She’s not your ordinary jewelry dealer. Going by the online moniker “Xiaotian,” she commands a big fan base, jokes with her customers, and models for her own business.
“Hi bao bao,” she greets her potential buyers during a livestream session one afternoon in Hong Kong, using a common, endearing nickname for online shoppers. “This is a new design that came out this week. You want me to try it on? Alright!”
Comments piled on. Some complimented the good looks of the designer who stood beside her. Others wanted to see the necklace up close. Still, others asked about the price.
That the Chinese are shopping on the internet in droves is not news. But a new trend is emerging among sellers on ecommerce platforms: they’re ditching old marketing playbooks and are turning to more personal interactions instead.
Taobao is at the forefront of that effort. Already, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon has legions of daigou agents: Chinese expats who buy foreign brands for their compatriots back home.