Q&A with China Co-CEO Publicis Commerce Cyril Drouin

The Chinese market has been the global leader when it comes to e-commerce and during COVID-19, companies are looking to grow even further. In fact, according to statistic, Chinese e-commerce users are expected to grow to $1.09 Billion by 2024. And it’s not just the sheer volume of users, they are engaged and willing to pay premiums; 82% of Chinese consumers are willingly to pay premium for quality and creative products and 42% of them are mindful of a brand’s ethics (Mintel). 

The Publicis Commerce practice in China has been working in this growing market to ensure client growth. We sat down with Cyril Drouin, Co-CEO of Publicis commerce in China, to learn more about the market, where it’s heading and what the rest of the world can learn from its success.

Q&A with China Co-CEO Publicis Commerce Cyril Drouin

With the rapid growth in Commerce in China, what is the biggest opportunity you see within the market?  

China eCommerce is still full of opportunities. Categories such as beauty, food, fashion, electronics are still growing massively year over year. Brands are growing by targeting people in smaller cities, not only Tier 1 & 2 cities anymore, and by expanding to Gen Z and senior people. 

New eCommerce channels and new communication/transactions formats have a significant impact on the eCommerce growth such as livestreaming or social commerce on Wechat or Douyin (the Chinese Tiktok). 

Can you tell us about any exclusive strategic partnerships in the market? 

Sure, we’re really happy to be working with some of the top retailers in the market. We are now global strategic partners with Tencent and Bytedance and a Uni-Marketing partner with Alibaba. We are also an Alibaba and JD Official Certified Consulting and Data Agency. 

Our partnership with Alibaba and JD has been honored by these platforms with some awards : 

  • Silver Award in the first Jing Dong Shufang JSP Case Awards Competition 

  • Alimama's annual gold medal global partner

  • Two digital intelligence pioneer awards with Aliyun 

What aspects of Commerce do you find most interesting in the market right now? How can Publicis Commerce help? 

The eCommerce competition in China is the fiercest of the world. Brands are competing not only with local Chinese brands but as well with all international brands.  

The most strategic part of commerce in China will be how can you identify the right products mix with comprehensive brand message through different channels to reach your diversified target segments. 

This sounds like similar Marketing messages to deliver the right product to the right consumer at the right time with the right message and pricing, but in a 600 Mil online consumers market.

Publicis Commerce in China is data driven focus and brings strategy, creative, media, social and operations (TP) under the same roof. 

Our key goal is to grow our client’s GMV online without compromising their brand, while considering for the longterm business development cross channel through the digital channel integration. 

What are some of the brands that Publicis Commerce have worked with in China? 

We are very honored to work with some of the leading brands throughout China including: 

  • Bacardi – Bronze Award of Integrated Marketing and Excellence award, Tiger Roar Award (2018 – 2019) 

  • GSK/Sensodyne – Tmall Top 100 Products, V List (2020)

  • Haier – Best Partner eCommerce (2019)

  • Maltesers ROI Festival Silver award/bronze award (2018)

China has long been the global leader in Commerce. What can other markets learn from China’s wins and failures along the way?  

Given its rapid growth and expansion, China should be viewed as a laboratory by other markets of what will be coming next to the west. 

The speed of innovation and investment on eCommerce in China is faster than anywhere in the world because this market has the scale. Great innovation in China can make a difference and rapidly reach hundreds of millions of people in few months. 

The key focus within eCommerce right now is how brands can utilize data and AI to iorm decisions within product offerings, as well as brand communication and engagement. 

Platforms like Alibaba and JD are utilizing the technology to disrupt the industry business model and now every brand who wants to win in this market need to win the innovation race. 

To learn more about our offering in China, please reach out to Cyril Drouin at Cyril.drouin@publicis.com.