In the last case study, we studied the Marketing Strategy of Amazon in depth because it is one of the largest online retailers in the world.
We will now dig deeper into the marketing strategy of Suning – the third-largest Chinese e-commerce site that offers a variety of gadgets and household appliances. Additionally, it appeared on the Fortune Global 500 list at position 328th.
The aim is to understand the marketing activities of an enormous retailer that shares its space with rivals such as Amazon, Alibaba and eBay. Suning is among the top three B2C businesses in China that sell online.
Among the operational categories, are physical goods such as household appliances, 3C products, books, general merchandise, household essentials, cosmetics, and infant care items. Content products and service goods are also included, with a total SKU count reaching 3 million.
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We will be analysing the complete marketing strategy of Suning by understanding its segmentation, targeting and positioning.
About Suning – Company Overview
Source – SupChina
Since its founding in Nanjing, China, in 1990, Suning has grown from an air conditioning franchise business to become an industry leader in commercial retail. Due to its 30-year history of innovation, China’s retail industry has seen a transformation as it transitions from retailer to retail service provider.
Suning is among the top three B2C businesses in China that sell online. Content products and service goods are also included, with a total SKU count reaching 3 million.
Suning.com, integrated shopping malls, 3C direct-sales outlets for home appliances, retail cloud franchise stores, Carrefour stores, and mom-and-baby specialised stores are currently included in Suning’s portfolio.
The freshly renovated Nanjing Suning Xinjiekou shop, which is situated in the busiest commercial district of the city, officially opened on April 30, 2020, to much fanfare.
Customers who want to purchase both online and offline visit the store in search of an engaging shopping experience for goods and services. The business stated that the store’s revenues surpassed CNY10 million just 58 seconds after it opened.
E-commerce has developed into a new business model as a result of the ongoing development of Internet technology. The way people shop has changed as a result, affecting both in-store and online purchases.
Suning currently has a full-scale commercial network that ranges from online to offline, urban to rural, and electrical appliances to FMCG, covering all scenarios, categories, and customer groups. It is a retailer as well as a retailer of technology-driven retail services.
|Area Served||China (including Hong Kong) and Japan|
|Revenue||¥252.296 billion RMB|
|Vision||“Global Suning, Built to Last” – Suning’s vision is to become a renowned global brand leader and service provider through the promotion of “High-Tech and Smart Services.”|
|Tagline||The leaders, The explorers|
Marketing Strategy Of Suning –
Let’s break the marketing strategy of Suning into the following criteria:
Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning
Suning.com specialises in selling home appliances, including mobile phones, digital cameras, laptop computers, washing machines, refrigerators, televisions, and other appliances, through its brand items, product series, and other brands’ flagship and speciality stores. This means they have products that cater to the entire human race at different stages of life.
Online shopping, which has emerged as a significant application for electronic commerce, has significantly altered consumer behaviour.
Through such channels, Suning is trying to target the working class of people, who prefer to have a standard of living and who earn to fulfil their lifestyle and needs.
Through the Omni retail channel, Suning has laid its strong foundation of click-and-mortar stores, which enables the customers to see the product both online and physically at the store itself.
To interpret from the above STP analysis, Suning follows the models of marketing along similar lines to Amazon. With its e-commerce operations, they vastly benefit from stocking and low-cost operations, thus providing the product at wholesale prices.
With its wide presence, e-commerce can provide same-day delivery for its entire catalogue of products, which makes them popular. The stats from the above graphic show their company’s growth in the past.
Let’s review the marketing campaign done by Suning –
During the holiday season, Suning puts up banners featuring different products which could be used to gift their loved ones. By curating such products, they drive greater traffic towards their website.
On further research, it was found that Suning does not engage much in marketing strategies except for the festive season. They can push more sales by opting for new strategies like –
1. Discount Season Sale –
This strategy is widely opted by the majority of e-commerce stores, where everything is offered with some amount of discount percentage. This attracts buyers of all needs who were eager to purchase items and services.
2. Leveraging Video Marketing –
Video content is currently the most widely used type of web content. Most people would rather watch a brief video on a product than read about it. You may utilise video marketing as a seller to interact with your customers more effectively. By including video in your marketing plan, you can:
- Show the various applications for your product.
- Give instructions on how to set up your product via how-tos and walkthroughs.
- A detailed discussion of your product
To show potential buyers what to expect when they buy your product, you may even create straightforward unboxing movies. You may increase your conversion rate by giving clients video material.
3. Open Box Sale –
This is a new concept of e-commerce retail, wherein products which are mostly refurbished or products that were returned due to some reasons are offered in the sale. Now, these products are always good as new, except their seals are broken.
Since Suning is a wholesale store, they might have to deal with such problems of returned inventory. When using such a strategy, they will have a chance to sell that unsold stock. The customers will gain an advantage of heavy price cuts on maximum retail price.
Social Media Campaigns
Suning, being a Chinese company, has not made its presence on various social media platforms. Although the store will be popular on regional social media websites, it has not made its way yet to common websites.
They could promote their new offerings and various promotional materials via such channels.
Source – UberSuggest
According to SEO rankings, having fewer than 500 keywords is terrible, having more than 1000 is good, and having more than 10,000 is outstanding.
As per the SEO ratings, Suning has a range of 5000+ keywords which illustrates that it utilises the power of digital marketing. However, the traffic on the website is 4,223 which seems to be on the lower side, as monthly visitors above 20,000 are considered good.
There is no such data that illustrates that Suning has done any influencer marketing, but they have been the face of many shows via sponsorships.
Source – Suning.com
Various e-commerce strategies followed are same-day delivery, massive discounts on MRP, and attractive banners illustrating festive discounts on special occasions.
It has a kind of cluttered interface in which users are bombarded with several images at the same time which might confuse first-time visitors.
The main gateway to interact with Suning was with the website only for their customers to products from. Suning does not have any separate mobile app besides its website.
Content Marketing Strategies
Chinese websites prefer to promote their content via their regional websites only, as they cater to their local audience. Hence they can use regional/local newspapers and other blogging websites to promote their content.
Conclusion – What’s unique in Suning marketing?
Well, Suning being a local Chinese, giant retailer, has done limited marketing activities as compared to its massive rivals. Hence, the data supporting the marketing strategies are quite small to conclude.
However, we can infer that they have used digital marketing to uplift their store to make it the third largest e-commerce store in the China region.
One thing that Suning can work on is its website, it can have fewer images or place them in such a way that first-time visitors don’t feel like they are bombarded with images and content. Instead, the content and images can be shown in a systematic way to make them more user-friendly.
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We hope that our case study about Suning’s marketing strategy has provided you with valuable insight into the company’s marketing plans.
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Thank you for reading, and please feel free to comment below with your thoughts on this marketing approach.