China Digital Roundup I Luxury cars, Lanvin, ShangPin, Burberry

A roundup on how digital is transforming our life and business – both in China and the rest of the world through November 29th.

On China’s Roads, Where Luxury Risks Becoming Ordinary, by Reuters

Luxury Car in China by Reuters

Luxury car dealers are resorting to offering customers massages, mini-golf and other gimmicks, hoping this will give them an edge in a ferociously competitive Chinese market where brand loyalty is less common than in the West.

Premium car sales slowed in China last year as the economy eased off the throttle and new Communist Party leadership was installed, but momentum is returning, and China is set to overtake the United States as the world’s top luxury car market by 2020 with annual sales of close to 3 million cars.

A victim of its own recent success, the Chinese market has become a hyper-competitive battleground. Five years ago, there were fewer than a dozen luxury car models sold under five premium brands. Today, that has exploded to more than 90 models offered by 25 brands, says market research firm TNS.

 

How Shanpin Plans to Win Big in China’s Luxury E-Commerce Market, by JingDaily

LANVIN ShangPin.com

Alibaba may be China’s clear market leader when it comes to mass consumer goods, but in China’s online luxury sphere, the market still remains fiercely competitive. With the launch of a new e-flagship platform and several other key marketing strategies, luxury e-tailer ShangPin aims to gain an edge in attracting and retaining savvy Chinese shoppers.

The three-year-old site just announced the rollout of its new online “shopping mall” business platform with the launch of an e-flagship store with partner Lanvin, which was revealed on November 18. The independent store hosted on ShangPin will feature men’s and women’s clothing, bags, accessories, and shoes. In addition to Lanvin, ShangPin is in talks with several other luxury brands to join the service, which marks a major development for the company.

 

China Tops E-commerce Opportunity Study, by WWD

China internet booms

When it comes to market opportunity for e-commerce, China occupies the number-one position, followed by Japan, the U.S., the U.K. and South Korea, according to a new global e-commerce study by A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm. They looked at 186 countries to determine the ranking of the top 30 countries. The index evaluates countries according to online market size, technology adoption and consumer behavior, infrastructure and growth potential.

In areas where there are obvious differences between developing and developed markets, the study illustrates key similarities such as consumer sophistication, the creativity and ingenuity of online sellers, intense competition and the kinds of products consumers will buy online.

Bits & Bytes | Iras, Chirpify, iZettle, by Business of Fashion

Iras app fashion topic

Helping luxury brands communicate this sentiment to their customers is Iras, a new app that provides shoppers with a feed of clothes that have been hand-picked for them by the stylists and sales associates at their favourite stores.

According to Chris Teso, founder of Chirpify“hashtags are the new URL.” The Portland, Oregon-based company is turning social networks into sales channels with “actiontags” — a play on hashtags — which makes it possible for users to link their payment details to their Twitter accounts and make purchases directly on the platform.

Elsewhere in the world of payments, iZettle (a company named after the concept of “settling a debt”) is allowing merchants to accept credit card payments via smartphone and tablet.

 

Burberry Reinvigorates Microsite for the Holidays to Expand Reach, by Luxury Daily

Burberry Kisses - Burberry

British fashion brand Burberry is reigniting consumer interest in its Burberry Kisses microsite by injecting holiday themes into the marketing efforts, rebranding the campaign for a new season.

Through the interactive microsite, visitors can not only send a photo of their own kiss, but also see where other people are sending kisses around the world in real time. By adding seasonal elements into a campaign, marketers can renew attention and gain fresh impressions.

VELVET partners with P1 on “The Great Style Leap” Streetstyle Photo Exhibition

The unique lifestyle focused social network P1 is showcasing a collection of photos at “The Great Style Leap”  exhibition that will occupy 800 square meter of space in the heart of Beijing’s trendiest shopping area, Taikoo Li Sanlitun.

The Great Style Leap photo

China has during the last 6 years undergone a paradigm shift when it comes to what people wear and how they chose to express their personality through their clothes. What was earlier a 2 dimensional status ladder where the size and price of your brand handbag was the definition of attractiveness has now been replaced by a complex of individual styles without one single common measuring tape.

The photos are selected from an incredible database of more than 6 million P1 streetstyle photos taken over the years of 2007-2013 in metropolitan China, showcasing the rapid proliferation of individual expression through what people wear. This unique database is a historical record of the progress that has taken place and the rapid proliferation of individual expression through what people wear.

The photo curation has been realized by one of the most influential women in China, Fashion Entrepreneur Hung Huang, with more than 8 million fans on Weibo.

Join us in celebrating the individual expression and originality of Chinese style today at “The Great Style Leap” in the fashion center of Beijing. So, you want to know more about the sponsorship opportunities, please contact us.

P1.com

About the organizer:

P1 is a lifestyle focused social network founded in 2007. It has since then attracted more than 3 Million members and is today a fully mobile social network where people share their lifestyles and find inspiration.

Location: Taikoo Li Sanlitun, Beijing
Date: Indoor [Dec 13 – 19, 2013] – Outdoor [Dec 5 – Jan 5, 2014]

Connexions – A Closer Look on “E-Retail: Luxury Gets Going… Finally!” by Patrice Nordey

LANVIN+完稿-1

According to a study done by KPMG, 72% of Chinese tourists traveling abroad claim to have bought luxury goods. These purchases represent a significant proportion of their total expenditure (over 40%) with the most popular products of choice as cosmetics, watches and handbags. The prices of these products bought abroad are 20 to 30% cheaper than in China, and account for half of China’s luxury market today.

However, with the rapid development of online shopping in the Middle Kingdom (159 billion Euros at end 2012), we see pure Internet players taking advantage of this lucrative market in the recent years. Startups such as 5lux.com, Ihaveu.com, Shangpin or Xiu.com (87 million turnover in 2012) buy directly from distributors – rarely trademarks – and short all intermediaries to offer prices 20-50% lower than those charged by official channels shops.

Some of these actors, such as Secoo.com, even sell second hand luxury goods while ensuring the authenticity and condition of the product through strict certifications.

To counter these new discount models – which have tremendously opened consumers’ appetite for the “digital luxury” – premium and high end brands fuss to offer their online distribution model to recreate the conditions of an experience luxury with exclusivity, personalization and value-added services.

Upscale cosmetics brands were the first to launch, for example Lancome or the specialized retailer Sephora in 2006. Marni, Armani, Bally, Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander Wang and the Moncler brands have also launched in 2012 under the auspices of the Italian Yoox platform. More recently, Hugo Boss and Coach launched their e-commerce with a narrow range of products. Department stores such as Marks & Spencers and Lane Crawford also accelerated the development of their Internet offerings for their wealthy clients in China and Hong Kong.

Estimated at 11.1 billion RMB in 2011, the e-luxury market in China jumped by 71% in 2012 with 18.9 billion RMB of online spending. It is expected to exceed 45 billion RMB by 2015 according to iResearch and thus, capturing 10% of the first luxury market in the world.

TechCrunch Shanghai – Digital Innovation in Fashion from Technology to Services

Digital-in-Fashion

Technology is upending every single part of our daily life and fashion industry is no exception. CEO of VELVET Digital Agency Patrice Nordey, Digital General Manager at Nike China Nicolas Zurstrassen, Director of Ecommerce & Operations at Converse An Chiem, Director of Digital Marketing at Westin Hostel Penny Peng, and Regional Digital Manager Asia and Australia at Nivea Eike Wobker joined us at TechCrunch Shanghai to discuss digital innovations in fashion industry.

All panelists agreed that social media, like FacebookWeChat and Sina Weibo, plays a significant role in their interaction with customers.

In hospitality industry, the social media provides more convenience to customers, enabling them to search for hotels assorted based on reviews from friends, obtain customer services, etc., said Penny.

An Cheim noted that they want to maintain the application of social media at interactive level, to have two-way conversation with consumers, rather than going too far to become an ecommerce channel only.

In selection of digital technologies, brands always have to get back to the question of who your consumer is, what are their demands, and how do they want to be attracted to your brands, said Nocolas. The next crucial factor is to provide utility to them in terms of a tool, a story and a service. He added mobile marketing is not only about mobile phones, but about mobility or what the consumers need when they are out, and therefore, it is applicable to all wearables, like shoes and clothes.

According to Eike, digital provides an opportunity to glue different marketing channels together.

– See more on Technode!

China Digital Roundup I In-Store Technology, Michael Kors, TechCrunch Shanghai

A roundup on how digital is transforming our life and business – both in China and the rest of the world through November 22th.

Is In-Store Technology Increasing or Subduing the Relevance of Retail Employees? from Luxury Daily

Guccy In Store Technology

As luxury retailers implement more responsive and comprehensive technology into their stores, employees may find it challenging to prove their relevance.

Mobile technology holds clear advantages over people, such as the ability to retrieve warehouses of product information and design virtual outfits on the spot. While making technology a part of the retail experience can no longer be avoided, luxury retailers should be aware that shearing away too many jobs can hurt brand reputation and certain positions just can’t be replicated by a device.

The report notes that as technology continues to reinvent the retail space, retailers should invest in omnichannel capabilities that will enrich the relationships between consumer and sales associate.

 

China’s Mobile Habits, from Red Luxury

China mobile trends 2013

The smartphone phone has fundamentally changed the way consumers shop, from how they evaluate products to how they buy. A new study by Mindshare China and Millward Brown China urges brands to deliver “a seamless branding and retail experience across all platforms.”

“We know China is such a dynamic market and consumers are increasingly not only using PCs and laptops, but are now directly engaging on mobile platforms for shopping purposes. This increases expectations for brands to deliver a viable shopping experience on all store fronts,” says Ben Condit, Digital Partner at Mindshare China. “From the research, compellingly, we see this to be true across all market levels in China, not just at the top tier.”

 

Michael Kors Brings Instagram Campaign to Life at Tokyo Museum, from Luxury Daily

tokyo Michael Kors Instagram

U.S. label Michael Kors is connecting fans of its Selma handbag through an Instagram initiative that stimulates conversation and unites the brand’s global tribe of enthusiasts. The fan-fueled and city-focused #JetSetSelma effort builds upon Michael Kors’ already diverse product-based digital presence. The label has successfully used key social media platforms, such as Tumblr and Pinterest, to solidify its relationship with core consumers.

“#JetSetSelma is a platform on which to build the association between the handbag’s style, name and social media identity,” said Lisa Pomerantz, senior vice president of global communications and marketing at Michael Kors, New York.

 

TechCrunch Shanghai – How Chinese Bitcoin Businesses See the Market, from Technode

bitcoin conference TechCrunch Shanghai China

The trading price of Bitcoin, the algorithms-powered virtual currency, as of writing is about $530 on the trading platform Mt. Gox. Looking at real-time trading platforms the trading volume from China has been among the top markets worldwide. According to Bitcoin Charts,  31% of the total exchange volume worldwide is traded in CNY (Chinese Yuan).

During the event, the panelists conclude that 1) the value of Bitcoin would continue going up, 2) the commissions fee rates are lower than what traditional financial services charge. Bitcoin is the first time one currency has so many advantages, 1) scarcity, 2) distributed computing 3) digital payment 4) direct transactions that you don’t need any third-parties to process money and 5) it’s very safe that theoretically it cannot be stolen.

 

China’s Unstoppable E-Commerce Market Ready to ‘Explode’, from Jing Daily

China e-commerce expansion 1st market

According to the firm’s 2013 Global Retail E-Commerce Index, China’s $64 billion online retail market is expected to “explode” to reach $271 billion in the next five years, placing it at the top of the list for the world’s most promising e-commerce markets. The 30-country ranking includes both developing and developed markets, with Japan and the United States trailing China in second and third place on the list.

With a developing “Next Generation” categorization, China’s e-commerce market has “been able to shortcut the traditional online retail maturity curve as online retail grows at the same time that physical retail becomes more organized,” according to the report. Although there are still significant logistical challenges, the report predicts that “infrastruc­ture improvements, increased Internet access for rural regions, rising wealth, and consumers’ growing predisposition to spend” will all lead to the market’s continued boom.

China Digital Roundup I Valentino, Luxury E-Commerce, Apple, Alibaba 11/11, Vancl

A roundup on how digital is transforming our life and business – both in China and the rest of the world through November 15th.

Valentino Targets Global Audience by Live-Streaming Shanghai Collection, from Luxury Daily

VALENTINO Fashion Show

Italian fashion house Valentino is taking an unconventional approach to promote the opening of its new store location in Shanghai by unveiling an exclusive collection Nov. 15 that will be available at this location months before it hits the shelves in other stores.

The Maison’s creative directors, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, designed the Shanghai collection that will premiere Nov. 14 on the Bund and via a live-stream on its Web site. By live-streaming the show, Valentino is giving consumers around the world the opportunity to participate in the opening of its newest flagship even though they cannot be there in person.

 

5 Tips for Luxury E-Commerce Success, from Jing Daily

5Lux example eshop

Luxury is set to take up a significant part of the online retail pie, with an estimation to be worth $27 billion by the end of this year. However, China’s e-tail landscape has proven especially tricky for luxury brands. Despite the significant profits to be made, Macy’s put its China e-commerce plans on hold in October of this year, which followed a decision by Neiman Marcus to downscale its China e-commerce operations several months ago.

These instances likely reflect the fact that luxury e-commerce faces many challenges in China, including logistical issues that harm quality of service, customer concerns about fakes, and fear of online fraud. However, the business climate may be improving: a recent survey of Chinese luxury customers by Ruder Finn and IPSOS found that 36 % of respondents prefer to shop for luxury goods online, a 22 % increase from 2012.

 

Apple is about to crash the party, claims L2 founder, from Luxury Daily

Apple Luxury orientations

L2′s founder predicted that technology giant Apple will be venturing into luxury categories in the near future to capitalize on enormous profit margins and its pristine brand image at the L2 Forum 2013. L2 Think Tank boss Scott Galloway pointed out that Apple’s acquisition of CEOs from Burberry and Saint Laurent indicates that the brand is forcefully moving toward the luxury sector. The founder also warned that luxury brands will begin to face increasing disruption from outsiders.

“Apple is about to crash the party,” Mr. Galloway said. “Why wouldn’t [Apple] migrate to [luxury]? The move gives consumers a chance to express their affinity for Apple with something other than [technology],” he said. “Luxury is on the verge of a massive disruption by competitors.”

 

$5.7 billion spent in 24 hours on ‘Cyber Monday’ Alibaba, from Tech In Asia

Alibaba Tmall

China’s 11/11 online shopfest – the country’s equivalent of America’s Cyber Monday – has just finished. It’s been a record-smashing mega-sale on hundreds of e-stores. Here at Alibaba HQ, the makers of China’s top online marketplaces are celebrating the biggest-ever shopping day: a grand total of $5.7 billion (RMB 35.02 billion) spent in the course of just 24 hours.

(Update: Total unique visitors on Tmall on this 11/11 hit 402 million, up from 213 million on the same day last year). The sales on Alibaba’s Tmall involved over 20,000 merchants on its online marketplace. That massive $5.7 billion figure counts only Tmall and Taobao customers who paid via the company’s own Alipay (like Paypal), so the total spending amount will be higher once all payment methods are totaled up. The most popular store on Tmall all day was the official shop of Xiaomi, China’s upstart phone-maker.

 

Chinese clothing e-tailer Vancl gets $100 million funding, from Tech In Asia

Vancl eshop

Chinese clothing e-tailer Vancl, which sells Muji/Uniqlo-esque cheap yet funky clothing on the web, has wrapped up its seventh round of venture capital funding. The newest tranche is worth $100 million, Vancl vice president Xu Xiaohui revealed to China’s Economic Observer newspaper. No further details were given.

Vancl – which also has an open marketplace for clothing-related merchants called V+ – is still dogged by rumors of financial problems. Vancl has raised over $400 million in its previous rounds from the likes of IDG Capital, but the e-store spent 2012 shedding thousands of jobs, and earlier this year restructured its business divisions as it seeks to remain agile amidst ever stronger e-commerce competition in China.

China Digital Roundup I The Left Shoe Company, Tmall, Cartier, Le Printemps

A roundup on how digital is transforming our life and business – both in China and the rest of the world through November 12th.

The Left Shoe Company: Old Craftsmanship and New Tech, from Business Of Fashion

Left Shoe Company Scan

The London outpost of Finnish upstart The Left Shoe Company is located in a jewel-sized store in Princes Arcade, a covered shopping arcade that runs between Piccadilly and Jermyn Street in one of the British capital’s smartest shopping districts, known for its men’s shoe and shirtmakers.

At the store, customers can order made-to-measure shoes, selecting from six different sole options and 20 different upper variations, available in a wide range of colors and materials, from leather and suede sourced from Italy to exotic skins like stingray and alligator, sourced from Taiwan and Paraguay, respectively. The shoes are designed by Maurizio Mazzucato, who works with some of Italy’s largest fashion houses.

 

Alibaba’s Tmall Sees $500 Million spent in First 20 Minutes, from Tech In Asia

Tmall Singles Days

It has just turned November 11 in China, commencing the nation’s craziest day of online shopping discounts and spending. It’s called 11/11. At Alibaba HQ, China’s top e-commerce company is watching its consumers spending in real-time in what I like to call its ‘big data’ war-room. Alibaba’s Tmall, its open marketplace for merchants, saw $177 million spent in the first six minutes. That leapt to $266 million (RMB 1.64 billion) after the first ten minutes, and then to very near $500 million (RMB $3.021 billion) at the 20-minute mark. (UPDATE: After the first 50 minutes, $1 billion has been spent).

In the hour before midnight, Alibaba representatives said that six million people had put items in their virtual baskets, awaiting the start of 11/11 and for the discounts to become active. More than 20,000 merchants on the Tmall online marketplace – from small businesses to major brands like Uniqlo – are taking part in the sales day.

 

How to Set up a Fashion Business from Scratch via e-Commerce, from Business Of Fashion

eCommerce Fashion Brands

It’s no secret that the web has become one of the most effective tools for fashion brands to market and sell their wares. According to market research firm Emarketer, online sales of apparel and accessories are now growing faster than any other e-commerce product segment (20 percent per year).

By 2016, the category will account for $73 billion worth of online purchases in the US alone, just over 20 % of all online retail sales. And while young fashion brands will always need to maintain offline touch points where customers can touch, feel and try on product, seizing the e-commerce opportunity is equally crucial to long-term success.

 

Cartier CEO Stresses Importance of Carefully Curated Digital Presence, from Luxury Daily

Cartier - YouTube

The North America chief of French jeweler Cartier at the L2 Forum 2013 said that while the brand is investing heavily in digital media, the house proceeds with caution when applying a new social media tactic, keeping in mind the brand image and long legacy.

While other brands jumped on Facebook and began posting a lot of content, Cartier decided to test the waters first, only posting one item a month out of worries that fans would tire of seeing multiple posts from them. During the “A Conversation with Prestige CEOs” session the Cartier executive said that the jewelry brand has since raised the frequency of its social media postings, but still keeps a tight hold on its presence online.

 

Printemps Sets E-commerce Strategy, from WWD

Le Printemps Paris

Absent from e-commerce until now, Printemps said it hopes to generate at least 10 % of its sales from the channel within three to four years.
“We believe the French market is at a tipping point,” Printemps chairman and CEO Paolo de Cesare said. “Customers want to have an experience online, and in a physical store.”

Last month, Printemps acquired French fashion e-commerce site Place des Tendances from media firm TF1 Group, and de Cesare said it would be its main vehicle in the online world.

Event Watch – China in Context by Jing Daily in New York on November 14th 2013

Context in China Jing Daily

You are in US and you want to know more about Luxury, Chinese Market & Digital Strategy?

China Luxury Advisors and Jing Daily have partnered to host a seminar to provide senior leadership from luxury brands, retailers, digital companies, media organizations, hospitality, and destinations with strategic insights into the Chinese consumer that will influence both China strategy and global practices and decisions for brands who are serious about winning the Chinese consumer.

Topics will include:

  • Innovation and the Chinese consumer: As China’s luxury market rapidly changes, learn how brands are innovating to appeal to Chinese consumers, from brand positioning to design, product development, retail, and marketing.
  • Consumer influencers: From cultural traditions to KOLs, explore the landscape of what’s influencing the tastes and purchase habits of China’s affluent consumers, and learn how to best maximize investment and outreach in this area.
  • Effective brand building for the Chinese consumer: Best practices for enhancing consumer demand both in China and abroad.
  • Understanding China’s travelers: On-the-ground observations and stories from traveling with Chinese high-net-worth consumers.

Save the date & Buy your tickets here!

Context in China Jing Daily

Date: November 14th, 2013
Location: AW Asia – 545 W 25th St – New York, NY 10001
Duration: 1 day (8:30 am – 12:00 pm)
Price: seminar ticket $350 – conference special, 3 tickets $700