Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 1.30.42 PMLotion, cleanser and anti-aging treatment brand Olay topped our inaugural Digital IQ Index: Personal Care China study, released today. A key factor in Olay’s success is its robust presence on digital marketplace Tmall. With 78% of Index brands, 500 million users, 70,000 brands, and 50,000 merchants on the site, Tmall remains the e-commerce platform of choice for personal care brands in China. However, Olay’s presence is more substantial than most.

It is one of six brands to offer a Tmall loyalty program that shares data with its brand site and offline stores. Its branded Tmall storefront is customizable based on user preferences. It is one of the few (less than a quarter) of Index brands to offer live chat with beauty experts, and uses Alipay Connect to expedite payments and combine loyalty program data with its brand site. Users can submit a photo to customize a gift box, and receive free samples in exchange for submitting reviews. Olay has shipped 22,501 samples to date.

Despite the e-commerce platform’s popularity, personal care brands’ Tmall strategy lags. A quarter of Index brands fail to promote their Tmall shops on official sites or Sina Weibo accounts. And even though Tmall shops are highly customizable, many brands have not invested in doing so. Olay’s success demonstrates how a high-quality Tmall store can lead to consumer engagement, better brand image, and ultimately sales.

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