The Irreversible Trend of Online Sales of Luxury
With people’s increasing recognition of luxury brands and the rapid expansion of China’s middle class, multitudinous luxury brands have emerged in the Chinese market. In 2009, affected by the economic downturn, sales of luxury goods in the US market dropped 16%, but in strong contrast, sales grew 12% in China. Statistics show, 78% of Chinese luxury buyers use the internet to obtain information before making the purchase, which indicates that the internet has become the most useful tool for luxury marketing and online sales of luxury goods has become the irreversible trend in China. Many luxury brands such as Giorgio Armani and Dunhill have set up the Chinese version of their official websites, catering to the increasing need from the Chinese market.
Luxury Websites—Official Sites and B2C sites
There are mainly two kinds of websites relating to online luxury sales. One is a company’s official website. People can purchase directly from these official sites such as Gucci.com but some of them do not offer this service such as cn.Chanel.com. These sites only function as a marketing platform featuring nice illustrations and animations to provide users with a basic knowledge of the brand and the behind-the-scene stories about the spirits and quality of the brand. The second type is B2C online shopping sites. Vipshop.com, ihaveu.com, secoo.com are some of the leading websites that sell luxury goods in China.
Online Marketing Strategies for luxury brands—User Experience and SMS Ads
For the marketing of luxury goods, two elements are crucial—word of mouth and deep communication. In order to fully deliver the special value of luxury brands, it is very important to form a good interaction between customers and the brand. Therefore, several strategies are commonly used by various luxury brands. Firstly, in designing the official website, they tend to pay special attention to user experience, showing the quality and the unique style of the brand. Secondly, many brands make full use of social network services (SMS) to advertise. In addition, diversified online purchasing platform and synchronous update of information on the websites are the strategies often used as well.