Bastion Asia makes senior appointment ahead of peak Chinese shopping holidays

As we gear up for China’s major shopping holiday season, including Double 11 (Singles’ Day), Double 12 and Golden Week, we are proud to announce the appointment of Savannah Zhang to the role of Account Director.

Savannah will be responsible for overseeing client strategy and results across our mix of retail, property, luxury consumer and travel clients. Based in Melbourne, she will be integral to the expansion of our business as we help Australian brands tap into the sizeable local Chinese audience, and offshore Chinese market.

Born in China, Savannah has spent the past 12 years as an intercultural strategist and marketer working across education, government investment, hospitality and consumer brands in the United Kingdom, China, Hong Kong, Macau and Australia.

She says her mission is to help Australian clients better understand the Chinese audience and the opportunities China marketing can offer.

“The local Chinese community respects and loves the quality and status of many Australian brands, yet we are frustrated that many of these brands don’t speak to us directly,” she says.

“By considering the local Chinese community as a key segment, Australian brands not only become more multicultural, but they can also open up new revenue streams. I hope to help clients and Australian brands find the way to the opportunities in China marketing and demystify this often-confusing space.”

Despite the impact of COVID-19 border closures on international tourism, education and the daigou trade, at Bastion China we are optimistic about China marketing in Australia, with upcoming major Chinese shopping holidays providing key opportunities for Australian brands to move inventory and create a lasting relationship with the local and offshore Chinese community.

Bastion China Chief Executive Richard Chapman says there are 1.5m Chinese living in Australia but few brands understand how to communicate effectively with them.

“Chinese shopping holidays are a phenomenon that few Australian brands effectively leverage but can be just as impactful – if not more so – than Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year these huge in-store and online shopping events should be a part of every brand’s COVID-19 bounce back strategy and a way to form a lasting relationship with Chinese consumers, who are generally overlooked by many Australian brands,” he says.

Golden Week kicks off the festivities with China’s National Day on October 1, celebrating the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Many Chinese spend a week travelling and shopping, generating $202 billion in retail, food and beverage sales in 2018 alone – a figure up 9.5 per cent year-on-year.

This year Golden Week also aligns with the lunar calendar’s mid-Autumn Festival, a key date in Chinese culture, often signified through the gifting of Moon cakes. This holiday offers premium and luxury brands an opportunity to send a culturally appropriate gift to their clients.

Then comes Singles’ Day Shopping Festival, also known as Double 11 – in 24 hours this mammoth shopping festival has been known to raise USD $43 million, while Tmall sales figures have shown women’s fashion brands can sell up to 65 times more units on Singles’ Day compared to an average day. It was started originally to celebrate singledom but has since eclipsed Black Friday in sales volumes after Alibaba started a shopping festival around it. Many retail brands have since created their own Singles’ Day promotions, including major Australian department stores.

Double 12 Shopping Festival is the last of the shopping sprees before the year ends. Created by leading e-commerce moguls Taobao and, Double 12 on December 12 is the sequel to Double 11, which offers a great chance for brands to compete in the final sprint for consumer attention ahead of Christmas and Lunar New Year sales.

Savannah says the local Chinese community participates in these shopping events albeit online and offshore, however there is a major opportunity for Australian brands to demonstrate their relevance and understanding with Chinese shopping holiday festivals and discounts.

“By celebrating Chinese cultural festivals and holidays, Australian brands become immediately more relevant to Chinese consumers and can open up new markets and revenue streams. Right now, not many brands are doing this and that those who do, will stand out,” Ms Zhang says.

“Brands should be looking at their Chinese marketing and retail promotion strategies. How will you leverage these key shopping events to grow this consumer segment? What does your presence on Chinese social media platforms WeChat, Xiaohongshu (RED), Douyin (TikTok) and Weibo look like?”

To find out how your brand can leverage these major festivals, give us a call or drop us a line.