumers’ concerns about their health and demand for healthcare products has increased sharply.

After Tmall cancelled its Valentine’s Day promotion due to the coronavirus outbreak, Practicology quickly devised a health-boosting marketing campaign for the supplements brand. The campaign’s messaging is focused on how to boost your immune system with supplements, supported by content on personal hygiene and virus prevention tips.

The campaign is running for key customer segments through Tmall’s marketing channels, supported by updated product listings and a storefront banner. This is being complemented by content on WeChat, Weibo and Little Red Book; with more than 50 posts from Key Opinion Leaders including a professional nutritionist with a large following.

In general, we are recommending that brands selling online in China review their digital marketing activity and budgets for the next month, and in many cases increase spend to drive customers to Tmall at a time when they may not be able to buy through other channels. Alibaba has reported an increase in livestreaming activity for that reason, with livestream sessions up by 110% in early February compared to the same period last year.

If you need support with your ecommerce sales or digital marketing activity in China please don’t hesitate to contact us at hello@practicology.com.  

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