The luxury goods market has been expanding in China since 2015. This market growth was driven by a growing middle class combined with the improved purchasing power of consumers.
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The desire to consume luxury goods is due to the Chinese population wanting to show their high level of wealth to others. The rising purchasing power and the influence of Western lifestyles have boosted luxury consumption and therefore many high-end brands have increasing their presence in China in order to take advantage of that situation.
Nowadays, the best way to be known among Chinese consumers in the luxury market is through the web using digital strategies and tools.
Indeed, social media and e-commerce hold a strong influence over Chinese luxury buyers. From a recent survey conducted by our agency around 60% of respondents sought information for purchases through social media platforms. A large number of Chinese consumers knew exactly what they’ll purchase before they arrive at the store due with 90% of respondents stating they plan their purchases in advance.
Thus, as a luxury brand who wants to have more visibility in the Chinese market, you must use the following tools :
Wechat in China
Over the last two years, the number of luxury brands on WeChat has increased by 87% , the industry has nevertheless still much work to do to continue to reach Chinese consumers.
Now, 92 % of global luxury brands have WeChat accounts, marking an incredible increase since 2014, where only half of all brands joined the platform. The popular mobile messaging application is akin to the Chinese version of Twitter, Weibo, which features accounts for 94% of all luxury brands based in China.
Since the industry has noticed the importance of this application, brands need to develop the technical capabilities of their WeChat accounts, which can help drive consumer engagement, online traffic, and sales.
Moreover, some luxury brands are taking advantage of all the features that can be added to an official account WeChat, including; push notifications, geolocation capabilities, e-commerce, and customer service capabilities that are more sophisticated as more agents use this real time communication feature.
E reputation in China : a question of trust
Your online reputation is a necessity when one wants to do business in the field of luxury in China. The Chinese people look carefully at the online reputation of a brand before buying a product. In China, there are some poor quality products and there are also a lot of counterfeit products. So they carefully look for information before purchasing a product. They will not buy a product if the website has a bad online reputation or if they can not find the e-reputation of the brand.
A way to build your e-reputation is through the KOL (Key Opinion Leader).
KOL : They launch new trends
The best way to approach Chinese customers and raise your brand awareness in China is by collaborating with people that Chinese customers believe in.
A key opinion leader is a person with a significant following on Chinese social media and/or have a strong influence on their audience.
These KOLs can be actors, singers or any online celebrities you feel will fit your fashion luxury brand’s values. China has embraced the digital age and many online celebrities were “born” in 2000’s.
E-commerce in China
Chinese consumers are now buying their products on e-commerce platforms.
Especially in China, brands emphasized the high quality, in-store luxury shopping experience as an extension of the brand. As opening stores in China is less viable, e-commerce allows brands to access wealthy customers throughout the country who don’t have access to retail locations because of its vast size geographically.
E-commerce platforms are a popular trend in relation to Chinese consumption. In fact due to a lack of confidence in many domestic products, the Chinese people like to buy non-Chinese products. ‘Western’ is often a byword for quality. These purchases can be made by online ecommerce platforms. The most powerful platforms are Taobao and Tmall.com, two websites founded by Alibaba, the Chinese Web giant. A number of luxury brands have also launched ecommerce sites in China within the past year, specialized e-commerce sites are very popular in the luxury sector where differentiation is key.