Posts

In-Store Digital Luxury Experience Presented By Carlipa

The following is synthesized from a talk by VELVET and Carlipa, a technology company, about in-store digital luxury experiences. The talk took place in Shanghai on March 31, 2016 and is part of a bi-monthly morning series in partnership with our strategic partner, XNode Co-working Space and Startup Accelerator.

* * * * *

One of the biggest challenges in a digital age is recreating the in-store experience online and delivering brand value across a fragmented experience.

The digital experience is important because it is about business.

While a lot of the projects are linked to improving customer experience in store and to providing an interesting and outstanding experience, one of the big subjects is also to solve retail issues. Digital in-store experiences are not limited to communication, they also have a direct impact on sales.

Digital in-store experiences contribute to sales value, greater frequency of purchase, and customer loyalty. The digital customer experience is about business.

So what constitutes good customer experience? It’s not something you can measure, it’s not a metric-–it’s a perception. The only way to know is to ask the customer.

According to Forrester Research, there are three elements that are crucial for building customer experience. A brand should deliver value by bringing something useful that meets the needs of customers. A brand should delivery it in an easy way, and here technology factors a great deal. These two elements are very rational. The third element is extremely irrational and many people forget-–the experience needs to be enjoyable. So these are the three: useful and easy (rational) plus enjoyable (irrational).

The next idea I would like to share with you before starting is the fact that when we interact with clients through different channels and touch points, the interaction will set the expectation. Particularly with luxury, the promise and expectation is that customers will have an incredible experience. So you have all the traditional channels–-TV, ads, print, radio, email, web, digital–-that will set the expectation. But you need to deliver the promise. The higher you set the bar, the greater your deliverable becomes.

Some channels will deliver the value. The in-store experience, the way the manager welcomes you–-all of this delivers value. Furthermore, customer perception will be hard to shift once expectations have been set. The more you meet these expectations, the more you create incredible customer service.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the role of technology within all of that. So we return to the store, because this is the topic of today. We have drafted a value chain and there are three elements technology contributes at the point of sale. First is foot traffic. More traffic means more business. The second element of value is the experience at the point of sale, be it product information, engaging the manager, browsing the catalogue, etc. The third element is the sales conversion, to help conclude sales more efficiently. For example through mobile payment, so a customer doesn’t have to line up to make a purchase. Of course all the tools that lead to loyalty are also here.

That’s one layer. There are actually three layers.

The second layer is capturing foot traffic, which is usually very qualitative. The technology will help to capture the data and to target new customers to deliver personalized offerings.

The third layer involves how technology has the potential to empower staff. At the end of the day, most of the experience will be delivered by the staff, by the beauty adviser, the store manager, so it’s not just about technology for the customers, it’s also about how it will help the sales deliver better service. Technology delivers value to all three layers.

In conclusion, digital in-store experiences can improve overall customer experience and help resolve customer frictions. It is also important to remember that brands should deliver unique messages tailored for local market specificities while remaining true to the brand DNA. Lastly, content is critical to the success of in-store digital experiences. Content must be consistent, useful, qualitative and updated on a regular basis.

A PDF of the presentation containing case studies is available upon request.

Event: The Future of Virtual Reality for Brands

After decades of being relegated to the domains of science fiction and fantasy, virtual reality is finally coming to the masses. The year 2016 marks the first time virtual reality devices and content are accessible on a mass scale to consumers. In fact, it is possible to access virtual reality content through one’s smartphone and a simple cardboard glass for as little as RMB 20. Considering the imminent spread of virtual reality, the marketing potential for brands is immense and industries such as travel, real estate, and auto are among early adopters.

VELVET invites Eloi Gerard and Robert Ellis, co-founders of virtual reality content company Crow’s Nest, to speak on the latest developments in virtual reality and how brands can integrate it into marketing and communication strategies to better serve consumers. Solene Anglaret, Business Development Associate Director of Thomas Cook will present a case study and demo of a campaign in partnership with Crow’s Nest. Jim Lerch, Business Development Director and Enfys Luk, Senior Manager of East Asia, Integrated Marketing, both of Youku, will join for a Q&A session.

Crow’s Nest

eloi

Crow’s Nest Founder Eloi Gerard.

Crow’s Nest is the leading virtual reality agency in China, specializing in virtual content creation. Combining storytelling and filming expertise with 360 VR technologies, we build new worlds and amazing immersive experiences, from concept to production, and deliver content-driven campaigns online and offline. Thomas Cook, Club Med, Metro and PSA trust us to tell their brand stories and explore with us endless possibilities in VR.

Eloi Gerard

Eloi is the founder of Crow’s Nest. Thanks to a decade of experience as a consultant at Deloitte and a film producer, Eloi

has an extensive background at the crossroad of sales, operations and film production. He came to China in 2012 and joined the media production agency Must, where he met Rob. Throughout his career, Eloi served many brands (VW, Porsche, Volvo, Michelin, Bridgestone, Google, Puma, Adidas, Nike) and agencies (TBWA, DDB, Edelman, Jack Morton Worldwide, Y&R,

Fred&Farid).

Crow's Nest Co-founder Robert Ellis.

Crow’s Nest Co-founder Robert Ellis.

Robert Ellis

Co-founder of Crow’s Nest, Rob has over a decade of experience in video, film and creative direction in UK and China. Rob worked on major film productions across UK, including “Batman” and “Alexander”. In 2009, he came to China to work for a photography agency and soon joined Must, where he met Eloi. As a creative director, Rob has been a driving force in assisting brands such as Porsche, Tudor, Converse, Johnny Walker, Martel, Adidas, Coach, China Mobile, L’Oreal, and more.

 

EVENT DATE: April 21st, from 6:30 pm

VENUE:  CCIFC Shanghai

(This event is open to members of the French Chamber of Commerce (CCIFC) only.)

More info: http://www.ccifc.org/event/d/the-future-of-virtual-reality-for-brands

 

 

 

Challenges Magazine – Luxury Sales Overcomes Anti-corruption Measures in China

Campaigns against valuable gifts and purchases paralyze apparatchiks. But consumption patterns evolve.

Galeries Lafayette Beijing

Galeries Lafayette, Beijing. The well-known Parisian department store opened in mid-October occupying more than 30,000 square meters of retail space. Evidence shows that large luxury groups still rely on the Chinese market.

How much bribes, kickbacks, and gifts in kind are received annually by China’s officials, politicians and managers of state companies? Answer: it amounts to a mountain full of cash. In 2011, China’s central bank estimated, the sums diverted over the last twenty years summed up to more than 95 billion euros, so about 5 billion a year. Staggering.

Former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao noted that this evil has become “the greatest threat to the ruling party”, and its new leader Xi Jinping expressed that this is a war with no rest towards the millions of corrupt members. The system executives are banned from purchasing jewelry, high-end wine, and luxury leather goods with public funds. Also, they are barred from receiving presents with high monetary value, even though gifting is fundamentally rooted in the culture of the country and its business practices.

All that glitters and blings have been suppressed and perceived as a disgrace due to the new government regulations that have been passed recently. Even ministers store their gold watches – accessories they are crazy about, which represents 40% of Chinese luxury goods – on field trips to keep a low profile. A watchword against luxury already arises for large international brands, while China is expected to account in 2015 at least one third of the global market, estimated at nearly $ 175 billion, according to a study by McKinsey.

Previous drop in sales

During the Chinese New Year in February, a few months after the official launch of the anti-corruption campaign, “luxury goods spending dropped to $830 million, or – 53% compared to the previous year,” says Patrice Nordey, CEO of VELVET GROUP, a digital consulting agency based in Shanghai.

“Receptions and banquets have been cancelled, leaders have been indicted, Rolex watches and ostentatious Hermes hand bags have been banished from the media landscape. The anti-corruption campaign has had a real and noticeable effect on the sales of the luxury groups”.

However, most officials refuse to make a connection between this campaign and the fall of their sales.

“In reality, the slowing down already started since 2010, which was well before the anti-corruption measures. We observe a general slowing down in the growth of the luxury retail market in China, from an 18 % growth in the first quarter of 2010 to a less than 14 % growth in the first quarter of 2013”, adds Patrice.

Consequences: after years of strong growth over the last decade, large luxury conglomerates like LVMH and Kering select their new store locations more carefully within the 3000 shopping centers in the country and have taken measures to completely freeze new settlements stores.

Democratized consumption

Should we be alarmed that French houses rely on China as a growth driver? Not necessarily. Evidence shows that the dynamic is still there. Galeries Lafayette has just opened a store dedicated to fashion that covers 30,000 square meters in one of Beijing’s most popular neighborhoods near  Shin Kong Place, the luxury hotel in the created from scratch in 2007. This is the place to be. Chanel, Gucci, Prada , Armani, Italian and French ready-to-wear brands, more than 900 premium brands, the greatest wine brands in the world , rivers of diamonds … all this has generated a turnover of 6.5 billion Yuan (780 million Euros) in 2011. This has made it the most profitable luxury shopping area (excluding real estate and automobile) in the country. Nick Debnam, Asia-Pacific president of consumer markets with KPMG branch, expresses that the luxury sector “is not in recession,” despite a slowdown.

Online Sales Luxury Market China

In 2015, Online sales is expected to represent 10% of the luxury market in China (Source: iResearch).

“The growth drivers are still there and consumption patterns are changing,” he insists. In fact, luxury is no longer reserved for only Party apparatchiks or large fortune makers in the country. Nearly three-quarters of the 80 million Chinese tourists who travel the world each year now return with luxury purchases which they buy at a price 20-30% cheaper than in China. Their favorite shopping destinations include Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland and France. The average Chinese consumer’s shopping expense has increased to 1,500 euros, which is far higher than that of the Russians and Indians. Thus, luxury groups have put in place some comprehensive strategies to serve Chinese customers not only “in China, but also in their stores in Paris, Milan and Geneva,” says Patrice Nordey.

Boom on Internet

Luxury stands out on the Chinese Web – China ranks as the biggest market for e-commerce worldwide, before the United States. Estimated at 1.35 billion Euros in 2011 in the former Middle Kingdom, the e-luxury market has indeed jumped 70% last year with a total 2.3 billion Euros of online spending. It is expected to exceed 5.5 billion by 2015, according to iResearch Chinese cabinet, and thus capture 10% of the local luxury market. “The anti-corruption campaign will not change the situation,” said Wang Jun, a Beijing blogger.

This strong growth of online luxury disrupts traditional models, offering “the possibility of exploring brands on your iPad, via social networks such as Weibo, Wechat or P1. Consumers have the option to buy luxury goods and have them delivered straight to their home through online retailers such as Yoox, Glamour Sales, and Shangpin”, explains Patrice.

Is China the new continent for luxury? Despite the impact of the current campaign that targets the “rogue cops” Party, opportunities remain “for brands that manage to adapt to this new context.”

Article by Pierre Tiessen.

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

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 .

 

VELVET as “Keynote about Social Media for Luxury Brands in China”

Luxury Products Club

VELVET was invited last September 17th to animate the Luxury Products Club hosted by the French Chamber of Commerce. During this session, Patrice Nordey, CEO of Velvet, introduced some of the new developments of We Chat and Sina Weibo marketing.

Some of the attendees came especially from Beijing and Hong Kong to assist in this event very thoughtful and deeply insightful.

Many thanks to CCIFC for their kind invitation and the great organization.

Christian Louboutin Asia Has Arrived

Christian Louboutin Has Arrived (edm)Christian Louboutin launched first online boutique in Asia, shipping to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia.

This marks the French footwear specialist’s third e-commerce launch, with online boutiques already present in North America and Europe since 2010.

Online luxe fashion retailing has picked up in Asia in recent years. Fashion giant Lane Crawford, for example, added its e-commerce arm in 2011, while retailers like The Outnet and Mr Porter, and even smaller startups like Zooq are also contenders in the Asian e-commerce realm.