In trendy streets of Shanghai, you can see all kinds of luxury fashion brands coming together. From a woman wearing the newest Givenchy purse to a young man who is dressed up in the new collection of Gucci. If it’s a well-known luxury fashion brand, you will stumble upon it.
Why do I have to take my brand to China?
What’s remarkable, that all of these clothing items are imported from overseas countries. Domestic luxury brands simply can’t compete in the luxury fashion market because Chinese consumers rather opt for foreign brands. A reason why they love to wear foreign luxury brands is that they are convinced that it is quality better.
This article will give a perspective on the Chinese luxury fashion market and will guide you, how you can take your luxury fashion brand to China.
China’s population getting younger and wealthier, the number of consumers who are big-spenders is rapidly growing.
Which means that the demand for luxury items is also growing. As result, new brands are entering the interesting luxury market of China. And maybe your luxury fashion brand could be the new hot trend in China. Then the streets of Huangpu Road in Shanghai will be filled with people dressed in your luxury fashion brand.
Chinese luxury consumers
In mainland China people will find you successful if you are able to buy a nice house, expensive car or foreign luxury fashion brands. It shows that you have enough disposable income to spend it on luxury items. It’s definitely a status thing. In Western culture, you have this too, but in China, it’s absolutely more prominent.
”Conspicuous consumption’’ is a phenomenon that occurs not only in Chinese culture but also in Western culture. And as motioned earlier, it’s more noticeable in China.
It’s having the need to buy goods, not because you need it, on the contrary, it’s because you have the desire to own it. In addition, you also have the need to ‘’show off’’ to others. I mean haven’t we all showed off something that we are proud of?
In short, Chinese consumers find it really important to spend their income on luxury goods and to show that they are successful. Hence, China is the top buyer of luxury goods of the entire world.
Luxury fashion market: online shopping is taking over
10 years ago, who would have thought that you could connect with someone from the other side of the earth. It’s all thanks to the internet.
The e-commerce market in China is rapidly growing and is expected to expand even more. Even luxury fashion brands have a lot of success on the internet.
Why do Chinese consumers buy almost everything online? The most important reason why Chinese consumers purchase so much online is because it simply takes less time. Going to the shop consumes a lot of time and shopping itself can last almost an entire day.
Online shopping has become a real trend in mainland China. Buying a present, a piece of clothing or your groceries, you can do this all with your smartphone and a few clicks. It’s that easy. After that, you just have to wait for your package to arrive at your doorstep.
You don’t have to go out on a rainy day or take the subway packed with lots of people, today you have the choice to stay warm at home and buy your favorite luxury fashion online.
As result, the phenomenon O2O commerce has become a real thing. This is Online 2 Offline, it’s when you first go to the store and see an item and later on you will buy it online. Online you may find a better price for the exact same product and it will be delivered to your home.
O2O commerce mostly occurs with luxury fashion brands or other expensive goods, because Chinese consumers want to see/feel the product in real-life before spending a lot of money online.
I have lived in Europe for whole my life and from my experience, I can say that Europeans haven’t really implemented online shopping. Europeans mainly use online shopping when they can’t find the product in stores. The online market in Europe is steadily growing but it definitely doesn’t have the same popularity as in mainland China.
Collaborate with e-commerce platforms
As mentioned earlier, if you have decided to take your luxury fashion brand to China, your brand has to be accessible for online buyers.
Instead of offering your own e-shop on your website, you can also choose to collaborate with popular e-commerce platforms. You will reach a lot of Chinese consumers and therefore more people will recognize your luxury fashion brand. Some luxury fashion brands have already collaborated with huge e-commerce platforms in China.
Today, Alibaba’s Tmall and JD.com are dominating the Chinese e-commerce market. Tmall, for example, has established the Luxury Pavilion, this is a special platform where they only offer luxury fashion brands to loyal consumers with a high income.
Fashion brands such as Burberry, Hugo Boss, and Estée Lauder have already been selling their goods on the Luxury Pavilion.
WeChat is an ideal luxury fashion brand partner
To enter the luxury fashion market, you also have to create brand awareness with your target group. Before Chinese consumers will buy your luxury fashion goods, they first need to know that your brand exists.
Today, being active on social media is a must, even for a luxury fashion brand. You might be familiar with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram but all of those will not help you to create brand awareness in China.
It’s all about WeChat. This platform counts more than 900 million active users and is mostly used by citizens of China. On this platform, you have the opportunity to promote your luxury fashion brand to Chinese consumers. In addition, you can send messages to potential and existing customers, so you can interact with them and provide a good customers service.
‘’Being active on WeChat can be your first step into the Chinese luxury fashion market.’’
For example, high-end fashion brand Céline has already created an account on WeChat and has used it for their ready-to-wear campaign in November 2017. Other brands such as Coach, Bulgari and UK’s Burberry have also joined this social platform.
Using intermediaries: KOLs
Besides that, there is another way to market your luxury fashion brand. You also have the option to work with intermediaries. Instead of you promoting your fashion brand yourself, intermediaries can do the work for you.
Intermediaries could be actors, singers, internet celebrities, in general, they are trendsetters. These idols have many fans, who support them and want to live the same life as them. If these trendsetters wear or recommend your luxury fashion brand, fans will notice your brand and want to have it too.
Keep in mind that this is not the easiest way of advertising your luxury fashion brand. It’s difficult to say which intermediary is the most useful and has the most influence on the target audience. But when this communication tool is used right way, it can without a doubt boost your business in no time.
So, let’s wrap up. The e-commerce market in China is growing every day, therefore there are many opportunities for your luxury fashion brand. To enter this market can sound a bit intimidating due to factors such as; e-commerce, WeChat, and intermediaries. However, if these factors are sufficiently used, you will be a strong competitor in the Chinese luxury fashion market. And maybe your foreign luxury fashion brand could be the new hype.
Need help to become the next hot fashion brand in China? Gentlemen Marketing Agency is the specialist in marketing to China. Feel free to contact us on our website.