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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.

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.

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.

Shanghai Fashion Web – Event Overview [Part 1/2]

On September 13th 2013, the first edition of Shanghai Fashion Web was held. The Shanghai Fashion Web is an event showcasing cutting edge topics related to the fashion and luxury industry as well as today’s digital environment.

Shanghai Fashion Web

Despite the thunderstorm that overtook Shanghai that afternoon, our brave guests overcame the weather difficulties and marched right into our event. Bravo! In the heart of Shanghai at the historical venue, Kathleen’s 5 in People’s Square, close to 100 of our attendees participated in the discussion of today’s critical topics in luxury and the digital field.

A series of seminars were presented by 10 top thought leaders in the digital field, the general topic being “Reshaping today’s Luxury; Unifying Fashion, Art, Design and going Digital”.

We had a wonderful night of learning and interaction with our avid speakers and engaged attendees. Following the seminars, we were in no shortage of entertainment. The creative contemporary dance performance brought by Nunu and her student from Brand Nu Dance Shanghai wowed many of our guests. Overall, we are happy to communicate that 88% of the SFW attendees were highly satisfied about the content and the organization of the event.

You can find below a quick overview of the SFW event.

 4:00 PM – Welcoming of the attendees

Networking SFW

At 3:59 PM precisely, the first attendee arrived in Kathleen’s 5 venues and was welcomed by the Velvet team. Our attendees were soon in deep discussion on digital topics with SFW speakers like Alexis Bonhomme, Peter Xu, and Svante Jerling before the talks began. Some of our guests helped themselves to the juices and refreshments prepared by Kathleen 5 while others enjoyed the time to take some selfies with the venue!

5:00 PM – Start of the talk shows

Patrice Nordey

With a short welcome and thank you speech by Patrice Nordey, CEO of Velvet Group, the panel session started. The first session on the list was the Bundshop concept presentation.

Diana Tsai & Stephany Zoo – Founder of the Bundshop

BundShop

Diana Tsai & Stephanie Zoo, founders of the Bundshop, enlightened us with the concept of their organization. The Bundshop is not only an eCommerce platform to promote sales of creative Chinese design pieces but also a digital marketing vessel to bring emerging Chinese designers to the world. A brilliant concept envisioned by two charming ladies! Following the first session, Diana and Stephany introduced to us one of their designer partners, Mary Huynh.

Mary Huynh – Design by MaryH

Designed by MaryH

MaryH, a luxury leather goods designer who has been collaborating with the Bundshop since the very beginning, shared with us her personal story and experiences launching her brand in China. Her work was featured in the Shanghai Fashion Week in April this year. During the session, she even showed us some of her handmade pieces, mainly wallets and leather-made accessories. We know that Mary is a designer to look out for.

Peter Xu – Fashion Blogger

Peter Xu Fashion Blogger

Peter Xu, famous Fashion Blogger and KOL, is in no need of introduction in China. During his session, he revealed his personal success story in the Fashion Industry, sharing with us how he jumpstarted his career through blogging and building his virtual networks. The attendees enjoyed Peter’s charisma and energy in his talk, which was both entertaining and insightful.

Thibault Villet – CEO of Glamour Sales

Glamour sales presentation

CEO Thibault Villet from Glamour Sales shared with us some of his insights on the key success factors and CRM of the luxury flash sale e-commerce platform. While catering to luxury goods, many features of the website must be carefully considered and executed in a way that is in line with consumer opinion. See the article to know more about flash sales orientations by Glamour Sales .

 

Shanghai Fashion Web – Event Overview [Part 2/2]

On September 13th 2013, the first edition of Shanghai Fashion Web was held. The Shanghai Fashion Web is an event showcasing cutting edge topics related to the fashion and luxury industry as well as today’s digital environment.

6:30PM – Break & Lucky Draw

Lucky Draw MaryH

Following the break shortly, we held a lucky draw and we would like to personally thank MaryH for her beautiful leather handmade wallets as prizes. The lucky winners of the draw were Dominique Simard (Director of Fashion Education at Conde Nast), Rodolph Garnier (China Global Sourcing Director at Camaieu) and one of our speakers, Svante Jerling (Founding Member and VP of P1.cn)!

Alexis Bonhomme, General Manager of Curiosity China

WeChat presentation

Alexis Bonhomme navigated us through the new WeChat App 5.0 Version, showcasing powerful new tools that are beneficial to both businesses and consumers. Everybody upgrade to 5.0 now! See the article to know more about the new WeChat 5.0 features.

Michael Shi – Founder & CEO of Hairbobo

HairBobo

Michael Shi is the founder and CEO of Hairbobo, the B2B community website bringing hairdressers and stylists together to share tips and the latest trends in hair and fashion. He also introduced their new app for consumers, which features an online booking function to book for hair appointments with hairdressers and stylists.

Svante Jerling, Founding member of P1.cn

P1.cn Svante Jerling

Svante Jerling unveiled the exclusive activities behind P1, its new projects, as well as its luxury members. P1 is a platform that showcases the latest street styles of fashionistas in China.

Mimi Vong – Country Manager from YOOX Group

Yoox Group Presentation by Mimi Vong

Mimi Vong presented the different consumer profiles YOOX has in Asia and the strategies that made YOOX so powerful today. Yoox is diversified in its profile: yoox.com, thecorner.com, and shoescribe.com. In China, it has launched an exciting collaboration with the Super Boy contest 2013, a famous singing competition in China. During the talk, Mimi offered some valuable advice for brands including their product selection and a focus on younger generation consumers.

After…

Following the panel sessions, it was networking and fun time! We loved the French fusion finger food, Polaroid photos, and creative dance by Nunu that filled the night. The event was a big success and Velvet would like to give a big thanks to our active participants, speakers, and entertainers that made this a night to remember.

And also, thank you to our guest for your perfect conclusion:

“We are very glad to have participated in this year’s SFW. Thanks for your teams professional arrangement and great hospitality! We liked the topics. So many new ideas bring E-commerce a bright future.”

Tommy Qiu, Marketing Executive at Lane Crawford

– See more pictures of the event here!