Head of Planning at Emerging Communications, Rocky Chi, talks to Vogue Business about how the relationship between the daigous and brands has evolved in the face of Covid-19 and what their future role could look like.
Are brands now ready to mitigate risks by formalising relationships with daigous? Or do the daigous themselves need a rebrand first?
2020 started out as a toughest of years for China’s daigou. The Daigou shoppers, who buy products overseas for customers in China, had already faced considerable challenges brought about by changes in China’s customs controls and import taxes. Then Covid-19 hit bringing international travel restrictions, global logistic interruptions and supply chain issues as manufacturers and retailers closed. Demand from Chinese consumers dried up and business fell away.
Just a few short months later though and the picture had already started looking very different. Chinese consumers demand for overseas luxury goods picked up and the daigou were ready to step up, the industry had been revitalised. Ideally placed to be where the consumer cannot actually be, particularly with travel between Europe and China likely to be restricted until 2022, the daigou have been intrinsic in Chinese renewed consumption of luxury goods.
Whilst brands have traditionally been wary of the daigou, some have started to recognise the opportunity for building brand awareness, gaining consumer insights and building trust. As sales assistants struggled to reach targets some changed the order and formed alliances with influential daigous, allowing their brand to reach new audiences.