Nielsen and China’s second largest ecommerce platform, JD.com, have entered into a data-sharing partnership for multi-touch attribution (MTA), claiming the move helps solve the so-called last-click conundrum facing the industry.
Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific prior to the official announcement of the collaboration due later today, Vishal Bali, managing director of Nielsen China, said the partnership is the first of its kind in the industry with an ecommerce platform.
“The base of shoppers (236.5 million active users) that JD.com has is huge enough for marketers and advertisers to really ascertain and make decisions that are applicable to the whole market," Bali said. "From that point of view, I think this collaboration definitely has the right impact."
According to iResearch, JD.com has a market share of 24.7 percent in the B2C online shopping sphere, compared to the 56.6 percent share for Alibaba’s Tmall. Both Nielsen and JD.com had earlier cooperated in a data and measurement agreement on online sales since last December. Meanwhile, Nielsen also has an ongoing partnership with Alibaba.
Given that Chinese consumers spend a large amount of time on mobile, Bali said consumer path is fairly complex, and ecommerce in China is in many ways an advertising channel.
“Brands want to measure the impact of advertising both inside and outside of the ecommerce platform, and really ask questions about how much of it actually leads to sales," said Bali. "That’s the big question."
Furthermore, the fragmented nature of the digital environment in China, in comparision to the West, complicates the path to purchase, said Bali.
"Young millennnials, especially, have their own preferred online communities and different navigation habits," he said. "For example, in the West, when you think of a streaming site, what jumps to your mind is YouTube, but in China it is a long list of different sites, each with their own consumer groups. In some cases, we saw over 10,000 different paths to purchase within three months."
Another big question that hangs over the partnership is granular insight into attribution.