We discovered in our last article “Why overseas retailers have to focus to M-commerce ?” in 2015, 50% of the E-commerce spending will be on mobile so today we want to focus on a sector which has been hesitant to embrance the E-Commerce revoluton : the luxury industry.
Actually the luxury sector is trying to catch up in the E-Commerce, which become a crucial channel to capture more growth and apprehend customers becoming increasingly young, volatile and connected.
According to Bain & Company’s 2014 China luxury market study, we could observe for the first time, a negative trend in 2014: -1% growth at approximately 115 billion RMB.
The main challenge for the sector is to develop a “multi-channel” approach which aims to erase the boundaries between E-commerce and physical stores.
M-Commerce : success for pioneers
The growth of mobile use in China is closely related to the growing popularity of WeChat, which hit 600 million monthly active users this year.
Mobile dominance has huge implications for online luxury shopping. We have to remind many high-end brands were recalcitrant about e-commerce and m-commerce in fear that customers will miss out a key of the luxury industry business model : the in-store experience.
It was the e-retailers (marketplaces) which has initiated the first M-commerce projects like ShangPin.com, launched in July 2010, the largest luxury and fast-fashion online shopping platform in China and the 1st fashion retailer selling authorized in-season designer collections of partner brands’ in China sees 40 percent of all sales from mobile devices, and expects that percentage to grow in the coming years.
An omni channel retail approach
For the moment, luxury brands prefer use mobile solutions like WeChat to develop One to One marketing or increase O2O (online to offline, offline to online) to meet the needs of omni channel customers . This means offering customers a variety of ways to buy: In-store (bricks & mortar), eCommerce, mobile, social, pre-sale and post-sale customer service.
Recently, it is the British brand Mulberry has been innovative. First during the Qixi Festival, Chinese Valentine’s Day, the brand was inspired by the legend and gave the opportunity to its worwilde Chinese customers send among themselves personalized messages via WeChat. Then, Mulberry set up an Online to Offline strategy. The recipients of the messages were be able to take their WeChat love messages to the nearest Mulberry boutique and can redeem a hand-crafted leather bracelet that can be personalized in-house.
Present on WeChat for only 1 year, Mulberry continues to demonstrate that it is possible to combine luxury experience and mobile solution.
The brand uses the mobile social network to develop its O2O approach especially with the 360° vitual integration of its London flagship store in WeChat that allows the user to discover the different products with the possibility to be called back by the customer service or be redirected to the mobile brand eshop.
Phoceis Asia – www.phoceis.asia
Sources : Bain & Company, Jing Daily