Western luxury products have always seduced Eastern consumers, but the obstacles in buying them have always been too many. In order to reduce this kind of gap, we assisted to an increased use of the e-commerce all over the world, in particular with regard to China.
We all know that the demand for luxury goods in this country has increased a lot, especially after the first liberalization policies of the late 1970s and today China represents one of the largest luxury markets in the world.
Until recently, Chinese shoppers had to buy Western luxury goods on Wetsern web-sites and this represented an obstacle not only because of the language barrier, but also because the entire shopping experience is completely different: is not possible to pay directly in Yuan, there are several customs and import duties and foreign servers slow things down.
As a result, Chinese shoppers started to travel to the West in order to buy these kind of products directly, avoiding the high taxes at home. So, many of the biggest shops of luxury goods opened in the biggest Chinese cities started to slash their exorbitant prices.
In addition, this situation brought to the emergence of a black market of counterfeit products, called “daigou“, that can easily exploit the web channel. However, Chinese consumers are very rational and well-informed and therefore aware of the risks of it.
That’s why luxury e-commerce platforms try to increase more and more the security of the shopping experience, always in very innovative and original ways. One example? Do you remember Alibaba, the e-commerce group that in 2012 sold products for 170 billion $ (more than Amazon and E-Bay together)?
Well, it created a B2C (Business to Consumer) store called Tmall ,which includes more than 300 luxury brands like Armani, Zegna, Stuart Weitzmann, Proenza Schouler, Sergio Rossi, Longchamp and others.
Tmall, in collaboration with Mei.com, which is a flash sale web-site of fashion and luxury brands consisting of 7 millions members, created on 30 March the “Tmall Luxury Flash Sale Channel”, a web tv channel accessible from Tmall app.
What’s new? You can instantly shop the runways.
So, Alibaba invested 100 millions dollars in Mei.com in July 2015 and Chris Tung (Alibaba marketing CEO) declared that “the channel will offer to the increasing Chinese middle class more and more brands on Tmall and a unique shopping platform in terms of quality of its products and services.”
In addition Alibaba launched also a new service called “Tmall Global” which, starting from the end of the summer, will give Chinese consumers the possibility to buy foreign Western luxury products with an “international ” price, lower than the national/local average.
Many celebrities took part at the event: Olivia Palermo, wearing one of the looks of the app (Saint Laurent and Chloé); the singers Li Yuchun and Tia Ray and the actor Yi Lun Sheng.