When COVID-19 struck, the 144-year old Michigan floor care company BISSELL drew on market insights from Alibaba to generate growth even during times of uncertainty. Launched on Tmall in 2017, BISSELL saw that Chinese consumers were becoming more willing to invest in formula-based cleaning solutions and steam cleaners during the pandemic. Armed with such intel, BISSELL enlisted key opinion leaders (KOLs) to demonstrate its various products including CrossWave 3.0, a cordless multisurface floor cleaner developed for the Chinese market, through livestreaming.

Although BISSELL had not used livestreaming previously, the approach resonated with Chinese consumers, who appreciated seeing how the products worked in real life. This approach significantly boosted BISSELL’s online sales starting in the first quarter of 2020. Although initially developed to meet Chinese consumers’ specific needs, the CrossWave 3.0 is now BISSELL's hero product and is sold not only in China, but also across North America, Germany and Australia. Learn more about BISSELL's story here.

Floor care company BISSELL, a family owned business headquartered in Grand Rapids, found great success expanding its customer base in China through Tmall, Alibaba’s business-to-consumer e-commerce platform. Since launching its digital storefront on Tmall in 2017, BISSELL has leveraged the platform’s success to over 780 million Chinese consumers. The company has used Alibaba’s marketing services to grow its reach and develop new vacuums and cleaning products specifically for the Chinese market.

“Being successful in selling products on Tmall has been a game-changer for us,” said BISSELL CEO Max Bissell. “Tmall has transformed our business.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck China, BISSELL quickly adapted its online strategy to better cater to its consumers’ needs. To address coronavirus-related disruptions to its supply chain, BISSELL tapped Alibaba’s digital tools and strategies. In its Tmall online store, it began using a recommendation feature that redirects consumers browsing out-of-stock items to pages listing similar products. This helped the company keep up with consumer demands and also effectively manage its inventory.

“For us, it was about doing the research and having the knowledge to back up our product-development process, which helped us develop something unique and enable us to be at the tip of the spear,” said Max Bissell.