China’s ecommerce sector has been booming for a decade. Last year nearly half of Chinese internet users (180 million out of 420 million) made at least one online purchase, and this volume is expected to increase fourfold by 2015*. Amongst these Internet users, financially independent and digitally savvy Gen Y moms were underserved. These first generation Chinese mothers — who grew up as single children — are now undergoing a once in a lifetime motherhood journey and need new brands and products to meet their growing needs.
Seeing the opportunity to bond with consumers through this life-changing journey, P&G and Continuum partnered to design a branded online experience that caters to Chinese Gen Y working mothers.
The Gen Y Chinese mother seeks high quality products with an assurance of safety and she is willing to pay more for it. However, Chinese product safety scandals are ubiquitous, and inferior products flooding the Chinese online market with false advertisements have eroded the trust between consumers and retailers. In order to make an informed decision, these customers need guidance and reassurance along with word-of-mouth references from other moms.
To provide that, Continuum partnered with P&G to launch an ecommerce strategy and branded online experience that delivers on its brand promise. PiaoLiangMaMa, part of P&G’s flagship webstore on Tmall — is the most influential business-to-consumer online shopping platform in China. The site’s iconic visual style, design, tone and infrastructure were built to create a trusting environment to give a mother a relaxing experience while shopping for herself, her baby, and her family.
Through our research we learned that as single children, these mothers had been treated as the center of attention their whole lives; now with their newborns they were facing the need to share the spotlight for the first time. That experience could be bittersweet for some. An ideal state for these Gen Y moms is the feeling that they are providing for themselves as well as their baby — hence, the brand promise of “For your baby, baby yourself.” No matter what her shopping mode (for herself, her baby, or her family), the site allows these mothers to efficiently browse, categorize, compare, and view reviews and rankings of purchases made by other Gen Y moms — their most trusted information source. The result: a memorable online experience that is functionally intuitive and emotionally resonant.
In September 2012 P&G re-launched their flagship webstore on Tmall with PiaoLiangMaMa. In November 2012, the store set a single-day record high of 180,000 orders.
*Boston Consulting Group