It’s well acknowledged in the SEO world that search engine results pages (SERPs) are a very valuable source of insights. You can really find a great deal of interesting information there, from competitiveness, search engine algo changes, to user intents. Today I will take a look at the SERPs of the top 4 Chinese eCommerce websites on Baidu, and get a rough idea of their online marketing strategies.
It’s pretty obvious that Amazon is working hard to promote their new single-letter domain “z.cn”. The domain of “z.cn” shows up three times, and Amazon is not inserting any generic keywords in their title, which indicates branding is an important part of their online strategy.
Another thing to note is that Amazon integrates Sina Weibo to the SERP, so users can follow their official Weibo account right from the SERP. Amazon currently has only around 200 thousand followers on Weibo, while 360Buy, another key player in the Chinese ecommerce market, has nearly 2 million followers.
What’s more, Amazon has also added an onsite search box there, with popular search queries as the default text in the box.
We can easily find Suning’s strategy is very different. While Amazon is promoting its brand, Suning is still trying to attract customers using low prices, with those competitive prices right in the title.
Suning also adds a search box here, but the default search is “refrigerator”, while that of Amazon is “Dazha crabs” , which is a very popular food as well as a gift between friends and relatives in the coming Mid-Autumn Festival.
360 just kicked off a bloody price war earlier this month, but now it seems 360Buy is shifting their strategy to emphasize the quality of their products instead of low prices.
360Buy also uses a multi-tab design for their promotion section, which makes search engine users able to navigate around to find products in more categories.
Based on the SERPs, it seems Gome now is the only one that is still in the all-out mode in the price war, which is already over actually when 360Buy got back sanity and left, and Suning got back half of theirs.
We can see a lot of competitive prices, such as “iPhone4S for 4089 Yuan”, “400 Yuan off for LED TV”, “100 Yuan Coupon for Orders over 99 Yuan”, etc.
Another reason why I want Gome to wake up is that their major competitor, 360Buy is ranking for their brand name in PPC. This is seriously not good.
To summarize, Amazon is promoting their brand, and the new domain of “z.cn”, and 360Buy has got back sanity by quitting the price war that it started and emphasizes quality, while Suning and Gome are still kind of in the war which the starter has already left.
By the way you may have found the SERPs we looked at are different than normal organic or paid results you are familiar with. That’s because these brands are using a service called “Baidu Brand Promotion”, specifically designed by Baidu to target large companies in the market, with larger display areas and more ways to show the ads.