The Oban Blog

Digital World – Global Digital Marketing News: Thursday 5 November 2015

November brings with it the several major ecommerce events around the world, with China’s Singles Day a focus of one of our headlines and Google axing an event in India in the Diwali deals season due to intense competition. Meanwhile, Russian colour preferences, bilingual results in Google India and the popularity of foreign apps in China are also discussed. Read on for your roundup of the week’s biggest international digital marketing stories.

40% of China’s ecommerce products are fake (and it’s Singles Day next week)

According to the Chinese government’s law enforcement and inspection team, only 58.7% of all goods sold online are genuine. This means that over 40% of products aren’t what they claim to be – whether that means pirated media, brand-name clothing knock-offs or bottles of miscellaneous chemicals passing themselves off as big-name cosmetics.

The sample size of the study hasn’t been made public, but the reality is that China’s ecommerce industry heavily features consumer to consumer trade, and the country has a long and storied history with counterfeit goods. The study’s release is likely intended to place Chinese consumers on guard ahead of the huge Singles Day events that ecommerce outlets run on 11 November – 84% of Chinese digital buyers plan to make a purchase this year.


Yandex discusses colour use in Russian advertising

Colour preferences are one of the more subtle but difficult to uncover aspects of cultural difference, so this guide to colour use in Russian advertising may be a good place to start. Red, for instance, picks up a lot of historical associations one could guess at – patriotism, courage and valor, however it is also associated with happiness, success and prosperity. It is commonly used in advertising to encourage indecisive users.

Gold and yellow are considered attractive due to their association with warmth and sunshine – something sometimes lacking in Russia. Technology adverts often use yellow due to an association with the “deciphering signs of intellect”. Green is used by financial institutions due to its association with foreign currency.


Google testing bilingual English/Hindi interface in India

An interesting mobile SERP test seen in the wild by a Twitter user (as reported by involves Google India serving a convenient split view for results in English and Hindi. Users targeted with the test can easily switch between the two languages using a simple option bar above the first result.

India’s linguistic plurality is one of its most interesting (and challenging) features – there are 11 local languages besides Hindi that have more than 25 million Indian speakers (Bengali and Tamil have more than 80 million). Nonetheless, Hindi and English share status as official languages (though not national languages) and function as the lingua franca in north and south India respectively.


25% of all mobile users in China use foreign apps

A report on mobile usage in China by reveals that 310 million Chinese mobile users have used apps originating outside of China, or around 25% of the total mobile user market in the country. Popular apps assist with everyday social, shopping, entertainment and work needs, though there is a significant sub-section of popular apps that come into play when Chinese mobile users travel abroad.

The report shows significant variations between iOS and Android app use: Facebook is the most used app on iOS, but only the 14th most used on Android. YouTube, Chrome and Uber are the only three apps that appear in both platforms top 10s. Google visibly benefits massively form the pre-installation of its apps on the Android platform – the Google Search, Google+, Hangouts and Google Drive apps appear exclusively in the Android list. Google Pinyin, Google’s app for handling the input of Chinese via Latin alphabet characters is third on the Android list.

Google stops November deals event in India as regional sales take off

Google India’s Cyber Monday-style sales events season, the Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) is no more. Launched in 2012 when only 8 million people shopped online in India, the rapid growth of internet and ecommerce users in the country (350 million users, 50 million shoppers) has led to Google concluding that it no longer has to prove ecommerce’s worth in the market. It will presumably now walk dramatically into the sunset as the credits roll.

To keep up-to-date with the latest international digital marketing news, sign up to Oban’s newsletter, Trendspotter. Alternatively contact Oban on +44(0)1273 613 400 or email [email protected] for advice on how we can help leverage your global online presence.

Image credits

“Fake Fake Fake” photo by Flickr user Robert Ennals

Street in color_IX photo by Flickr user Oleg Afonin

Google India app photo by Twitter user Abhijeet Mukherjee

Apple in China photo by Flickr user Thomas Bachinger