Australia’s first purpose-built retail hub for China’s growing army of “daigou” shoppers has opened, with facilities to stream live to millions of consumers waiting to place an order from overseas.
The daigou hub in Sydney’s Chinatown has been created by ASX-listed AuMake to serve up products from AuMake’s 500 Australian partner brands to daigou, or personal shoppers, buying for clients in China.
AuMake chairman Keong Chan said the live stream of Thursday’s event was watched by an audience of 730,000 people in mainland China.
“That time of the day is normally a quiet time for online activity, however it reinforces the significant interest in AuMake and quality Australian products,” Mr Chan said.
The new hub is a response to China’s changing consumer habits, allowing buyers to watch as daigou and suppliers discuss products before placing orders.
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“Watching, interacting as our suppliers introduce and tell their brand story, through their trusted daigou – is the next evolution for consumers who demand more knowledge of what they’re buying,” he said
The hub has its own video crew producing broadcast-quality content that is streamed via a dedicated channel on Chinese streaming service Taobao – a step up from the grainy WeChat-based video used by the majority of big daigou.
According to AuMake there are up to 100,000 daigou shoppers in Australia, but the “big daigou”, with an average 20,000 customers, can ship $15,000 worth of Australian products each week.
ThinkChina digital marketer Benjamin Sun thinks daigou in Australia today possibly generate $300 million of sales annually.
AuMake recently opened a warehouse showroom in Sydney’s western suburbs to specifically cater for top daigou shoppers and high-value Chinese tour groups.
The company has a retail flagship on Sydney’s main CBD street, George St, and plans to roll out another retail hub in the city’s inner-west in April and another in either Brisbane or Melbourne later in the year.
Elizabeth Wei, a Guangzhou-born student who shops for family and friends says that the challenge for retailers is to keep influential daigou and Chinese “vloggers” – video bloggers – coming back.
“There needs to be a reason to return and show something new, or your customers are just watching the same thing in the same shop,” she said.