Milano Fashion International, 1 June 2016: Successful on the web, yes but using social networks
To successfully sell to the one third of Chinese who are used to buy online, Armani, Moncler, Fendi, Gucci, Furla have to reach out to fashion bloggers, open virtual malls and multiply investments in digital.
Web mania is transforming Via della Seta in a sort of motorway for virtual commerce, forcing big luxury & fashion companies to refocus their marketing strategies in the digital track. It’s all about changing what we need in what we want: in 2020 online sales will represent 22% of the total retail sales and 35% of the total clothes and accessories purchases will done online, this opens new opportunities.
“Developing a strategy is fundamental, especially for SME who can benefit from wide opportunities, providing they equip themselves in order to take care of the local business”, Andrea Bonardi explained. He is the Managing Partner of Texere Advisors, which assists companies in their expansion into Asia.
In those dynamic markets companies can start front line, with their own shop windows in mandarin language or through the huge online malls which reach out to consumers, above malls offering luxury products.
Tmall and JD.com are two well-known malls which hold three quarter of online shopping and Vip.com is a website specialized in fashion segment only.
Daigou instead, is a website where intermediaries buy high-end foreign products to resell them in China (35%), or where consumers can shop on foreign websites for fashion too.
A research by Exane Bnp Paribas established that, over a significant sample of over 5,000 luxury consumers, 40% of the respondents buy luxury products online more than five times par year and 35% is about to increase its online high end products expense. The objective is to save money compared to the same luxury products’ prices, in particular for bags and ready-to-wear, which are proposed by Chinese stores generally 40% higher compared to Western prices. That explains why 45% of luxury consumers are made by Chinese online platforms.
For both mass market and high end luxury products, communication is fundamental to push through. Internet is a big place, but Chinese consumers are very active in digital research the Web is their main source of information. Taking care of the smallest details is crucial in the online competition, Bonardi advises.