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.