E-commerce is dominating in the luxury industry in China, and brands are increasingly diversifying their points of purchase. They’re reaching Chinese shoppers via not only the country’s major e-tailers, like Tmall, Secoo, and JD.com, but also through their own online shopping platforms, such as website and WeChat stores. However, European luxury brands are far from fully capitalizing on opportunities to meet the demands of China’s online shoppers, according to a new report by ContactLab and investment company Exane BNP Paribas.
The report reveals that the European luxury brands in the study do not always adapt their e-commerce strategy to Chinese consumers’ needs. For example, Armani and Tod’s standalone website’s designs are nearly the same in China as they are for their U.S. sites, according to the report. Burberry, meanwhile, “makes an extra effort to personalize web content” by featuring collaborations with Chinese celebrities and KOLs, as well as China-exclusive campaigns on their homepage.
One of the most significant highlights of the study revolves around the fact that a large majority of China’s online shoppers are making purchases on their phones. Brands that are more in tune with this trend are adopting mobile communications services as part of their purchasing experience. This is apparent with China’s major e-commerce giants, who use WeChat and SMS to message shoppers purchase confirmations and returns information.
The monobrands in the study, meanwhile, still heavily use email as a primary form of communication, all requiring shoppers to supply their email address for logging in to make a purchase.
When it comes to the ordering itself, Chinese consumers have different expectations than online shoppers in the West: They expect the delivery to arrive in under two days and returns to be free. During the period studied, Burberry actually delivered their products within two days. Armani and Secoo delivered within four, while the average delivery time for the remaining shopping platforms was two days.
Aside from tailoring the purchasing process, brands selling to Chinese consumers via online shops need to be aware of how the industry’s counterfeit and daigou cultures impact their digital strategies. Issues with counterfeit products have already prompted many major luxury brands to avoid Tmall, Alibaba’s e-commerce site notorious for its ongoing issues with fake luxury goods.
JD.com, Secoo, and Yintai.com, as well as Tmall, are finding ways to showcase a “guarantee of authenticity” on their product pages to win consumers’ trust. Ways of doing this include disclosing where the product is made, product reviews, and featuring detailed images that give shoppers a sense of what to expect when they receive the product.
(Source: Jing Daily )