Posts

NoFashion – Patrice Nordey insights on Chinese Luxury Market

On September 13, the first digital fashion assembly “Shanghai Fashion Web” will be held in Shanghai, hosted by the luxury digital consultancy agency VELVET Group. Approximately 150 luxury and digital marketing industry leaders have been invited, with speakers including Glamour-Sales China founder and CEO Thibault Villet, Italian luxury online retailer Yoox Group Chinese director Mimi Vong, and the famous fashion blogger & KOL, Peter Xu, who will deliver a keynote speech.

Patrice Nordey

During a NoFashion interview, VELVET Group founder & CEO Patrice Nordey expressed the hope to share mutual insights with participating brands and industry leaders and to discover new partnership opportunities through the Shanghai Fashion Web events. Another goal of the event is to promote the new initiatives in the fashion and digital field, such as the Chinese designer online retailer Bundshop, as well as the hair and beauty interactive platform Hairbobo. The Hairbobo App in China has attracted over 200,000 registered hairdressers.

Patrice Nordey was a senior executive at BNP Paribas Group, and served as the CEO of L’Atelier – BNP Paribas Group China. With 15 years of experience in e-commerce and the digital field, Patrice founded the Velvet Group in 2013 to help international luxury brands to enter the fast-growing Chinese e-commerce landscape.

He stated that in recent years, international luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Coach, Gucci enjoyed rapid development in China. However, as the market growth slows down, these brands will come to realize that the use of the digital platform will serve an important role in further brand expansion in China. “The digital platform is not only affordable, but essential to reaching affluent consumers, especially in geographic regions where there is not yet a physical brand store.”

Digital Consulting is the 2013 Shanghai Fashion Web theme and VELVET Group’s principal business, as more and more brands are focusing on digital marketing. Patrice Nordey recommends fashion brands to “prioritize the establishment of a solid digital platform, allocate adequate budget in search, media placement  and social media activities, while effectively channeling offline advertising resources such as magazines, events, and promotional pamphlets.” Patrice Nordey adds that a unified customer experience is essential for the brand. Throughout the digitization process, luxury brands should always maintain its uniqueness to provide high-quality online experience for every customer.

Sina weibo fans

With respect to the authenticity of microblog comments and posts, Patrice said he has noted the recent trend of third party microblog accounts equipped with zombie fans and false information and reviews. “Many brand headquarters have become aware of these authenticity issues and approached brand activities on these platforms with more caution.” Patrice Nordey said that VELVET Group responds to many brand headquarters’ requests, to identify problems within the brand’s Chinese subsidiaries and to “purify” social media activities . VELVET Group currently services clients include from the fashion and luxury industry, including Christian Louboutin, Boucheron, Galeries Lafayette, L’Oreal Group, as well as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and other brands under the Kering Group. Patrice Nordey reveals that these fashion brands hope to receive completely objective consulting service from VELVET Group.

With reference to the 2013 Shanghai Fashion Web event, Patrice Nordey signifies that there are many similar events held in the United States and Europe. However, in China, the concept of this event is fresh and “VELVET may be the first company to hold an event that links the digital field with the fashion and luxury industry.”

Note : Shanghai Fashion Web has been held on September 13, 2013 in Kathleen’s 5, Nanjing West Road, No. 325 , 5th Floor, Shanghai Art Museum. Netizens can search #SFW 2013# to find posts related to this event on the micro-blog.

– See more on NoFashion!

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!

Glamour Sales – Why mobile is a key for flash sales in China?

The Glamour Sales China homepage. (Glamour Sales)

With substantial discounts and limited quantities, online flash sales of designer goods became an e-commerce staple in the West after the start of the recession. According to Thibault Villet, CEO and co-founder of flash sales site Glamour Sales China, this lightning-fast form of e-commerce has just as much potential in Asian markets. After setting up in Japan in 2009, Glamour Sales Group opened its Chinese site in 2010, and announced a partnership with Neiman Marcus in 2012.

Villet recently presented on his company’s business strategy at Velvet Group’s Shanghai Fashion Web conference, which brought together industry professionals to discuss cutting-edge developments in digital marketing and e-commerce. Jing Daily reached out to Villet via email to discuss the unique opportunities and challenges that accompany conducting this distinctive form of e-commerce in China, including the specific demands of Chinese consumers and the constant need to adapt to rapidly changing technology.

Who is your target demographic in terms of age, income, and location? 

Over the last four years, we have grown a qualified  database of over 2.5 million fashionista members in China. They are spread out across 1,000 cities in all provinces, equally split between tier-one, tier-two, and tier-three and four cities. While we predominately target women aged 25 to 45, we also have a robust and fast-growing male customer base. All our customers, being  entrepreneurs, executives, or white collars, have in common the characteristics of being smart shoppers, highly interested in fashion, and open-minded to discover new brands.

Thibault Villet.

Are there any differences between conducting online flash sales in China as opposed to Europe or the United States?

The main difference versus Europe is that Chinese customers are very demanding when it comes to customer service and have been used to very fast delivery services. We deliver our customers across China in one to three days, and accept unconditional returns within seven days.

Versus the United States, Chinese customers expect much more detailed informations on brands and products, which requires additional depictions and detailed copywriting.

What are some of the main reasons your customers like to participate in flash sales—is it more about the bargain, the “thrill” that comes with buying something in limited quantity before it runs out, or the website’s curation?

Customers like to participate to our flash sales because of three factors: the website curation and the guarantee that all the products sold on Glamour Sales are authentic and of great quality, the excitement of the daily race, which on Glamour Sales China starts at 9 a.m., and the opportunity to buy at real bargain prices, which Glamour Sales does as we exclusively cooperate directly with brands or their official distributors, hence guaranteeing the best prices on the market.

What are some of the greatest challenges to conducting e-commerce in China at the moment?   

The market is growing fast and customers are expecting high-quality customer services, which starts from website speed to call center abilities to handle customer care. While we grow, offering a consistent and qualitative customer experience is our daily company focus. Technology is also evolving rapidly, and we have to continuously transform ourselves. We already run four platforms, including three mobile ones, and will release a  new version of the website before the end of the year.

How many customers purchase via mobile device as opposed to on a computer at the moment? Do you see this changing in the future?

We prepared ourselves for the rapid shift from desktop to mobile, as our sister company in Japan had already experienced it two years ago. Mobile commerce in China is now the fastest growing channel, and already represents a significant share of our business. It forces companies like ourselves to develop contents which are adapted first to mobile, and that will then be used on desktops.

How does your company utilize social media marketing?

Social media marketing is a the center of our marketing strategy in China. Our customers follow us on various platforms (Weibo, WeChat, etc.); we have built  strong and long-lasting relationships with social media key opinion leaders as well as key platforms such as Mogujie. We also  fully engage our own customer care teams in a personalized social relationship with our members and customers.

What is the status of Glamour Sales’ partnership with Neiman Marcus at the moment? Will there be any changes to the partnership now that the company is being sold?  

Neiman Marcus is and remains a strategic investor in Glamour Sales Holdings, and we are very pleased with this partnership.

– See more here on Jingdaily website.

WeChat – New features to gain foothold in B2C sector

Although instant messaging tools are most commonly used by individuals for personal communication (C-to-C), WeChat, a leading Chinese IM app, gradually established its presence as a major channel of online marketing (B-to-C). The newly launched 5.0 gives special focus to business users by adding a list of new features that caters for the business demands.

Alexis Bonhomme, the general manager at Curiosity China, a WeChat integrated agency focuses on foreign premium brands promotion, shared with us his experiences of running marketing campaign on WeChat platform at Shanghai Fashion Web recently held by digital consulting agency Velvet Group.

There are two kinds of business accounts, the service accounts and the official accounts. Both of them integrated navigation menus in the interface to include richer contents.

Service accounts allow brands to send messages directly to the personal chat windows of each consumer, which guaranteed high visibility and opening rate. Contrary to online marketing on Weibo, where companies can push ads at a high frequency, service accounts can send around one push marketing message per month. This restriction not only protects users from spams but also encourage brands to be more creative in compiling ads. The main idea is to provide high-quality content experience and increase the activity rate on the WeChat brand account. This kind of one-to-one communication is especially suitable for the promotion of premium brands or high-tier services, because it guaranteed the senses of “exclusivity” and “intimacy”.

2

The official accounts of Wechat 5.0 are basically consistent with the 4.0 version in terms of functions. Official accounts cannot send ads to individual chat windows like service accounts, but it allows higher ad pushing frequency of one message per day. However, this mechanism leads to risks that users may “unfollow” the account to avert ad harassment. Official accounts will be more useful for mass-market brands that aim at maximum followers.

QQ截图20130919142429

With the newly added payment function, WeChat users can purchase products from e-commerce platforms, such as BuyQQ, Amazon, Yihaodian, or Dangdang, via their credit cards bundled to WeChat accounts. Users will be directed to the platforms that sell their desired products by scanning the QR codes.

Both of the abovementioned accounts feature more CRM technical tools like listing all the stores of a certain brand and help users to pinpoint the nearest outlet or find sales promotion based on LBS. Moreover, this feature will help the promotion of brands so as to increase the traffic of new or less-known outlets.

WeChat also kicked off several technical developments for the new version. The LBS function will provide a better online to offline user experience. For example, if a Guangdong-based customer is shopping in a Beijing store of certain brand that he or she is a member, we can imagine in the future that the system will suggest the shopping guide to talk to the customer in Cantonese.

When companies post ads on different advertising channels, such as various fashion magazines or websites, there will be tiny differences in the QR bars printed on them. In the back-end system, the companies will know which customer is from which channel, a valuable data to support the compilation of future marketing strategies. Last but not least, WeChat starts to be seen as a R.O.I calculator and is used to increase the efficiency of the marketing spending.

– See more here on Technode website.