Retail in Asia


China leads the way in e-commerce for luxury


E-commerce is changing rapidly in China as the boundaries between online and offline are being blurred and new technologies come to the fore.

Over 150 luxury industry executives from brands such as Dior, Swarovski, Bulgari, and LVMH took part in the second edition of the Luxury Society and Digital Luxury Group-hosted Luxury Society Keynote event in Shanghai last month.

Speakers at the event noted that augmented reality, virtual reality, and livestreaming are key technologies now being used in China. Brands are shifting their focus to appeal to millennials, who are seeking experiences and emotional connection as well as content.

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DLG China Partner & Managing Director Pablo Mauron put it succinctly: “The millennial generation in China, which already accounts for 300 million people, seeks experiences and emotional connection, they’re not just a bystander.

Social media is another key tool to reach and engage customers in China, with WeChat a particularly significant medium. Four Seasons Hotels Director of Marketing in Asia Pacific John Hamilton said customer relationship management on social media allowed for highly-targeted messaging and engagement.

The Luxury Keynote event also explored the impact of celebrity and key opinion leader partnerships in China. Easy Entertainment Commercial Director Qing Dai said there were many success stories where luxury brands had been paired with appropriate celebrities, with a recent example being Cartier’s collaboration with Lu Han.