China’s largest retailer, JD.com is helping Nestlé win in the Chinese market through careful analysis of consumer insights and thoughtful product design, as demonstrated by a couple of recent cases.
JD recently took up the challenge of making Nestlé’s already high selling Nestlé Purina FancyFeast cat wet food packages even more popular. Analyzing the buying habits of FancyFeast consumers, JD found that some of the flavors in the variety pack were more popular than others. The joint team used these insights to create a new 8-can variety pack comprised of two cans of each of the four most popular flavors. When the product first launched, JD worked with the brand to identify a group of consumers on JD who would be likely to welcome the product based on a range of factors, and to prepare 10,000 trial boxes (2 cans per box) to include in their existing orders. The results were clear: during the 6.18 shopping holiday, sales of the new sets of cans were twice that of the old variety.
JD also leveraged information gathered from consumers’ demographic profiles to create the new FancyFeast product. By analyzing the profile of Nestlé Purina consumers, JD found that most consumers are highly educated, higher spending, and more likely to be members of JD’s loyalty program, JD Plus. JD also noticed a general trend of pet owners interested in acquiring higher quality products for their pets - for example, recent searches for “smart pet water fountain” have surged. JD concluded that Nestlé Purina consumers would be willing to spend more on premium pet food and recommended an upgrade of the old flavors. For example, the “tuna” flavor has been ungraded to a more premium “tuna with bonito flakes and chicken.”
Consumer insights weren’t just limited to the animal world, as JD also helped Nestlé better tailor their wafer bar products to the Chinese market. Nestlé’s crispy wafer bars are one the brand’s signature items, and are a snack JD consumers often go online to buy in bulk. When analyzing consumer feedback, JD found that consumers preferred large packages of wafer bars for trips and family outings — but at the time, Nestlé’s wafer bar product portfolio didn’t offer an optimal solution to suit these types of occasions. At the same time, consumers indicated that they preferred smaller wafer bars in a variety of flavors to be able to share more easily. Based on this information, JD helped Nestlé designed new, larger packs containing more mini-sized wafer bars in a variety of flavors. To position the product to consumers as an ideal choice for outings, the package was designed in the shape of a backpack. JD and Nestlé’s thoughtful design paid off – from June 1-June 18, sales of the new product were 70% higher than the same period of the previous month.
The new initiatives are the latest in a long history of partnership between JD and Nestlé. Nestlé products have consistently performed well on JD.com, and JD is the biggest online seller of Nestlé products in China. Nescafé is the brand’s best-selling product on JD, and KitKat bars have also been a consistently popular choice of snack among JD’s affluent users.
“This is a clear demonstration of our Consumer-to-Manufacturer model’s power to help brands connect more deeply with Chinese consumers,” said Carol Fung, President of JD FMCG. “Nestlé is a long-time partner of ours, and together we keep innovating to meet and exceed consumer expectations.”
“The depth of insights JD provides to Nestlé in China is invaluable in helping us provide consumers exactly what they want,” said Rebecca Wang, Head of E-commerce, Nestlé GCR. “E-commerce in China provides a unique view into consumer desires, and JD is leading the way in converting these insights into tangible recommendations on product design, positioning and marketing.”
JD has increasingly looked to apply its consumer insights for the benefit of brands on its platform, as part of the company’s “C2M” (Consumer-to-Manufacturer) initiative. Other successful products to benefit from JD’s C2M model include diapers, alcohol and even sticky rice dumplings.